The A-B-C’s of HVAC

The A-B-C’s of HVAC

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The A-B-C’s of HVAC

Do you like having mystery in your life? For example, are your heating and cooling systems a big mystery to you? Many people just want to know the house will get warmer if they turn the thermostat up, and cooler if they turn it down. And you know what, that’s great. But at Climate Control Company, we think removing some of the mystery is a good thing. Knowing how heating and cooling systems work will make it easier for us to communicate with you when it comes to maintaining and repairing your HVAC equipment.

Let’s start with a forced air central heating and cooling system since it is in the majority of homes. We will first focus on some of the main heating components:




  • Burns a fuel, usually natural gas or propane


  • Uses the heat created and a heat exchanger to warm the air
  • An air handler with a blower/fan to push the warm air
  • A flue to exhaust the burned gases to the outside


  • Carries the warm air throughout the house
  • Return ducts carry room air back to the heat exchanger to be reheated




Now let’s deal with central cooling or air conditioning. Nearly all are what is called a split system. There is an outdoor unit with a condensing coil, compressor, and an indoor evaporator coil which is almost always installed as part of your air handler.


Here’s a very basic explanation of how it works:


  • The compressor pumps refrigerant through the system


  • Warm air inside the home blows across the evaporator coil
  • Heat is transferred to the refrigerant
  • Cooled air moves through the ductwork and throughout the house
  • The heat absorbed by the refrigerant is carried outside
  • Moisture is also removed by the evaporator coil and the water drains outside




An important thing to note is the heating and cooling systems share many components. The air handler and ductwork must be designed to handle heating and air conditioning. It’s one reason why we believe there are significant advantages to replacing both systems at the same time.

Another form of a forced air heating and cooling system is the all-electric air source heat pump. The outside unit provides both heating and cooling. In hot weather it operates just like an air conditioner. When it’s cold the process is reversed. The compressor removes heat from the outside air and sends it into the house. Recent advances in technology have made heat pumps an effective source of heat even with outside temperatures hovering around zero. Climate Control Company is proud to feature the Lennox brand of furnaces, air conditioners, and heat pumps.

We hope we’ve removed at least some of the mystery from the central heating and cooling systems in your home. Whether it’s heating and air conditioning in Vail or a mini split heat pump for your home in Aspen, we are here to help just like we have been since 1956. We will make sure your equipment is in tip-top shape. Be sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.