Building a Home – HVAC

Diagram of HVAC system.

You’ve probably heard the term HVAC before. It stands for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning. Essentially, the system consists of a blower, evaporator, compressor and condenser.  When the system is running in “cool” mode, heat is transferred from the inside of the house to the outside. When it’s in “heat” mode, heat is transferred from the outside to the inside. There isn’t a separate unit for heating and cooling. Think of it like this: when you’re running your system in heat mode, it’s simply the air conditioner running in reverse. As a home owner, that’s all you really need to know about HVAC.


HVAC conduit being pulled up into the attic.

It took the crew installing our HVAC less than a day to do so. Most new construction has the air conduit installed in the attic. As such, it’s necessary to insulate the conduit so that your cool air isn’t being transferred into the attic. It was amazing to see the amount of insulation surrounding the conduit. A 6″ conduit actually measured about a foot in diameter with the insulation wrapped around it. Not only that, but the outside layer is a radiant barrier foil. All this is necessary to keep the HVAC system as efficient as possible. Video of air conduit being joined together.


A 6″ air conduit surrounded with insulation and radiant barrier.

The coolant for the system runs in an approximately 1″ copper line from the air handler in the attic down through the walls and out the back of the house to the condenser. Running the copper coolant line was probably the most technical part of the whole job. Unfortunately, I wasn’t there to get pictures of the air handler going up in the attic. The unit is too big to fit through the rafters pre-assembled, so they put it together on a platform in the attic. Similarly, if and when we eventually replace the unit, an HVAC specialist will have to disassemble it in the attic to get it out.  Video of coolant line being rolled out.