Most residences in the United States have some form of HVAC system, be it central air, a ductless mini-split, a heat pump, or other technology. Despite this, surprisingly few of us know much about how the system works. Why should you get acquainted with the workings of an HVAC unit? When you’re in the market for a new system or seeking a repair on an old one, it’s good to have the basic HVAC terminology down so you can discuss the equipment with professionals and know what they’re talking about.
Here’s some basic HVAC terminology to know:
AFUE. Stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, a measurement of furnace efficiency.
Air Filter. The air filter is a medium designed to keep dirt out of the air handler and the ducts.
Air Handler. This is the indoor section of the air conditioner, including a fan to circulate air, as well as two types of coils: evaporator for summer and condenser for winter.
Capacity. If you want to talk to your HVAC consultant about a unit’s output, you’ll refer to it as capacity. It’s measured in BTUs per hour, and knowledge of this HVAC terminology will make dealing with an HVAC professional easier.
Condensate. Condensation from the house’s warm air collects on the evaporator coil as it is drawn into the air handler. The condensate is then shunted through the condensate drain and removed from the house.
Condenser Coil. The outdoor coil removes heat from the refrigerant so that it converts from vapor to liquid during the refrigeration process.
Evaporator Coil. Refrigerant circulates through the evaporator coil for cooling in the summer and heating in the winter. As warm air passes though the coil, temperature and humidity are removed so that air is cooled and can be distributed through the home.
Heat Exchanger. A thin metal shield between the combustion chamber and the blower, the heat exchanger distributes heated air from the furnace through air ducts.
SEER. Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, a measurement of the efficiency of air conditioners.
Variable Speed. A type of HVAC motor that cycles smoothly between speeds, operating more efficiently than two-stage motors.
For more on HVAC terminology, contact Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company of Yuma.