HVAC Terms to Help You Understand Your Home’s Heating and Cooling System

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Your home’s heating and cooling system is an essential part of the house’s construction. But HVAC terms can sometimes sound like a foreign language, especially if you aren’t familiar with the industry. If you’re hoping to understand some of the common terms used when discussing the maintenance and repair of an HVAC system, we’re here to help. Learning these HVAC terms and definitions can help you better understand your home’s heating and cooling system.

HVAC Terms

Central Air Conditioning: An air conditioning system in which the home’s air is cooled at a central location and then flows from room to room through a system of ductwork.

Fan Coil Unit: A heating or cooling device that uses a coil and fan to warm or cool a room without ductwork. This type of unit movies indoor air over the coil, which heats or cools the air before pushing it back into the room.

Gas Furnace: A part of an HVAC system that uses natural gas or propane to heat the home.

Heat Pump: An HVAC unit that heats or cools your home by moving heat through its system. During cold weather, a heat pump draws heat from the air outside and circulates it through the home. And during warm weather, the pump does the opposite and transfers warm air out of your home and back outside.

HVAC Zoning System (also known as zoned HVAC): An HVAC system that uses dampers in the ductwork to redirect air to specific parts of the home.

HVAC: Short for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. This term is often used as an acronym for your home’s heating and cooling system.

Split-System HVAC: A heating and cooling system that is made up of an indoor unit, an outdoor unit, and a thermostat. This is the most common HVAC system for homes.

HVAC System Terminology

AFUE%: Stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. It’s a measure of a furnace’s heating efficiency. The higher the AFUE%, the more efficient the furnace. The minimum AFUE rating for non-weatherized gas furnaces is 80%.

Air Handler (also known as an air handling unit): The indoor part of an air conditioner or heat pump, which moves heated air through the ductwork.

Btu: Stands for British thermal unit. It’s the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one-degree F.

Compressor: Part of the outdoor air conditioning or heat pump unit that compresses and pumps refrigerant through the unit.

Condenser Coil: The part of an air conditioner or heat pump that removes heat from the unit’s refrigerant and releases it into the outdoor air.

Condenser: The outdoor unit of an air conditioner or heat pump. This part of the system either releases or collects heat, depending on the season.

Dehumidifier: A home appliance that removes moisture from the air indoors.

We hope these HVAC terms give you a better understanding of your home’s heating and cooling system? Concerned about how your heating or cooling system is performing? Give us a call or book online today!

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