HVAC Basic Terminology for Homeowners- Part 1

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HVAC is defined as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. It’s key to keeping your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. But would you know all the basic components that make up an HVAC system and how they function? If you’re not certain, we’ve defined some basic terminology that will allow you to know your HVAC system a little better. Then, when your HVAC system is experiencing a problem, you’ll be able to communicate more easily with your technician when expertise is required to diagnose and repair your system.


This is the HVAC system part that you’re probably most familiar with in your house. This small appliance is where you can turn on or off the air conditioning or heating system and set a comfortable temperature. Common types of thermostats include programmable and smart thermostats. These thermostats monitor and adjust your house’s temperature even when you’re not there. Smart thermostats go a step further than programmable thermostats by working in conjunction with easy-to-use mobile phone apps. These smart home devices save you money on monthly utility bills and help regulate your home environment, customized to your needs.


Noticeable throughout your house, vents allow “conditioned” air to enter rooms after traveling through the ductwork.


Air ducts are the tubes that are connected to your HVAC unit and circulate air throughout your house.

Evaporator Coil

An evaporator coil absorbs heat from the air inside your home and works in conjunction with the condenser coil. An evaporator coil is built from copper, aluminum, or steel because these metals conduct heat easily.


HVAC refrigerant is the fluid that causes cooling by running through the evaporator coil.

Refrigerant Tubes

These are metal tubes connecting the evaporator coil with the condensing coil. Refrigerant tubes connect the indoor and outdoor HVAC units and contain cooling refrigerant.

Condenser Coil

After the refrigerant is heated and pressurized in the compressor, it enters the condenser coil. Then, the refrigerant transfers its heat to the air blowing over it.

Stay tuned for part 2 of HVAC Basic Terminology. In the meantime, if you need professional help for your HVAC system, call us today at 480-968-5652. Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating is here to help you 24/7.