How HVAC Systems Work

Learn about Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems—how they’re designed, how they work and the main components, where and when they are used, and the fundamental principles for designing residential buildings with today’s equipment.

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  • 30-day money back guarantee. Billed Annually. Auto Renews.
  • Train with a Pro

  • Spanish Subtitles Available

  • Mobile Access

  • 11 In-depth Lessons

  • Certificate of Completion

  • Practical Resources

Lesson Plan

11 Video Lessons · 2H 45M

  • 1. Introduction

    Temperature is critical for making a home livable. Jordan Smith, professional builder and owner of the design-build firm Smith House, in Austin, Texas, explains the importance of understanding modern HVAC systems so you can successfully manipulate temperature.

  • 2. Basic HVAC Design

    Jordan explains the science behind temperature, humidity, and infrared heat, and how these factors, together with a building’s layout and its orientation toward the sun, affect a building’s HVAC design.

  • 3. Latent Heat

    Learn the basics of how latent heat (hidden heat) works in relation to pressure and volume within an HVAC’s heat pump system.

  • 4. Ventilation

    Ventilation is a key function in an HVAC system that makes clean, safe air. Jordan shares strategies for improving ventilation in your home, like switching from natural gas ranges to induction.

  • 5. Ventilation Systems

    Learn how HVAC filters work and what Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) filter ratings mean. Also: Jordan deconstructs a MERV-6 filter and a MERV-12 filter, compares their parts, and explains how often both filters should be replaced.

  • 6. Ductwork

    There are two main types of duct used in HVAC ductwork: flexible and rigid. Jordan explains their differences, when they work best, and their advantages and disadvantages.

  • 7. Heating Systems

    From fireplaces to furnaces to heat pumps, learn the various types of heating systems and how they work.

  • 8. Air Conditioners

    Jordan explains how various cooling systems work, from fans to evaporative coolers to air conditioners. He then takes you inside a window air conditioning unit, explaining how its different parts work to produce cold air.

  • 9. HVAC Systems

    Jordan shows where various HVAC parts are located in a residential home and explains how they cool, heat, ventilate, and filter air.

  • 10. Mini Split

    Jordan explains how VRFs (variable refrigerant flow) systems, or mini splits, are engineered.

  • 11. HVAC Design

    Jordan emphasizes why a building’s HVAC and structural design should be symbiotic and shares the HVAC motto he lives by: “Build it tight, then ventilate right.”

Who it's for: This course is designed for those entering the skilled trades, working technicians, project managers and general contractors looking to gain a strong foundation in the basic fundamentals of how HVAC systems keep spaces comfortable and healthy for new builds and renovations.

Key Topics

  • HVAC ductwork

  • HVAC components

  • Heating systems

  • Cooling systems

  • HVAC filters

  • Mini splits

Become Job Ready

This course will increase your knowledge for jobs like:

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HVAC Installer

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HVAC Helper

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HVAC Apprentice

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HVAC Technician

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Home Designer

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Residential Project Manager

For more information on these roles, visit our career page.

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Common Questions

  • What is MT Copeland?

    MT Copeland helps you further your career in the building industry with expert-led online education that will make you a better, smarter tradesperson.

    Our training courses give you a foundation in construction fundamentals and trade skills with real-world applications and best practices to help you grow on the job.

  • What do courses include?

    Online courses include professionally produced videos taught by leaders in the trades and supplementary learning material such as quizzes, assessments and downloadable materials to help you acquire new skills. Watch anywhere, always at your own pace. We keep lesson videos short so they’re easy to watch after work or on your lunch break. You can finish a course in one sitting, or space it out over a week or two.

  • How does the 30-day guarantee work?

    If you’re not happy with a course, let us know within 30 days for a full refund. Our goal is to provide maximum value for your career. If we haven’t delivered on that promise, let us know.

  • Can you learn with MT Copeland outside of the u.s.?

    Yes! You can take MT Copeland courses from anywhere in the world. Our courses are online, so if you have access to the Internet, you can watch our training videos. Courses are taught in English, with English captions and Spanish subtitles available.

  • Where did the name MT Copeland come from?

    MT Copeland was named after a legendary educator who promoted the idea that training in a specific trade paired with a knowledge of general business principles opens up a whole new world of career possibilities. We believe in the same powerful combination of skills and knowledge.

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