Top 12 HVAC Terms

  1. SEER – Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating – It is the most commonly used term to measure the efficiency, or miles per gallon, of a consumer central air-conditioning system.
  2. Zones – The number of zones depend on the square footage of the space. It is always best and more comfortable to divide different floor levels into separate zones.
  3. Electric / Gas – An electric (heat pump) is not as warm as gas. A combination of gas and an electric heat pump is best.
  4. Attic Fan – Heat should naturally rise out of the home. However, when it becomes trapped the home demands additional cooling from the comfort system. An attic fan will remove this trapped heat. This reduces the home’s demand for cooling and can reduce utility costs (for cooling) by up to 15-20%.
  5. Air Handling Unit – If your system has an air conditioner, this unit can be a gas furnace or an oil furnace.
  6. If your home comfort system is a “heat pump” then you have a unit outside very similar to an air conditioning unit except it is designed to produce heat during cold weather. If you have a gas or oil furnace as an air delivery system inside your home then you have an air conditioner outside that only runs during the warmer months for cooling.
  7. The thermostat is the control device that regulates what cycle you are in; heat or cool. It also regulates the indoor temperature. There are many different models, including standard mercury type, digital, and digital programmable.
  8. The refrigerant lines are the copper tubing lines that connect the indoor and outdoor sections. These pipes allow the refrigerant to flow from indoor to outdoor.
  9. The Refrigerant, in most cases R-22, interacts chemically inside the entire system.
  10. The compressor pumps similarly to the human heart by pumping and creating a scenario very similar to your own blood pressure. There is a high side and a low side and the chemical reaction created by the produced pressure actually forces the refrigerant to cool the home.
  11. The central duct system distributes air throughout the home. This is achieved by using many different “take offs,” which connect to the supply air registers. There is also a larger (in most cases) grill for the “return” air delivery, which is directed back to the air-handling unit. The duct system, when installed correctly, balances the temperature throughout the home, providing comfort for your family.
  12. Most homes use the throw away type of filter that should be replaced at least once a month. In any case, these throw away filters are very inefficient and many homes now have the more efficient media type filtering device or electronic filtering devices