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HVAC Basics: Understanding Your HVAC System

Drew Haynes - Thursday, April 21, 2016 | Comments (0)


We talk about it all the time – your home’s HVAC system.  However, many homeowners know very little about the basics of their home’s Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning unit.  Simply put, your HVAC system is responsible for climate control in your home; it keeps you warm in the winter and cold in the summer.  It manages moisture, and it allows you to be comfortable in your home regardless of what’s happening outside.

As a homeowner, understanding the basics of your system will help you better operate and maintain it.  Here are some of the basics to get you started.

The Heating Element

While most of Southern California doesn’t see the freezing temperatures common in other regions of the country, it still gets cold enough to need a little help keeping your home comfortable.  Regardless of the type of system you have, your HVAC unit creates heat at a central source and distributes it throughout the home. 

The three most common types of heating systems in Orange County are:

  • Forced Air – One of the most common systems, forced air units heat the air with a furnace and distribute heated air throughout the home using ductwork and in-room vents.
  • Radiant Heating – As a more passive heating system, radiant heating systems use a heating stove or boiler to push warmth through a system of electric heating coils or hot water tubing in the floors or ceiling for your home.
  • Geothermal Heating – Leveraging a natural heat source, geothermal heating systems use the earth as a heating source, pulling heat from underground and distributing it throughout the home using a heat exchanger.

The Air Conditioning Element

Often more important than residential heating systems, residents of Southern California rely on their air conditioning systems to maintain comfort through our very hot summer months. 

Air conditioners use refrigeration to chill indoor air and absorb heat.  Leveraging phase conversion, or the physical law that states converting a liquid to a gas results in heat absorption, air conditioners force special chemical compounds to evaporate and condense again and again in a system of closed coils. 

Additionally, the system uses fans to move warm air over refrigerant-chilled coils to cool it and send it into the home’s living space.  This treated air moves through a system of air ducts that snake through the walls, ceilings, and floors of a home.

To understand the different types of air conditioning systems common in Southern California, read our post: Air Conditioning 101: Which of the 4 Most Common Types of Air Conditioning Units Are Right For You?

To schedule your routine maintenance, contact Just Right Services today at 949-228-2108.  We’ll inspect your HVAC system and run the proper tests to make sure it is working efficiently and safely.

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