Did you know that, as a homeowner, repairing your HVAC system is one of the most expensive home repairs that you can make? That’s why it’s a good idea to research your HVAC system and plan for the worst ahead of time so you can be ready when the time comes.
By learning a great deal about your HVAC unit, including what each part is and how it works, you can get a better understanding of why the price to replace it is so high. Knowing what you have can make deciding on repair versus replacement that much easier, too.
So what are the various pieces of your HVAC system and what do they do? Also, what can you expect to pay when replacing some of the bigger pieces of your system? We’ve got the answers to those questions, and more, in this article!
Now then, let’s get started!
Even if you don’t know a lot about HVAC systems, you most likely know what a thermostat is and what it does. The thermostat is that device on your wall that tells your unit when to turn on and off.
You simply set the thermostat to a desired indoor temperature and your thermostat makes sure that your unit keeps your house at that desired temperature… pretty simple, right?
With advances in technology, you can now get thermostats that do all sorts of neat things. Some can even be controlled via your smartphone, while you’re away from home, which may be ideal if you do a lot of traveling.
Another important piece of your HVAC system is the ductwork. The ductwork is what creates the airflow in your house and is one of the most complex parts of the entire system.
Depending on what size unit you have, your ductwork must be laid out a certain way to work properly. It also needs to be insulated to prevent sweating, as well as keep the air that is heading into your home warm or cool.
The ductwork blows into your home via register vents in the ceiling, floor or walls. Baseboard floor registers are most common for homes that have ductwork under the home. Ceiling vents are most common for homes with ductwork in the ceiling.
When it’s time to replace your ductwork, you can expect to spend thousands of dollars to do so. It also will take more than a few days to complete the job, especially if you have a larger home, which is worth noting.
When it gets cold outside, and you need some heat, your furnace is the part of your HVAC system that steps up to the plate. There are a wide variety of ways that furnaces work, but the basic idea is that they heat up the air before sending it through your ductwork and into your home.
If your furnace breaks, the air part of your unit will still work. So if you’re okay without having a heat, you can wait to replace your furnace or replace your entire unit at a later date, if you so desire.
The Evaporator Coil
Again, your furnace has nothing to do with the part of your unit that produces cold air. On those hot summer days, when you need your AC the most, your evaporator coil is what gets the job done for you.
The evaporator coil is located outside of your home on the outdoor half of your system. It uses refrigerant (more on that later) to cool the air before it blows through your ductwork and into your home.
These coils get dirty rather easy and need to be cleaned multiple times a year to work properly. So, be sure to get your HVAC maintenance done at least twice a year so you can keep your unit in proper working condition.
The Condensing Unit
Last but not least, it’s important to have a basic understanding of what exactly your condensing unit is. Your condensing unit is the outdoor half of your system, which as we already mentioned, holds your evaporator coil.
Your condenser is also home to a few other items, including a compressor and freon lines, which are also key parts when cooling your home.
Because it houses so many important pieces of the puzzle, the condenser itself is one of the most expensive parts of your entire HVAC system. So if you need to replace it, be prepared to spend thousands of dollars to do so.
A Breakdown of Your HVAC System
Well, there you have it! That is a basic breakdown of your HVAC system, including the biggest and most important pieces of equipment. Now you have a better idea of what you have, as well as what you can expect to be dealing with when making major repairs, or even a full replacement!
The basic pieces of your system that most people know the most about are the thermostat and the ductwork. Your ductwork is especially important and can be quite costly to repair or replace, which is worth knowing.
The evaporator coil takes care of cooling your home, while the furnace handles heating your home. That means if one goes bad, and you don’t mind missing out on heat or air, you can still use the other.
If you need to replace your entire condenser, you’re going to spend a few thousand dollars at least. It’s home to so many intricate parts of your system, including the evaporator coil, compressor, and freon lines, all of which are pricey to repair.
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