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Components of an HVAC System and How They Work

Apr 28, 2023 | News, trade school

You may have heard of HVAC, but do you know how it works?

Your HVAC system is responsible for the heat, ventilation, and air conditioning in your home or business. Furthering your knowledge about the components of an HVAC system may help you spot any issues with your system and teach you the overall safety of working with these appliances.

Keep reading this guide to learn more about the components of an HVAC system and how they work.

What Does HVAC Stand For?

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Air conditioners, heaters, furnaces, and thermostats are all considered part of your HVAC system.

Objectives of HVAC Systems

The goal of an HVAC system is to improve the air quality within your home, whether that be through heating or cooling. This includes proper filtration and thermal comfort.

Essential HVAC Components and their Functions

  1. Thermostat/Timer
    A thermostat/timer works by controlling the heat in your home. To use a thermostat, you will set the device to your preferred temperature and your heat will click on if the area goes below that level.
  2. Heat Generator
    A heat generator is a device responsible for converting heat energy into electrical power. This will help supply your home with the heat it needs if you were to receive an electrical outage.
  3. Heat Exchanger
    A heat exchanger transfers heat between a source and two or more separated liquid fluids. A heat exchanger can also be used for cooling purposes.
  4. Blower Motor
    A blower motor works by managing the airflow and turning on the fan for your heating and air conditioning. Without a blower motor, air would not be able to circulate within your home.
  5. Condenser Coil or Compressor
    The condenser coil removes heat from the refrigerant in your air conditioner. The device consists of a box with metal wiring and covers your outdoor AC system.
  6. Evaporator Coil
    An evaporator coil is located within your furnace or air handler. It functions by absorbing heat from your home so your fan can provide cool air.
  7. Air Ducts and Vents
    Air ducts work by controlling the airflow that comes through your vents to make sure it enters the heating or cooling area of your system. Air vents help circulate the air into your home efficiently.
  8. Combustion Chamber
    A combustion chamber is located in your internal combustion engine. It is responsible for igniting the fuel and air mix in your system and turning it into energy.

Be a Part of the Booming HVAC Industry: Sign Up for a Technician Program

Get the training you need to succeed in the high-demand field of HVAC and sign up for a technician program today!

HVAC System Working Principle | How Does an HVAC System Work?

An HVAC system functions through a heating unit, cooling system, and air duct. Their working principles consist of helping move air through living spaces, managing humidity levels, and ultimately providing radiation for heating and cooling.

Types of HVAC Systems

  • Cooling & Heating Split Systems – Central
    A split system is made up of one outdoor unit and one indoor unit. It works by cooling or heating designated areas within a living space.
  • Hybrid Split Systems
    A hybrid split system is made up of an electric heat pump and a furnace. This system helps people save on electricity bills because it only uses natural gas during cold temperatures.
  • Ductless Mini-Splits
    Ductless Mini-Splits provide heating and cooling without any ductwork. Each individual system is placed in a designated area to control that specific room as opposed to the space as a whole.
  • Packaged HVAC Systems
    A packaged HVAC system consists of one set system that is responsible for heating and cooling your entire living space. It is located outside of your home and is a great energy-efficient option.
  • Geothermal HVAC
    Geothermal HVAC systems transfer heat to or from the ground, based on Earth’s natural temperatures. Using a Geothermal HVAC system cuts down on energy consumption and has been used for years.

Reasons to Become an HVAC Technician

Did you know that there are over 221,620 HVAC technicians currently employed in the US?

One of the main reasons that people are considering a path in the HVAC field is because HVAC technicians are in high demand, with plenty of job openings available.

HVAC technicians have desirable compensation with an average of $23.45 per hour. They also have the flexibility to work from anywhere in the US, so they aren’t tied down to one location.

Enroll In HVAC Training Programs at Erie Institute of Technology

If you’re thinking about a career in the HVAC industry, Erie Institute of Technology is here for you. With our HVAC/R Technology Program, you will have the opportunity to become an HVAC/R technician in as little as one year.

Start your new career path today and learn more about what our HVAC/R technology program has to offer.


Ross Aresco


Ross Aresco is the CFO of Erie Institute of Technology. Erie Institute of Technology (EIT) is an Erie Pennsylvania technical/trade school providing training programs for medical, computer, electronics, manufacturing, and technology careers. EIT offers programs in many different areas to suit your interests and talents.

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