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August 14, 2020

HVAC Basics for Beginners

When it comes to enjoying the air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter, your home’s HVAC system is essential. HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system. Many components make up this system, and understanding how they work together will give you the knowledge you need to better handle regular maintenance and minor repairs.

The Main Components Of Your HVAC System

Every HVAC system comes with a variety of components. We’re going to list each of these components and describe what they do for your overall HVAC system.


Your furnace is going to be one of the biggest components of your HVAC system. It is usually found in the basement and works to provide warm air throughout your home. It does this by moving air from the heat exchanger in your HVAC system to the air ducts that run throughout the walls in your home.

Air Handler:

The portion of the central air conditioning or heat pump system that moves heated or cooled air throughout a home’s ductwork. In some systems a furnace handles this function.

Heat Pump:

An air conditioner that contains a valve that allows it to alternate between heating and cooling.


Many thermostats are programmable or operate on smart technology. Their function is to allow you to set and adjust the desired temperature for the interior of your home. You will find the thermostat in your home usually located on a wall of the main level.

Ductwork And Vents

Throughout the walls in your home, various pipes transfer the cooled or heated air throughout your home. Similar to veins that deliver blood throughout your body. You will notice grated vents, also referred to as registers, that allow the air to enter and exit individual rooms. The ductwork is attached to the entire HVAC system and can make a huge difference in the efficiency of your home, overall comfort level and even energy costs.

Evaporator Coil And Condenser Unit

The portion of a heat pump or central air conditioning system that is located in the home and functions as the heat transfer point for warming or cooling indoor air is the evaporator coil. The heat is then pumped outside to your condensing unit -portion of a central air conditioning system that is located outside the home and functions as a heat transfer point for collecting heat from and dispelling heat to the outside air through refrigerant tubes.


Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. A measure of an air conditioner’s cooling efficiency. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the product. The government’s established minimum SEER rating for air conditioners manufactured after January 2006 is 13.


Heating Seasonal Performance Factor. A measure of a heat pump’s heating efficiency. The higher the HSPF, the more efficient the product. There is no government established minimum HSPF rating for heat pumps.


The pump that moves the refrigerant from the indoor evaporator coil to the outdoor condensing unit and back to the evaporator. The compressor functions as the heart of the system, because it circulates the refrigerant in a loop.

What Should You Know About Maintenance?

Every HVAC system will have some level of maintenance that needs to be performed for the system to stay in good shape. Lack of proper maintenance can lead to system failure before the manufacturer’s estimated lifespan for the unit or costly preventative repairs. There are two main parts of preventative maintenance for your HVAC system.

The first is having bi-annual inspections performed on your system (one in heat season and one is a/c season). This is when you call in an HVAC professional to thoroughly check, inspect and clean your system. Remember it is important to find a company like Christian Heating and Air Conditioning, who performs this type of preventative tune up and does not just check your system. Your air conditioning components should be tuned up in the early spring months, and your furnace components should be evaluated during the early fall months. You will also have some regular maintenance of your own to perform like filter changes every two to three months depending on family allergies, pets, and candle use.

Call Us today

If you have any questions regarding your HVAC system or you want to schedule a bi-annual system tune up, give the experts at Christian Heating & Air Conditioning a call today. Our HVAC technicians are waiting to assist you with all of your heating and air conditioning needs.

Have a question regarding HVAC or one of our articles? Contact Christian Heating and Air Conditioning, at 1-215-488-5795 or schedule your next appointment online with us here!