10 Aug A Handy Glossary of HVAC Terms
You’re trying to keep your house cool in the summer. It’s one of the hottest summers on record and your Air Conditioner is struggling to keep up. All of sudden you realize your air conditioner is working, but not cooling or your air conditioner is making weird noises. If you find yourself searching for a technician to fix your air conditioner or researching the best replacement, this handy guide will help you navigate the jargon of the HVAC industry.
The following terms were adapted from the larger list, Glossary of Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Terms from DTE Energy.
Air Handler: This is the portion of the air conditioner or heat pump that moves warm or cool air throughout your duct work.
Blower: A device for moving air in a distribution system.
Capacity: The amount of space a system can effectively heat or cool.
Compressor: The most important part of an air conditioning system as it moves refrigerant through the loop.
Condenser Coil: A group of tubes, that are usually outside our your house, that remove heat from the refrigerant gas and then re-liquefies it.
Condensing Unit: This part moves in vaporized refrigerant from the evaporator, changes it to a liquid in the condenser and returns it.
Damper: A plate that opens and closes in order to control airflow during zoning, regulating airflow to certain rooms.
Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER): The ratio of the AC’s cooling capacity, in BTUs to the electrical energy consumed in watts.
Evaporator: Takes heat from the surrounding air and moves it outside by means of a refrigerant.
Heat Exchanger: Moves heat energy from its source to another medium.
Heat Pump: An air conditioner that has a valve for alternate heating and cooling.
HVAC: Heating, ventilation & air conditioning
Humidistat: A device that regulates humidity by reacting to the amount of moisture in the air.
Load Calculation: The art of properly installing the correctly sized air conditioner and/or furnace by determining a building’s heat gain and loss.
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER): The efficiency of an air conditioner as defined by the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute.
Split System: This is the most common type of home central air conditioning. It has a compressor installed outside and a non-compressor installed inside.
Zoning: The practice of providing separate heating and/or cooling to different parts of a house.