Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

Communicating With Your HVAC Contractor: Learn The Language, And You Can Keep Up Your End Of The Conversation

Communicating with your HVAC contractor may sometimes seem like trying to talk with someone who speaks a foreign language. The terminology used by cooling and heating professionals is often confusing and hard to follow. Here are some important terms that will help you keep up your end of the conversation:

  • AFUE: This acronym stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency. It measures the energy efficiency of your furnace. AFUE ratings are expressed as percentages of fuel that gets converted into heat. So a 97 percent AFUE furnace will convert nearly all of its fuel into heat for your home. The lowest allowable AFUE for a new furnace is 78 percent.
  • Btu: The British thermal unit is the traditional unit used to measure the amount of heat in a particCommunicating With Your HVAC Contractor: Learn The Language, And You Can Keep Up Your End Of The Conversationular fuel.
  • Heat pump: A device that uses the principle of refrigeration to both heat and cool the house. Like a central air conditioner, it consists of an indoor unit called the air handler and an outdoor unit called a condenser/compressor. Heat pumps are ideal for areas such as Yuma, where there’s not extreme cold.
  • Ductwork: The passageway of connected metal sections, or ducts, that allows heated or cooled air to move throughout your home.
  • Energy Star:  A program overseen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that awards a certification to energy-using appliances that are especially energy efficient compared to other models.
  • MERV: The minimum efficiency reporting value is a rating scale that measures the size of the particles allowed to pass through an air filter. The higher a filter’s MERV rating, the more and smaller particles it will keep out of the heating and cooling system.
  • Programmable thermostat: A device that lets you enter heating or cooling settings for different times of the day or night, without having to be present for the new setting to take effect.
  • SEER: The seasonal energy efficiency ratio measures the energy efficiency of air conditioners and heat pumps over an entire season. A higher rating means the A/C or heat pump converts more electricity into cooling.

For more information on communicating with your HVAC contractor and other issues related to home comfort, contact us at Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company. We have served the Yuma area since 1952.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about HVAC contractors and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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