Heating Terms You Should Know: Heating and Cooling Glossary

Understanding how your HVAC works and standard HVAC terms will help you better communicate your problems to the technician for better service quality.

There’s no doubt that an HVAC system is a complicated piece of equipment. When most homeowners speak to HVAC technicians, it’s almost as if the technicians are speaking in another language. Sounds familiar? Well, at least you’re not alone.

However, understanding how your HVAC works and standard HVAC terms will help you hold your own when speaking to HVAC professionals. It will also help you better communicate your problems to the technician for better service quality. Lastly, you’ll also make better purchasing decisions when in the market for an HVAC system.

Here are some of the most common HVAC terms every homeowner should know:

  1. AC– Starting with the simplest one, AC stands for air conditioner. An air conditioner is an appliance that cools and dehumidifies rooms in a building. There are two main types of ACs, portable and split system AC.
  2. ACH– ACH is the abbreviation for ‘air changes per hour.’ This describes how many times the AC supplies or removes air in an hour. It’s an important figure that correlates to the quality of air the AC supplies.
  3. AFUE– AFUE is the abbreviation for ‘Annual Fuel Efficiency ratio.’ This is a measure of your AC system’s efficiency. It shows how much heat your system uses for heating versus how much is lost through the exhaust. For example, a 70% AFUE means 70% of fuel heats the house, while 30% goes to waste. The higher the AFUE, the more efficient an AC system is.
  4. Compressor– The compressor is a crucial part of any AC unit. The compressor compresses the Freon(refrigerant) in your AC. The refrigerant absorbs heat from the air to cool it down. The refrigerant vaporizes as the AC conveys the now cold air back to your home.
  5. Condenser coil– The condenser coil consists of tubes filled with refrigerant. The coil holds the refrigerant that the AC conveys to the compressor for the heat exchange process.
  6. Ductwork– This describes the system of channels and pipes that supply and remove air in and out of the home. These pipes can be made from steel, aluminum, and plastic.
  7. VAV– VAV is short for ‘Variable Air Volume’ and is an HVAC that can regulate airflow to meet homeowners’ temperature requirements. They are more efficient copared to standard HVACs.
  8. SEERSEER is an abbreviation for ‘seasonal energy efficiency ratio,’ which measures an AC’s total cooling output divided by the total energy used in that season. It directly correlates to the efficiency of your HVAC.

Know Your HVAC Terms

The above information should put you in a better place to deal with HVAC technicians the next time you schedule an appointment. Remember to keep these terms at your fingertips, and don’t be afraid to expand your HVAC knowledge.

Contact Thomas Hoffmann Air Conditioning & Heating today for practical and professional HVAC installation, maintenance, and repair services.

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At Thomas Hoffmann Air Conditioning & Heating, we pride ourselves in being a locally owned and operated HVAC company. With more than 30 years of experience and a master technician and mechanical engineer as our owner, we can replace, repair, and provide maintenance for your business or home’s HVAC system.

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