Air Conditioning 101

- Learning how an indoor comfort system works.

How do you decide on the best system for your Los Angeles home? First, understand how a typical HVAC system works and why you need the different components. Then when working with your Los Angeles AC contractor, you will know what questions to ask, and better understand your options.

Air conditioning is typically installed in a split system design where one main unit is contained inside and one outside. Both indoor and outdoor units have copper coils in them which is used for cooling indoor air.

When you have an air conditioner as the outdoor unit, the indoor unit is typically a furnace with an evaporator coil. The furnace has the fan motor built in, and this fan is used to force air through the home (even in the summer). The evaporator coil contains the refrigerant. When using a heat pump, the indoor unit might be a furnace (hybrid system), but typically is a fan coil which contains both the fan motor and the indoor coil.

Hover over the diagram below to see definitions of the different components of an HVAC system. Below the diagram you can read in detail about the cooling process:

The points below guide you through the general concepts of how air conditioning works in a system that has indoor air quality components installed. This could differ slightly based on configuration.
  1. Refrigerant is cooled. The outdoor unit (air conditioner or heat pump), compresses refrigerant and sends the chilled refrigerant back inside to the indoor coil. The efficiency of an air conditioner or heat pump (cooling) is measured in a SEER rating.

  2. Fan pulls air from the home. The fan in your furnace or fan coil pulls air from the home through the return air duct.

  3. The air is filtered. Above you can see an air cleaner positioned between the return air ducts and the furnace or fan coil. Such air cleaners can have very high MERV ratings (used to rate the effectiveness of air cleaners), with the ability to filter microscopic particles and viruses out of the air.

  4. The air is cooled. The air is then pushed through the coil system by the variable speed fan motor. The cold refrigerant in the coils absorbs heat and causes moisture to condense, thus cooling and dehumidifying the air. This conditioned air is pushed on by the fan while the heated refrigerant is sent back outside to the air conditioner (condensing unit). The refrigerant is pressurized in the condensing unit which removes the heat. Then the cycle repeats.

  5. Mold is killed & coil efficiency kept high. In the damp interior of an indoor coil system, mold will grow which affects not only the health of your family (mold spores in the air), but the efficiency of your HVAC system. In the system example above, a UV lamp is mounted within the coils to prevent this.

  6. Cooled air sent back into the home. After leaving the indoor coils, cool, dehumidified air is pushed back into the home. In extremely humid climates, a separate whole home dehumidifier can be installed to further remove humidity from the conditioned air.

  7. Air is exchanged. At the top left of the above system layout sits a ventilator. Ventilators are part of complete indoor air quality solutions as they exchange fresh outdoor air for stale indoor air. A ventilator is able to do this with minimal loss of energy, retaining the cooled and dehumidifed air your HVAC system worked hard to produce!

If you have further questions about Los Angeles HVAC products for your home, simply user our dealer locator: Los Angeles Air Conditioning Contractor

Conserving Energy Really Is Important
Modern products make life much easier for us all, but some of them are hurting our environment at alarming rates. Fortunately, manufacturers are taking strides to product energy efficient products and alternative energy solutions that are paving the way for a much better tomorrow.
HVAC & Energy Consumption
Your home heating and cooling system will typically eat up half of your monthly utility bill. All of your computers, blenders, lights and gadgets still will not equal the cost of staying comfortable.
What You Can Do
As mentioned above, technology is coming around with better solutions that are more affordable than ever. Even the most expensive green options, like geothermal and solar energy, are become more affordable every day. Homeowners who cannot afford a new, more efficient HVAC system can still take steps to save energy, like regular system maintenance, enhanced air filtration and more.
Pursue Efficient Solutions
When a Los Angeles AC contractor comes to your home for service work on your heating and cooling system, what is the goal? To save money with the lowest cost fix for a problem? Not the best plan.

Homeowners need to enable their CA HVAC dealer to provide efficient, energy saving products. Often, a dealer is hammered with customers who just want the lowest price. This forces them to put in cheap product to satisfy customer demand. This in turn just prolongs poor environmental practice nation wide.

If you are in search of a local dealer you can trust, check our list of recommended contractors: CA AC
Geothermal Energy
The greenest way to keep your home comfortable is definitely via either solar energy or a geothermal heat pump (GHP). A GHP uses the constant temperature of the earth as a renewable energy source, exchanging energy during the different seasons to keep your home comfortable the same way a normal electric heat pump would. Renewable Energy
Who We Are
Get More Comfortable is a free information resource dedicated to educating homeowners about the products and best practice behind heating and cooling. We can clarify concepts and give you the latest advice. How? Because we are owned by the largest privately held HVAC distributer in the United States.

Since we are owned by industry experts, we know heating and cooling. Plus, Get More Comfortable isn't pushing a brand at you. There are many manufacturers out there making great product. At Get More Comfortable we'll teach you about important concepts, help you learn about things you didn't know were possible.

Our goal is to enable you as a homeowner, to be more confident in HVAC decisions while also moving you to new products and solutions that save energy and give you much more control over the comfort levels in your home. We are confident that when you learn about the many possibilities of residential HVAC, you might actually get excited to try some of them out!

For comments or questions about this site or residential comfort control, use the contact form on our home page. We are not distributing your information to SPAM lists, but simply routing requests to local specialists who can get you the right answer.

We hope that by using this site, you will truly be able to Get More Comfortable.
"My wife and I had a hybrid system installed for our home since fuel prices are pretty high in our area. The dealer we used didn't install it correctly, and for an entire year we didn't benefit at all from the extra expense we paid for hybrid heating.

I talked to the Get More Comfortable team, and they recommended a new thermostat that would handle my existing system. I ordered it, had it installed, and now for the first time we are truly saving money with our home heating system. I highly recommend them!"

- K & S / Memphis, TN
© 2012 Get More Comfortable | A USAir Resource | All Rights Reserved
Share Get More Comfortable
Share on Facebook