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An HVAC System’s 6 Most Critical Components

Knowing the ins and outs of your heating and cooling equipment can help you prevent expensive breakdowns and unwanted repairs while keeping the system performing at an optimal level. 

Fixing a mechanical issue is not easy, especially when you don’t know how the equipment works. When it comes to HVAC maintenance, however, it’s important to understand the role each piece of equipment plays. Air conditioning (AC) and heating systems are engineered with several moving parts, and this blog will show you the purpose each one serves.

The Most Important Parts of Your HVAC System

If you take the time to really examine your heating and cooling system, you’ll notice six particular components: 

  • Heat Exchangers 
  • Blower Motors
  • Combustion Chambers 
  • Condenser Systems
  • Evaporator Coils
  • Thermostat

These mechanical parts are more than just pieces of equipment; they are essential to greater indoor comfort, safer air quality, more cost savings, and long-term peace of mind. Here’s what you need to know about each element: 

Heat Exchangers

The heat exchanger houses the furnace. It not only absorbs heat from the outside, but it also masks cold indoor environments with warm temperatures. Every furnace is equipped with a heat exchanger, and it must be protected with layers of stainless steel and temperature-resistant alloys. Damage to your heat exchanger can lead to carbon monoxide leaks, which can be poisonous and even fatal. Make sure to have this piece of equipment professionally inspected at least once a year.

Blower Motors 

Once the heat exchanger presents the right temperature, the blower motor activates. Blower motors move warm air through the duct system before it enters the air handling vents. This sets up warm air to be appropriately distributed throughout each room. Blower motors do not produce any mechanical sounds, despite running at high speeds. They do, however, help keep humidity at an appropriate level. 

Combustion Chambers

The combustion chamber is the most important part of your furnace. Its purpose is to trap an appropriate amount of heat in the furnace. Combustion chambers work like a science experiment in which a mixture of air and other gases are combined, resulting in the beginning of the heating cycle. This component also captures carbon monoxide and compresses it into a safe, natural gas, allowing you to get every bit of energy from each fuel source. 

Condensing System (Compressor)

HVAC condenser coils can be found in all air conditioning and heat pump systems. Their purpose is to cool the building by releasing heat into the outdoor air. This occurs when a refrigerant is compressed into a cool gas that is released in the fan blower. Inspect your condenser on a regular basis and make sure it is free of any leaves, grass clippings, dirt, or other debris. Additionally, you’ll want to protect it by letting the unit rest in the shade. This helps mitigate the risk of overheating.

Evaporator Coils

Evaporator coils are essential elements in any air conditioning system or heat pump. Commonly referred to as the evaporator core, these coils help absorb heat the refrigerant generates. They are often located inside the air handler right below the blower fan. And while this mechanical part helps your AC system lower the building temperature, it also helps bring heat indoors when the temperature starts to drop. Be sure to perform maintenance on your evaporator core at least twice a year to prevent condensation. Otherwise, it may start to breed mold and cause significant damage to the rest of your HVAC system.

Thermostat

Thermostats are usually centrally located in your home or office building. These temperature sensors are connected directly to your HVAC system through a special set of wires. Some heating and cooling systems are equipped with multiple thermostats for different zones of the building. For maximum energy efficiency, it would be in your best interest to invest in a programmable thermostat. With this solution, building owners and facility managers can easily control different temperatures and humidity levels straight from their computers, smartphones, or tablets. 

Get the Most out of Your HVAC Equipment

The experts at Service Unlimited are there to help keep your HVAC system performing at its best. Our team of problem solvers delivers peace-of-mind solutions to help save you money and conserve energy. We’ll help you install, repair, and maintain any heating and air conditioning system, no matter what type of unit you have. 

Book your appointment today so you can start taking advantage of any of our [best-in-class solutions]!

The Ins and Outs of HVAC System Best Practices

Your HVAC system is a major investment. It heats and cools your building, keeps your staff comfortable, and helps keep inventory in usable condition. Your HVAC system also makes up the majority of your building’s energy consumption. Because it’s such a major part of your workplace, it needs to be designed for your building and the facilities within it. It also should receive proper maintenance, as well as HVAC system repairs when needed. 

To make sure your commercial HVAC system is properly installed and maintained, you should understand commercial HVAC best practices. There are techniques, methods, and procedures that have been shown to produce the best results. For HVAC systems, best practices involve improving energy efficiency, reducing energy costs, and making sure the system fits the building.

HVAC Best Practices

Install a Correctly Sized System

Choosing HVAC equipment that is properly sized for your building and facilities is extremely important. If the system is too large or small, it will cause problems. If your system is too small, it will not heat or cool your building properly and it will run constantly wasting energy. However, installing a system that’s too big will not solve these problems. If the system is too big, it will raise your energy bills with frequent start/stops, and it will ultimately have trouble with its startup process. This will lead to extra wear and tear and expensive repairs that will shorten the system’s lifespan.

Doing the research and the calculations to find a correctly sized system will provide you with cost savings and energy efficiency in the long run.

Pay Attention to the System’s Energy Efficiency Rating

When you select an HVAC system for your building, pay attention to its SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating. The SEER rating measures a system’s energy efficiency over a typical cooling system. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the HVAC system.

Reduce the System’s Load

Your system’s load capacity is the amount of heating and cooling energy it uses during operation. To reduce the system’s heating and cooling loads, seal and insulate your building’s doors and windows, and install energy efficient window coverings or window films. These will help reduce the amount of energy your HVAC unit or system needs to run. 

Perform Preventive Maintenance

Routine maintenance saves a lot of money in repairs over time. It also provides your building with better, healthier air quality. Preventive maintenance includes small tasks, such as changing the air filters, and semiannual inspections performed by a professional HVAC technician. When a technician inspects your HVAC system, they can locate and fix small problems before they grow into larger ones. These maintenance inspections and techniques will help prolong your system’s lifespan and prevent it from suffering major breakdowns and system failures.

Use Automated Controls

Automated controls adjust your system’s air output based on the conditions in the zones your system and your thermostat supply with heating or air conditioning. These controls include programmable thermostats, blower controls, and variable-speed fan controls. When your HVAC system uses automated controls, its daily energy costs are reduced because the controls base the system’s output on factors including room temperature and occupancy.

Consider Natural HVAC Solutions

If you’re worried about your carbon footprint and other environmental concerns, you could consider more natural HVAC solutions. For instance, if your building is in a moderate climate, you could install a heat pump, which operates by moving heat from one area and distributes it to another. 

Air-source, water-source, and ground-source heat pumps pull heat from or distribute it into the air, water, or ground. These heat pumps draw the heat from natural resources instead of generating hot or cool air with gas or electric power. You can also use wind-driven ventilation to improve the building’s airflow and air distribution. Using environmentally conscious commercial HVAC design solutions will help your building and your system become more energy efficient and eco-friendly.

Distinguish Between HVAC System Replacement and Repairs

Waiting until the very end of your system’s life cycle to replace it can raise your energy costs as you wait for your system to die. Instead, consider using this rule of thumb to determine when to replace your HVAC system: When the repairs cost more than 30% of a new system, it’s time to consider a replacement. This guideline can help you determine which repairs are worth the money and when you should begin shopping for a new system.

An HVAC Contractor You Can Trust

At Services Unlimited, we will take the time to consider how our services can best meet your system’s, building’s, and business’s needs. We do our best to employ best practices to make sure your HVAC system runs well for a long time. If you have any questions about our services or if you’d like a consultation, contact us today.