If you’re planning a major home renovation or you’re building a new home, don’t forget to plan well for the HVAC system. You’d be surprised how many architects, both commercial and residential, leave planning for the HVAC until last and then have no place for correctly installing HVAC equipment. This can lead to system inefficiency and breakdowns.
Here’s a short discussion about the parts of the HVAC system, where they go, and what to remember about their placement.
- Condenser. This is the outdoor side of the air conditioner, whether central or heat pump. It’s the part where the heat from the refrigerant is exhausted, after which the refrigerant is sent back into the home. The condenser should be 2 to 3 feet from the wall and any other structure, as well as shrubbery.
- Evaporator coils. After the refrigerant is pumped inside the home, it snakes through the evaporator coils while the air handler blows air on it for the cooling process. It gathers heat from the home and takes it back outside. The cooled air is then distributed through the ducts. These coils are usually found in an indoor cabinet and might be located on the ground floor or second story, a basement, or an attic.
- Air handler. Also located in the cabinet where the evaporator coils are, the air handler is used by the AC as well as the furnace to blow cool or heated air to be distributed through ductwork. With a ductless mini split, which is a kind of heat pump, the air handlers are small and compact. There may be more than one per unit, and they may be mounted on the ceiling, the wall, a shelf, on the floor, or be freestanding.
- Ductwork. The ductwork may be in the attic, the basement, or just dropped under the ceiling and running through a chase.
- Furnace. The furnace, which includes the burners and the heat exchanger, is usually located in the same cabinet as the evaporator coils.
There’s a lot more to know about installing HVAC equipment. Contact Detmer and Sons of Dayton.