Understanding HVAC terms can be complicated! To make things easier, we have created an HVAC Learning Center, we call it HVAC Basics. If haven’t yet read our introduction page, we encourage you to go back and take a look. There we talk more about HVAC and why it matters to you. We also discuss common HVAC problems and why you should hire a HVAC professional to fix those issues. Also, we’ll tell you what HVAC services we offer for your residential or commercial needs. So, when you experience issues with your ac or heating equipment, you know that you can call us to get the job done right.
COMMON HVAC TERMS AND WHAT THEY MEAN
air handling unit – the indoor unit or device (containing various components like a blower and filter systems) that conditions or circulates air. Air handlers are connected to the ductwork within a space, and can operate at variable speeds.
BTU – British Thermal Unit, one BTU represents the amount of heat required to raise or lower the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. The heat extracted from your home by an air conditioner is measured in BTUs.
coil – an evaporator coil (also known as an indoor coil) works with the indoor unit, functioning with the air conditioner or heat pump to cool and condition indoor air that flows over it by drawing out heat and moisture.
condenser (heat exchanger) – a device that receives refrigerant in the form of gas from the compressor and changes it to liquid thereby transferring unwanted heat to a medium (such as air, water, or a combination of air and water) that absorbs the heat and transfers it to a disposal point. Most residential systems have an air-cooled condenser located in the box outside the home.
compressor – one of the main parts of an air conditioning system. Compressors are usually located on the outside of your home or building. Compressors circulate and squeezes (or compresses) gas refrigerant as it moves through the system.
Energy Star – an international standard, which was developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy, helps businesses and individuals save money by identifying products with superior energy efficiency.
evaporator (or evaporator coil) – located above the furnace on the interior of a building, it is one of the main parts of an air conditioning system. The evaporator allows for the refrigerant that has flowed from the compressor to change to a gas, absorbing heat from the air around it. Blower fans in the evaporator enable warm air to move across the evaporator coil, cooling the air. The air is then moved out of the evaporator and into the space needing to be cooled.
furnace – the unit used to heat air before it moves through the ductwork of a home or building.
HVAC – Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning
heat pump – an electrically powered device used for heating or cooling a space by transferring heat (by mechanical means) from or to an external reservoir (as the ground, water, or outside air). It transfers heat from a space at one temperature to another at a higher temperature. It consists of a compressor, a condenser, a throttle or expansion valve, an evaporator, and a working fluid (refrigerant).
IAQ – stands for indoor air quality. IAQ refers to the quality of air inside or in the area around a building. Various pollutants including carbon monoxide, pest control chemicals, household cleaners, and contaminants from poorly maintained HVAC systems can contribute to poor indoor air quality.
load – the calculation of the size of the hvac system. Load calculations are based on climate, size of home (or building), window efficiency, layout of the home, and other variables.
refrigerant – a chemical that moved through a parts of the air conditioning system (or a refrigerator) to cool and dehumidify air.
relative humidity – refers to the moisture (water vapor) in the air or how much moisture the air can “hold.” Too much or too little humidity within your space can cause health problems such as respiratory problems or lead to the growth of mold or bacteria.
SEER – stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. SEER measures air conditioning and heat pump cooling efficiency, which is calculated by the cooling output for a typical cooling season divided by the total electric energy input during the same time frame. A higher SEER rating means greater energy efficiency.
thermostat – the electronic component that detects temperature and controls the heating and cooling systems within a space.
zones (zoned system) – refers to areas of a home or building where heating and cooling is controlled by thermostat controls. Multiple thermostats control dampers within the ductwork of the building, allowing for consistency in temperature based upon the thermostat settings.
External resources: TexasTrane.com