You know what an HVAC system does, but maybe you’re a little confused about how it does it. You may want to know more for many reasons.

This education can help you clean and maintain the system, and communicate issues with HVAC techs within the Winchester area. Above all – this education can help save you money. 

Regardless of your motive, the first step to understanding the system’s operation is by learning what the main components are. While an HVAC System may have its share of complexities and nuances, it is relatively easy to understand. Once you know the parts of HVAC systems, you’ll have a much better understanding of how it functions.

knowing the parts of your hvac can help you clean and maintain the system

Why should I Know This?

There are many reasons to know what the parts of HVAC systems are. Of course, you should know as much as possible about what exists in your home. You will also want to know this as it will help you better communicate with an HVAC technician who is servicing or maintaining the system.

They will be able to help you understand any issues and possible future expenses that will be needed. It will also help you to know what parts of the system you can maintain and clean.

Services do exist for this, but as a homeowner, you may not want to spend money on things you can do yourself. Even if you don’t intend to perform any repairs, understanding each component and how it should operate can work as the first step to save money on energy bills.  

A Simple System Review

Biting off more than you can chew is only going to overcomplicate things. To get a good idea of how an HVAC system works, you should start by taking a look at the main components and their essential functions.

Keep in mind there are different types of HVAC systems, and what is present in your home may be different than what you may find in others. What is listed below is still enough to get you a good understanding of how any HVAC system functions.  


The furnace’s role in an HVAC system is generating heat. Traditionally, furnaces produce heat by burning fuel; natural gas or oil furnaces are what is typical. There are also some furnaces operate on electricity and solar power as well.

Heat Exchanger

A heat exchanger works to improve the furnace’s performance during the winter. Its role is to draw in cold air, heat it, and distribute the warm air through the home. Heat exchangers are conventional but aren’t present on every HVAC system.

Condensing Unit

A condenser unit is the part of the AC system found outside of the home. These large units contain refrigerant that has already absorbed heat that will need to be released. As the refrigerant condenses inside the condenser coil, heat will disperse into the air outside of the home.

Evaporator Coil

Evaporator coils contain refrigerant and will absorb heat, which cools the air. This is the part of the AC system that is located inside the home. As the refrigerant reaches its boiling point, it pulls the heat from the air. After this has happened, it will return to the condensing unit to return to its liquid state. The evaporator coil will also remove moisture from the air, which is why a drip pan is just below them.

Refrigerant Lines 

For the AC system to work, the refrigerant will need to move to the evaporator coils and condenser unit. Refrigerant lines are simply the delivery system required to do so. These lines may contain liquid refrigerant or refrigerant gas, which depends on which part of the system it is linked to.  


Unless you use ductless heating and air conditioning systems, ductwork is needed to transfer air. Heating and AC systems will feed air of the desired temperature into this system that will move with the aid of a fan. The air is delivered to the room through small vents. It’s important to not block these vents with furniture, as doing so will hinder the performance of the HVAC system.


A thermostat is how the entire system is controlled. When you set the desired temperature, sensors within the thermostat will ensure it is maintained by providing the room with heated or cooled air; this depends on the setting.

Concluding Thoughts

Understanding the roles of each part is but the first step. As mentioned above, HVAC systems can vary from home to home. There may be additional equipment or lack thereof, and some systems may contain more than one of each part.

What’s important to remember is the HVAC means Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning. This means that a heat source (furnace) vents and ductwork, and air conditioning will almost always be present. With what we’ve discussed today will be relevant to any HVAC system regardless of its configuration or even size.