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Riley Heating & Air Blog

Learning the Many Parts of a Home HVAC System

Your home’s HVAC system is a rather complicated machine, but it is easier to understand when you break down its many parts. The following provides a brief overview of the parts that make up most HVAC systems:


This particular unit is often fairly large and is usually installed in the basement or attic, although you may find one in a closet. Its job is to push hot or cold air into the ducts so that it can be distributed throughout your home.

Heat Exchanger

Your system’s heat exchanger pulls in air from either outside, or from a separate duct. It then heats the air and disperses it via the ductwork.

Evaporator Coil

In direct opposition to the heat exchanger, the evaporator coil provides chilled air, which is taken in by the furnace blower and dispersed. These coils are attached to the system’s condensing unit.

Condensing Unit

You will find this part of the system outside your home, separate from the furnace. It pulls in heat from the outside air, compresses and condenses it using refrigerant gas and sends it to the evaporator coil. The evaporation and condensation cycle of the refrigerant as it passes over the coils, is the process by which your home is cooled.

Refrigerant Lines

These are the metal tubes, usually made of copper or aluminum, through which liquid is carried to the evaporator coil and back to the condensing unit.


Whether it’s manual, programmable, or WIFI, this part of the HVAC system controls the functionality of the furnace based on your preferences. If your home uses a zoning system, you may have multiple thermostats.


The ductwork (system of ducts) that winds through your home, delivers and removes air to and from the various rooms.


As conditioned air runs through your home’s ducts, it is released into the various rooms through vents.

Advancements in technology have resulted in marked upgrades in AC performance. Nevertheless, the basic functionality remains the same. Riley Heating & Air Conditioning stocks various systems for your home comfort needs. For more information about your home HVAC system, or if you have any other related questions please contact us at 334-298-1278. We serve the needs of homeowners in Phenix City and the surrounding areas.

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