How it Works:

  • How an air conditioner works

  • How a central furnace works

  • How Does a Duct System Work

  • Terms to Help You Get Started

    Duct system—Collection of tubes that distributes heated or cooled air to different rooms in a dwelling. HVAC—Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. Supply—Delivers conditioned air to a dwelling through individual room registers (i.e., vents). Supply Registers—Vent-like units in walls, floors, or ceilings where conditioned air blows. Return/Return Register or Grille—Picks up inside air for reconditioning, drawing the air through a changeable filter to the air handler of the central system. Air handler—The indoor unit that moves the air through the heating/cooling system. Cooling load—The amount of energy needed to maintain comfort levels in conditioned air. Duct tape—Fabric based tape with a rubber adhesive used in many households for temporary fixes, but has been proven to become brittle and disintegrate over time. Aluminum/foil tape—Specialty tape with an acrylic-based adhesive that performs consistently under extreme temperatures. Mastic—A thick paste that provides a permanent seal at air-duct joints and connections; sometimes used in conjunction with a fiberglass mesh tape.