Cooling and A/C Terminology to Know
There are many words and acronyms used in the HVAC industry that experts use throughout their conversations. It’s easier to make an informed decision when you know the common terms.
A device used to regulate and circulate air as part of an HVAC system. It’s usually a large metal box containing a blower and heating or cooling elements.
The direction in which the distribution of air occurs.
AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency)
A measure of how efficiently your furnace can utilize its fuel. The more efficient your furnace, the more heat you will get per unit of fuel.
The sheet metal transition piece that connects to the duct on one side and has a grille or register on the other.
Checking the charge
Determining how much refrigerant is in the system. When your AC guy puts his gauges on the system, he’s measuring the pressure of the refrigerant to see if you have the right amount.
Used to increase or decrease temperature via heat transfer.
The part of your air conditioner responsible for most of the noise. It sits in the outside part of your A/C unit and raises the temperature and pressure of the refrigerant.
Fan Coil Unit
A device that uses a coil and a fan to heat or cool a room without connecting to ductwork.
Geothermal heat pump
The standard heat pump dumps or pulls heat to or from the outside air. A geothermal heat pump dumps or pulls heat to or from the ground or a body of water. Sometimes it’s referred to as a ground source heat pump (GSHP).
The type of non-operable cover you see in return vents.
Heat pumps transfer heat into or out of your home, keeping you comfortable all year long.
The working fluid that carries the heat. Most current air conditioners use either R-22, which began its phase-out in 2010, or R-410a. Before the Montreal Protocol to protect the ozone layer, most AC refrigerants were CFCs. R-22 is an HCFC, and R-410a is an HFC.
An air conditioner with one box outside (the condensing unit) and one box inside (the air handler and evaporator coil), connected by the refrigerant lines.
This is a method of heating or cooling different areas (or rooms) within one house independently – usually by using separate controls, or by opening and closing dampers within ducts in each zone.