Every home has a heating and cooling system. The HVAC system is a set of piping, equipment, controls, and other components that heat or cool the indoor environment. In most homes, the HVAC system is run by a professional HVAC company, which makes maintenance simple and convenient. Homeowners can often find help with routine maintenance at a local branch office or storage facility. If you are unable to find an office nearby, there are usually walk-in centers where you can make appointments to have service performed on your system as needed. When maintaining your own HVAC system it’s important to understand the different components so that problems do not arise before they become major problems.
What is a Central Air Conditioning System?
In a Central Air Conditioning System, the indoor air is circulated through a cooling system to keep the air temperature at or below 65°F. The indoor environment is heated or cooled with equipment that includes a compressor, evaporator, blower, door, and more. The indoor air is drawn from a concrete or metal foundation, or a separate external source such as a heater, air conditioner, or furnace. Heat is transferred from the outside to the inside with the help of an indoor unit known as an evaporator coil. The evaporator coil is responsible for removing the warm air from the outdoor environment and returning it to the indoor environment through a series of indoor equipment such as registers, registers, fans, and heat exchangers. Another indoor unit called an air handler receives the indoor air from the evaporator coil and transfers it to other indoor equipment such as indoor economizers, indoor conditioning units, or indoor airguns.
Backflow valves ensure that the indoor environment is maintained at a set temperature. The thermostat behind the valve opens and closes with the flow of air. A backflow valve is usually located at the inlet of the HVAC system to keep out water and other foreign objects. If the backflow valve becomes stuck or improperly installed, it can allow water to reach the indoor environment. This can cause mildew and mold growth, as well as reduce the efficiency of the air handler. Water drains from the system through a grille or opening in the roof.
Blower doors are used to direct air from the horizontal position to a vertical position. They are usually found in indoor air conditioning systems. A blower door is what causes the indoor air to move from warm to cold. A door with variable speed control allows the homeowner to set the air temperature desired. Blower doors are sometimes called fan doors. Air from the blower moves through the door to the fan, which is usually located on the opposite side of the house. Blower doors can be programmed to automatically open and close when a compressor is turned on.
The evaporator coil is part of an indoor air conditioning system that removes the heat from indoor environments. It is usually located in the middle of a room and is connected to the air handler. Evaporator coils are designed to work at low temperatures, usually around 50°F. If the indoor environment is too cold for the coilers to work at optimal conditions, humectant chemicals have released that stain the air. If the air is too hot for the coilers to operate at optimal conditions, noxious fumes build up in the indoor environment.
An exhaust device removes the noxious fumes from the indoor environment. Some exhaust devices are attached to the air handler and take care of the hot air while others are attached to the room air conditioner. Some indoor air conditioners are equipped with dehumidifiers to reduce indoor humidity levels.
The condenser coil is the part of an indoor air conditioning system that cools the air. It is usually located in the attic or crawlspace and is connected to the air handler. This is the heat source for the cooling system. In some systems, the condenser is on the same air handler as the air conditioner. In others, it is located at a different location.
Evaporation Coil - Dryer
The evaporator coil is part of an indoor air conditioning system that removes the heat from indoor environments. It is usually located in the dryer and is connected to the air handler. Dryers are designed to work at low temperatures.
Conduction Coil - Refrigerator/Freezer
A refrigerant is a gas that keeps your household goods cool. A refrigerant can be mixed with either a fuel (usually natural gas) or oil (usually gaseous propane). Refrigerants come in many different forms, including air, liquid, and gas. Liquid refrigerants are easy to use, but gas refrigerants need to be vented into the atmosphere.
Coil Clinched Condenser - Microwave/Oven
A clinched condenser is a special type of condenser that is used in areas with high indoor air temperatures, such as an attic or a kitchen. It consists of a metal tube with a pointed tip at the end. These tips are designed to be immersed in a liquid such as water or mineral oil, and the metal tube funnels the liquid to the air handler.
Coil Double Insulated Condenser - Verify Operation
A double-insulated condenser is used in areas with low indoor air temperatures, such as a basement or a shed. It consists of a metal tube with a thick wall to prevent heat from escaping. Double-insulated coils are less efficient, but they provide much colder indoor air.
Coil Exhaust - Verify Operation
An exhaust system removes the heat from an indoor environment. Exhaust systems are usually located in the garage or the shed, and are connected to the air handler. The heat from the exhaust is transferred to the outdoors through a ground loop or a backflow valve.
The maintenance of your HVAC system is important to ensure that it is working properly and to protect it from damage caused by wear and tear, failure, and weather conditions. Regular maintenance is important because a poorly maintained HVAC system can cost more in repair costs than a well-maintained one. It is also important to note that repairs should be performed by a professional HVAC company. If you are not able to find a local professional HVAC service provider, there are a few walk-in centers where you can make appointments to have service performed on your system as needed. When maintaining your own HVAC system it’s important to understand the different components so that problems do not arise before they become major problems.
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