Only a licensed professional can work on the refrigerant and pump of an HVAC unit, but the owner and operator ought to know how it works. Basic knowledge is enough to find and understand common problems. This is a simple guide to the operation of the HVAC system. It is no secret, and there are common places that get clogged.
The Mechanics of Central Heating
There are several ways to heat a house. Some air conditioners are operated in reverse and run entirely on electricity, but it is more common to use natural gas and a fan. These are the main parts:
*Gas Valve: Any home heating solution that uses natural gas will have a mechanism to turn the gas on or off as well as a spark wire to ignite it. The valve should not leak any gas when it is not operating, and gas will smell if it is not completely burned. A smell indicates a malfunction, and the furnace should not be run.
*Heat Exchanger: Air is normally pulled from the interior of the home, circulated above the burning flames, and then cycled back through the house. If any part of this system is cracked or clogged, then the result could be an impartial burn of the fuel. Natural gas can produce carbon monoxide, which is toxic if inhaled. If you see soot, smoke, or unusual flames then call a professional immediately.
*Blower: This is the fan that blows hot air away from the furnace and through the house ductwork. This is typically the same fan that runs air conditioning if these functions are combined in the same device. If it starts rattling or making other metallic noises, then turn off the machine and seek a repair person.
*Air Filter: The fan creates a vacuum that pulls air from the house into the HVAC unit. This air first passes through a filter that cleanses the air to preserve the HVAC unit. If the filter gets clogged, it will create too strong of suction and maybe break the filter. This is bad for your lungs and also the equipment. Check your filter regularly.
Getting To Know The Cooling System
Making air colder is a bit more complicated than making it hotter. Most AC units depend on a four-step device that compresses refrigerant, cools it, and then blows warm air over very cold refrigerant to cool the air. Air conditioning also condenses water out of warm air, and draining condensation is an important system. These are the four main parts:
*Compressor: An electric motor drives a pump that turns a refrigerant into a hot but very compressed liquid. This liquid dumps heat and then becomes a coolant as it decompresses. The motor is the only working part in the refrigerant cycle. If it wears out, it will become less efficient and then will stop working. It can be replaced.
*Condenser: Refrigerant that runs through the compressor is hot and needs to cool off. The first heat exchange coil dumps heat to the outside air. As the refrigerant cools down, it becomes a liquid that can then be decompressed to act as a refrigerant. Since the condensing coils need to be in contact with the outside air, any dusty buildup can ruin its efficiency.
*Expansion Valve: Once the refrigerant is a less hot liquid, the expansion valve acts as a barrier to flow that greatly reduces the pressure. If this valve malfunctions, then the house may receive no cool air, or there may be a frosty section on the AC unit. Only a technician can repair it.
*Evaporator: Refrigerant that suddenly changes its pressure becomes very cold due to decompression. The pressure in the evaporator is much less than the rest of the piping. It is a winding coil that comes in contact with household air and then makes it cold. If it does too good of a job, it might be covered with frost which acts as an insulator.
All these parts are controlled by a thermostat. The thermostat controls the electricity to the compressor and possibly to the expansion valve if it can be remotely adjusted. The thermostat can be given wrong settings, and this is the most likely cause of a malfunction. Thermostats also sometimes run on batteries that can go dead after so many years. A professional HVAC system technician can sort all these issues out as most are common.