HVAC Basics for Beginners

HVAC Basics for Beginners

Most people don't give their home's HVAC system much thought until something goes wrong with it. However, it is always a good idea to understand what makes up your system that works so hard to keep your home comfortable. Here are a few HVAC basics that help demystify the components in your system.

What Does HVAC Mean?

HVAC is an acronym for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. You often hear about heating and air conditioning, but these two things would not be possible without proper ventilation.

Furnace or Boiler

  • Most homes around our area have either a furnace or a boiler for heating. These are two different pieces of equipment; you either have one of the other.
  • A furnace moves the air heated by the system's heat exchanger into the ductwork in your home to blow out your air vents.
  • A boiler heats water that is then circulated through a network of pipes/radiators along the walls of your home. Instead of using ductwork and vents, the warmth is radiated from the pipes.

Ductwork and Vents

Your home's ductwork is designed specifically for your home to provide the optimal amount of ventilation for your HVAC system. Air is drawn into the system, and once it is heated or cooled, it is dispersed throughout the network of ducts through air vents. These vents may be located on your floor, wall, or ceiling.

Air Conditioner Components

Your home's air conditioner has components that are located inside and outside your home. The evaporator coil is located inside your system's air handler, which is located inside your furnace but is used in cooling your home. Refrigerant runs through the coil to absorb the heat energy out of the air in your home. The cooled air is then blowing through the ductwork and air vents in your home.

The outdoor component of your air conditioner is its condensing unit, which also contains its compressor. As the system's refrigerant runs through this component, the heat absorbed from inside your home is dispersed into the cabinet's aluminum condenser fins.


Your thermostat is the brains of your HVAC system. It controls the temperature in your home and whether your system is set to heat or to cool. If you have a smart programmable thermostat, you can set programs that automatically adjust your home temperature. It can also help you save money on your home's energy bills, too.

Call Us Today

As you can see, a lot is going on behind the scenes in your heating and cooling system, and sometimes things can go wrong. Whether you need an emergency repair, regular maintenance, or installing a new HVAC system, the friendly and experienced professionals at Ardmore Fresh Air are ready to help. We have been serving Niles and the surrounding Chicago metro area for over 40 years. Call us today at (847) 792-1019.

Contact Ardmore Fresh Air at (847) 792-1019 for your next appointment or any questions regarding our blog articles! In a hurry? Schedule your appointment online now.