Common Cooling and A/C Terminology
There are many words and acronyms used in the HVAC industry that experts use throughout their conversations. It’s easier to make an informed decision when you know the common terms.
A device used to regulate and circulate air as part of an HVAC system. It’s usually a large metal box containing a blower and heating or cooling elements.
The volume of air moving through a blower or duct.
AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency)
A measure of thermal efficiency in space-heating furnaces and boilers.
The sheet metal transition piece that connects to the duct on one side and has a grille or register on the other.
Checking the charge
When your AC guy puts his gauges on the system, he’s measuring the pressure of the refrigerant to see if you have the right amount. Determining how much refrigerant is in the system.
The part of the A/C unit that transfers heat carried by the refrigerant to the outside air.
The part of your air conditioner that is responsible for most of the noise. It sits in the outside part of your A/C unit and raises the pressure and temperature of the refrigerant.
Fan Coil Unit
A device that uses a coil and a fan to heat or cool a room without connecting to ductwork.
Geothermal heat pump
Sometimes it’s referred to as a ground source heat pump (GSHP). A geothermal heat pump dumps or pulls heat to or from the ground or a body of water.
The cover of your return air vents.
Part of the HVAC system that can be used to either heat or cool your home. A compressor circulates refrigerant that pumps and dumps heat as it travels between the indoor and outdoor units.
The working fluid that carries the heat. Most current air conditioners use either R-22, which began its phase-out in 2010, or R-410a. Before the Montreal Protocol to protect the ozone layer, most AC refrigerants were CFCs. R-22 is an HCFC, and R-410a is an HFC.
An air conditioner with the condensing unit outside and the air handler and evaporator coil inside the home, connected by the refrigerant lines.
This is a method of heating or cooling different areas (or rooms) within one house independently – usually by using separate controls, or by opening and closing dampers within ducts in each zone.