How to Choose the Right HVAC Equipment for Your Home

The right HVAC equipment can offer energy savings and improved comfort for years to come. An experienced professional at HVAC Los Angeles can run the numbers to help you select the best system for your needs and budget.


The type of unit you choose will depend on your home’s heating and cooling needs, ductwork, and personal preferences. Factors to consider include home comfort priorities, efficiency, capacity, compatibility with programmable thermostats, maintenance requirements, sound levels, and price.

Heat pumps have been popular in warmer parts of the US for decades. They’re a smarter, cleaner way to heat and cool a home than basic duct-only systems. And if you use inexpensive, renewable electricity like hydropower or solar, they can be even more cost effective.

A heat pump doesn’t actually create the energy it uses to operate; it just redistributes it. It moves thermal energy by vaporizing and condensing refrigerant in a refrigeration cycle. In cooling mode, the system absorbs heat from your indoor air and transfers it outdoors. This is the same process your fridge uses to keep your cheese and soda cold.

When you switch to heating mode, the system reverses this process. The reversing valve sends the liquid back through the compressor and outside air heat exchanger to warm up your home. This is also what a conventional electric resistance heater does when you turn it on.

Your thermostat tells the reversing valve what temperature you want your house to be. The reversing valve takes advantage of the fact that the outdoor air is warmer in winter than your indoor air. So your heat pump extracts more thermal energy from the air than it pumps out of it (this is called its COP).

The reversing valve also lets you direct heat to specific rooms or zones in your house. This can be a very handy feature if you have an attic workshop or bonus room that’s difficult to heat with your regular ductwork. It’s also a great option for people who don’t want to deal with extending ductwork to these rooms.

The reversing valve can also be used to control the amount of humidity that your forced-air system adds to your home. Its longer run cycles make it a better humidifier than single-speed furnaces. And paired with a high-efficiency HVAC filter, it can improve your home’s air quality by catching dust and other floating pollutants.


Your furnace has a complex system of motors and electrical components. It takes in cold air, heats it, and blows the heated air into your home. In doing so, it is subject to many different conditions that can cause a shutdown or failure. This can be frustrating to deal with especially when you are without heating for an extended period of time. However, there are several things you can check before calling for a repairman.

Most people have gas furnaces that work by combusting natural gas to generate heat energy, just like a car engine combusts gasoline to push pistons. The combustion process in the furnace is facilitated by a special valve that opens to allow air into a chamber known as a heat exchanger. The heat of the combusting gas rises and heats the cold air in the exchanger. The warm air is then blown out into your home via supply ducts. The cooler air is drawn back into the heat exchanger by a fan and recombusted for repeated cycles of heating.

A small pilot flame or, in newer models, an electric ignition, is lit to ignite the combusting gases. This flame provides a steady source of fuel to keep the combustion process going while reducing the risk of fires or carbon monoxide leaks.

The flue and vent pipes in the system exhaust the harmful byproducts of the combustion process to the outside environment. The recirculating system also includes fans and a vent register that pulls cold air from the return ducts and returns it to the heat exchanger. This helps to keep the temperature of the house even throughout the year.

The thermostat installed in your living space sends a signal to the furnace when it is necessary to start heating up the home. The sensor inside the thermostat reads the room temperature and, when it drops below the desired setting, signals to the furnace control board to turn on the pilot flame or electric ignition.

Air Conditioners

The air conditioner in your home works by utilizing a refrigeration cycle to move heat from the interior of your house to the outdoors. This process uses a special chemical fluid known as refrigerant. Its chemical properties allow it to change from a gas into a liquid and back again, absorbing and dispersing thermal energy throughout the system.

Your AC system has two critical parts that make it work: the compressor and the evaporator. The compressor is located in the outdoor unit and compresses the low-temperature, low-pressure refrigerant gas, causing it to raise its temperature and pressure. The resulting high-temperature, high-pressure vapor travels to the condenser coil where it disperses its heat into the environment. The cooled refrigerant then flows to the expansion device, which lowers its pressure by creating a two-phase mixture. Finally, the cooled refrigerant reaches the evaporator, which is inside your furnace. The evaporator is a set of metal coils that cool the low-temperature, low-pressure fluid to a super-cooled state, which absorbs and removes heat from your indoor air, turning it into cool air.

Air conditioners are available in a variety of styles that meet the needs of homes and buildings. Traditional central AC systems use an outdoor condenser unit and an indoor air handler that also works with a furnace or heat pump for year-round heating and cooling.

Ductless mini-split air conditioning is a popular alternative to traditional HVAC, allowing homeowners to heat or cool individual rooms without the need for connecting ductwork. This type of system can be an effective cooling solution for sunrooms, garages and other non-traditional spaces.

A geothermal HVAC system moves thermal energy using a loop of pipes buried beneath your yard. These pipes are connected to a heat pump inside your home, which draws heat from the ground during the day and releases it at night. This technology can save you a considerable amount of money on your energy bills over the long term.

There are some common problems that you should look out for when maintaining your air conditioner. For example, if the refrigerant becomes too cold, it will start losing its ability to absorb heat and will stop producing cool air. It may also develop a leak or overheat, which can be dangerous. To prevent these issues, it is important to have regular tune-ups by a qualified professional.


Ventilation is an important part of HVAC that helps to regulate air temperature and remove excess humidity. It also works to help control harmful air pollutants and odors in buildings.

Ventilations systems may use a combination of methods, including air filtration, exhaust fans and natural ventilation, to bring in outside air or extract contaminants from inside the building. In addition, they can incorporate energy recovery to make maximum use of available heat from discarded vapor or condensation and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

Indoor ventilation is essential to maintain healthy air in buildings and ensure the longevity of HVAC equipment. It should be optimized to achieve a comfortable and sustainable indoor environment while controlling airflow and avoiding duct leaks. It is also critical to design ventilation so that it can be easily maintained and repaired. For example, air handling units and controls should be easily accessible for servicing without the need to climb a ladder or remove ceiling tiles. Rooftop equipment should be accessible through a full-sized door, rather than requiring the removal of a panel or crawling underneath the floor.

In the case of a central system, ventilation starts with an air intake unit, which is often located near a building’s roof. From there, a network of ducts directs the air to where it is needed in the home. The first stop is the filter, which is designed to remove airborne dust, dirt and pollen. This is important because these particles can cause respiratory problems, especially for people with allergies or other health issues. The next step is to warm or cool the air, and once it has reached its target temperature it can be directed into the building through a network of registers and ducts.

A natural ventilation system that uses operable windows is another option for some building types. This allows occupants to ventilate their rooms when conditions allow, which can be an effective solution during renovation activities that introduce pollutants into the space or for people who want to control the amount of energy used in unoccupied spaces.