HVAC Parts You Need to Know

HVAC systems are designed to heat and cool the air circulating throughout your building. They also help to filter out impurities. This is why it’s important to keep your filters clean. Contact Hubbard Mechanical now!

The development of modern air conditioning has greatly contributed to medical advances, reduced disease rates and longer life expectancy. Here are some other hvac facts you might not have known!

The compressor is an essential part of your air conditioning unit. Its primary function is to pressurize refrigerant so it can be circulated through the system and carry heat away from your home. It does this by drawing atmospheric air into a large internal tank. The rotor’s spin forces a single piston up and down inside the tank, and as it moves down, atmospheric air is pulled into the compression chamber and then compressed to create higher pressures. As it moves up, the pressure is forced out of the compression chamber and into an output valve as liquified refrigerant.

The squeezing action of the compressor raises the temperature of the refrigerant well above that of the surrounding atmosphere, and the liquified refrigerant is then pumped into another section of our cooling circuit where it gives up its excess heat to the cooler atmospheric air. This continuous pumping is necessary because a refrigerant in liquid form must not escape from the low side of our cooling circuit, which requires a constant supply of liquified refrigerant to keep it from depressurizing.

If the compressor loses its ability to liquefy refrigerant, it will stop operating and you’ll experience reduced airflow. To avoid this, it is important to perform proper maintenance on your compressor. This includes oiling the lubrication systems and ensuring that all connections are firmly seated. It’s also a good idea to replace the filter on your compressor once a year, which will remove most of the contaminants that can cause it to stop working.

Understanding the physics behind a compressor’s operation is also vital to using it properly. As Hugh Robjohns explains in this video, compressors work based on Boyle’s Law which states that ‘as volume goes down, pressure must go up.’ The simplest compressors use a piston in a cylinder to do this pumping action, but there are many different types of compressors which all operate based on the same principles. It’s a fundamental concept that will allow you to fully understand how compressors, and the ratio control in particular, work.

The Furnace

The furnace is the heart of any hvac system. It creates warm air to circulate throughout your home or business, and it is often paired with a central AC unit. It is also the most energy-intensive component in your hvac system, so regular preventative maintenance can help to minimize its energy consumption and resulting costs.

A typical gas-powered furnace runs on natural gas or liquid propane gas and has a blower, combustion chamber, flue vent connector, air ducts to transport hot air throughout your home or business, and a heat exchanger. Electric furnaces, which can run on either electricity or oil, are more common in regions that do not have access to natural gas, and they use a burner and heat coils to convert fuel into usable energy.

The heating cycle begins when the furnace receives a signal from the thermostat that it is time for heat. A control board interprets the signal and sends a signal back to the system, opening the gas valve and turning on the burners. The igniter then heats up to start the burning of the fuel inside the burners, and the heat from the flames warms the air that has been drawn into the heat exchanger. The air is then pushed out of the furnace through an exhaust pipe and into the building by the blower fan.

As the air leaves the heat exchanger, it cools down, and the blower fan turns off. The heat exchanger is cleaned periodically by a professional to ensure the best possible performance, and it should be replaced every 10 years. The system is also equipped with a draft inducer that drives cold air into the combustion chamber during every heating cycle to help clear out any lingering combustible residue. It is regulated by an air pressure switch that measures the amount of air being driven out of the combustion chamber and, if it drops below a certain level, shuts off the gas supply.

The insulated combustion chamber is protected by the blower fan and is sealed with a glass or metal door to keep the hot gases from escaping. An exhaust fan is attached to the chimney for safe operation, and a carbon monoxide detector is installed to protect your family and employees.

The Ventilation System

Ventilation moves fresh air into your home and exhausts stale, polluted air. There are several ways to ventilate your house, including natural ventilation, mechanical ventilation, and hybrid (mixed-mode) ventilation. Natural ventilation involves opening doors and windows to bring in outside air while forcing out stale, polluted air. This works well in older homes, where there are many small cracks and air leaks through which the fresh, clean outdoor air can flow. However, newer houses are designed to be much more tightly sealed, and the lack of gaps and leaks makes natural ventilation less effective.

A mechanical ventilation system uses a series of fans and ducts to transport air throughout your home, allowing you to control which rooms are ventilated and when. This type of system is more efficient than natural ventilation because it eliminates the loss of energy that occurs when you open and close doors and windows. It also offers more precise temperature control, and it can be used to remove moisture from indoor spaces.

There are several different types of mechanical ventilation systems, ranging from whole-house ventilation to spot ventilation. A whole-house ventilation system has a network of ducts that distributes air to all the rooms in your home, while a spot ventilation system uses exhaust fans to ventilate specific spaces (like bathrooms and kitchens) only when they are in use.

Another benefit of ventilation is that it can help to reduce the concentration of pollutants and allergens in indoor spaces. It can also help to keep humidity levels in check, preventing mold and other moisture problems.

The final benefit of ventilation is that it can help protect health and safety. In hospitals and other healthcare facilities, proper ventilation is critical to ensure the quality of the air in patient and employee spaces. In addition, ventilation can also be used to dissipate heat generated by equipment and machinery, reducing the risk of fires or other hazards.

Proper ventilation is important in any type of building, but it’s especially vital for commercial and industrial spaces. It can improve indoor air quality, reduce pollutants and allergens, and even protect the health of vulnerable populations (such as patients with COVID-19). For these reasons, it’s essential to have a reliable HVAC system in place.

The Air Handler

Essentially, the air handler is what makes your HVAC system actually “work.” It’s found inside your home, most commonly in an attic, basement or dedicated closet. Unlike the heat pump, it doesn’t have a heating element to warm your indoor air; however, it does blow your cooled or warmed indoor air through your ductwork. It’s best described as an air distribution system and closely resembles a gas furnace in terms of shape.

Your air handler is responsible for circulating and conditioning indoor air in your home or commercial building. Acting like lungs, it breathes in return air from various rooms, conditions that air through cooling and heating processes, then releases the conditioned air back into your living or work spaces.

The air handler contains an evaporator coil, fan and filter rack. As air passes over the evaporator coil, excess heat is absorbed and the refrigerant begins to cool down. As it does so, the liquid refrigerant flows through an expansion device to reduce its pressure and temperature, making it ready to absorb more heat when needed.

A blower, often called a fan, is installed within the air handler to propel the conditioned air into the ductwork and into your home or business. This airflow is regulated by a damper which opens or closes to create the ideal amount of conditioned airflow. The fan speed is also variable in modern units, allowing precise function to meet your specific cooling or heating needs.

Air filters keep the air inside your HVAC system clean, removing dander, dust and other contaminants from being circulated throughout your space. When clogged, these pollutants can aggravate allergies or cause respiratory issues for those in your home or business. It’s important to change or clean your air filters monthly.

A properly sized and maintained air handler, along with the other components of your HVAC system, is key to maintaining your desired temperature, indoor air quality and energy efficiency. Professionals use calculations based on the square footage of your space, insulation levels and climate to determine the size of air handler your property requires. A properly sized air handler can also help to reduce operating costs and wear and tear on your other equipment.