HVAC Basic Terminology for Homeowners- Part 2

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In Part 1 of HVAC Basic Terminology, introductory terms of an HVAC system were broken down by parts including the thermostat, vents, ductwork, evaporator coil, refrigerant, refrigerant tubes, and the condenser coil. In Part 2, we’re focusing on equipment, including the heat pump, heat exchanger, and the three types of HVAC home heating systems. Here’s more information on the basics of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.

Heat Pump

One of the most misunderstood HVAC terms is a heat pump. It uses electricity during warm weather months transferring heat from inside your home to the outside. A heat pump acts like an air conditioner when outdoor temperatures are uncomfortably warm. During the cold months, heat from outside your house is extracted and delivered inside your home, no matter how low the outdoor temperature is.

Heat Exchanger

The heat exchanger is not part of the furnace. It’s located inside the furnace, but the heat exchanger has its own capabilities. It adds heat to the incoming air from the combustion chamber outside of the house or through specific vents inside the house, called cold air return chases.


A furnace is a common type of home heating system and one of the largest HVAC system parts. It’s installed in the attic, a closet, or a basement. The furnace is responsible for pushing hot or cold air through the ducts and into the rest of your home.


A boiler uses hot water to heat a house instead of air. Then, the heated water flows through pipes installed throughout a house into radiators which provide heat to every room. Boilers are not common in homes throughout the greater Phoenix area.

Ductless Cooling and Heating System

The most energy efficient of the three types of heating systems, a ductless cooling and heating system functions by cooling and heating specific zones inside your house. When heating your home, this type of system utilizes a unit outside that collects air and then uses a compressor to heat this air and pump it inside your home.

Call Bruce’s

When you know the basic parts and terminology of your HVAC system, you’ll better understand typical HVAC problems and how to communicate these issues to your local experts. When you require professional help with your HVAC system, contact Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating today at 480-968-5652.