How Do HVAC Systems Work

Do you know how your HVAC system works? If not, you're not alone!Many homeowners don't really understand how their home's heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (HVAC) functions, which can often help when it comes to understanding the mechanics of an HVAC repair in Austin. In this post, we'll break down the basics of HVAC systems so that you'll have a better understanding of what goes on behind the scenes. That way, whether you’re stuck in a hot stuffy home with a broken AC or your furnace is on the fritz, you’ll at least have some idea as to what the problem might be.

How HVAC Systems Work

The acronym HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, the three distinct parts that make up your HVAC system. By understanding both the parts and the function of each, you’ll have a better understanding of the anatomy of your entire HVAC. This can give you a better idea of how your HVAC system works as an interconnected system that’s more than just the sum of its parts.

How Your Heater Works

Home heating is accomplished using your furnace. Your furnace is an appliance that heats air—often with solar energy, heat pumps, electricity, or combustion—to then be distributed throughout your home via ductwork or piping. In essence, your furnace is what heats your home. Heating occurs when cool air is pulled into your system and pushed through a burner; from there, the hot air is forced through your home using a fan.

How Your Air Conditioner Works

Your air conditioner is the complex part of your HVAC system, as it relies on several components all working in tandem to keep your home continuously cool. These parts include the:

  • Compressor: Your compressor pulls refrigerant from the evaporator coil where it’s converted to a gas.
  • Evaporator coil: Located inside your home, our evaporator coil is a device that’s used to cool down air when you have your AC on. Air from an air return vent is blown over its coils, which absorb heat from the air, effectively cooling it, while removing the moisture inside it. This cooled air is then returned to your home through your vents.
  • Condenser: Finally, the condenser coil is what cools the refrigerant by allowing the heat to radiate into the air as it travels through its coils, which reverts the refrigerant back into liquid form.

How Ventilation Works

Ventilation—also known as ductwork—is the final piece of the HVAC puzzle. Built into your walls, ceiling, and floors, it’s your ductwork that delivers your heated or cooled air from either the furnace or your AC unit back into your home. Your ductwork also returns air back to your air conditioner or furnace, as well as filters your air—keeping it clean and healthy to breathe.

Tying it All Together

Finally, your thermostat is the brains of the system, and the part you’ll interact with the most. Once installed, you can use it to set the temperature in your home. If the ambient temperature gets too hot or cold, your thermostat is what will trigger your HVAC system to circulate air to match your pre-set temperature. This will either turn on your furnace to create and blow hot air, or turn on your AC to make it cool, while using your ventilation system to move and distribute the air from either element.

Schedule Your Austin HVAC Repair With Stan’s!

We’ve provided an overview of how each component of your HVAC system works to help you troubleshoot any problems that may arise with your unit. Of course, if you can’t figure it out or fix it yourself, we hope you’ll save yourself time and stress by contacting Stan’s. Our experienced HVAC technicians are NATE Certified for HVAC repair in Austin, and can help you get your system up and running in no time.If you’re in need of HVAC repair or service, don’t hesitate to schedule your HVAC repair in Austin today!

Request Your Service

Online requests are processed
Mon-Fri: 7am-5pm and Sat 8am-12pm.

How Can We Help You?

Choose Your Service Below

How Can We Contact You?

Enter your full name
Enter your phone number
Enter your email address


Enter your address
Enter your city
Enter your state
Enter your city
Please note, ability to honor requested service date is subject to availability. A Stan’s customer service team member will contact you to discuss availability.
By submitting this form and signing up for texts, you consent to receive marketing text messages (e.g. promos, cart reminders) from Stan's Heating, Air and Plumbing at the number provided, including messages sent by autodialer. Consent is not a condition of purchase. Msg & data rates may apply. Msg frequency varies. Unsubscribe at any time by replying STOP or clicking the unsubscribe link (where available). Privacy Policy.


Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.