If you’re buying a new house, or just upgrading the HVAC system in your existing home, you should have a basic knowledge of residential cooling and heating systems. We’ll start with air conditioning then move to heating to help prepare you for choosing a new HVAC system.

Cooling Systems

For residential cooling your basic options are the air conditioner, heat pump and ductless mini split. You do have a choice in energy sources for home cooling, including standard electrical power, solar and geothermal.

When cooling, a heat pump works like an air conditioner. Both systems use refrigeration to remove heat energy from the home and expel it outside. Warm air is blown over the evaporator coils, and the refrigerant absorbs the heat energy. Under pressure, refrigerant converts from a liquid to a gas. The gas travels to the outdoor unit where the heat is expelled, and the refrigerant returns back to it’s liquid state so the cycle can repeat. A high-powered fan circulates the cool air through ducts into rooms.

Residential Heating Systems

In our mild winter climate, the choices are similar to colder areas, though heat pumps are more popular. Natural gas furnaces are still common in Central Arizona, however. Other options include oil, propane or electric furnaces, electric baseboards, solar heating and radiant heating.

In a gas furnace, household air is pulled through ductwork into a combustion chamber where the fuel is ignited by a pilot light or ignition system. It heats the air, which in turn heats the metal of the heat exchanger, further warming the air. The heated air is distributed the same way cool air is circulated by a central air conditioner. A heat pump just reverses its cooling process, pulling heat energy from outside and releasing it inside.

These are the basics of HVAC technology. For more help in choosing a new HVAC system for your home, please contact us at Wolff Mechanical, providing quality services to Phoenix and Scottsdale.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Phoenix Valley area of Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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