HVAC Terms You Should Know
When it comes to maintaining or upgrading your HVAC system, having a basic understanding of HVAC terms you should know that can help you make more informed decisions. With this knowledge, you can make sure that your HVAC system is working efficiently, keeping your home or office comfortable, safe, and healthy.
1. Air Handler:
An air handler is a device that works with your HVAC system to circulate heated or cooled air throughout your home or office. It is usually located inside and may include a blower, filter, and evaporator coil.
The compressor is the component in an air conditioning unit that pressurises and cools the refrigerant gas, so it can be circulated throughout the system to cool your home or office.
Ductwork is the network of tubes that transport air throughout your home or office. The ductwork is usually made of metal, fiber glass, or plastic and connects the air handler to vents or diffusers in your living spaces.
4. Evaporator Coil:
The evaporator coil is the component of your air conditioning unit that cools the air as it flows over it. Warm air is blown over the evaporator coil, which then cools the air before circulating it back into your home.
A furnace is the part of an HVAC system that heats the air before circulating it through your home. Furnaces can use gas, oil, or electricity as fuel and may include a blower, filter, and heat exchanger.
6. Heat Exchanger:
The heat exchanger is a component in your furnace that transfers heat from the burning fuel to the air that flows through it. This process heats the air that is then circulated throughout your home.
SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, is a measure of an air conditioning unit’s cooling output compared to the amount of energy it uses over a typical cooling season. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the unit is.
A thermostat is a device that controls the temperature in your home or office. It may be programmable or manually adjusted, and can be used to turn your HVAC system on and off or adjust its settings.
Ventilation refers to the process of exchanging indoor air with fresh outdoor air. Proper ventilation helps to maintain healthy indoor air quality and remove pollutants, moisture, and odors.
Zoning is a feature that allows you to control the temperature in different areas or zones of your home independently. This can help improve comfort levels and energy efficiency by providing heating and cooling only where and when it is needed.
AFUE, or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, is a measure of the efficiency of a furnace or boiler. The higher the AFUE rating, the more efficient the unit is at converting fuel into heat.
BTU, or British Thermal Unit, is a unit of measurement used to describe the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. In HVAC terms, it is used to describe the amount of heating or cooling power that a unit provides.
A ductless mini-split system is a type of HVAC system that does not require ductwork to distribute air throughout your home. It uses individual air handlers in each room or zone to provide heating and cooling.
14. Heat Pump:
A heat pump is an HVAC system that provides both heating and cooling by moving heat from one location to another. In the summer, it works like an air conditioner, while in the winter, it reverses the process to provide heat.
A humidifier is a device that adds moisture to the air in your home or office, helping to maintain a healthy indoor environment. It can be especially beneficial during the winter months when the air is often dry.
16. Air Purifier:
An air purifier is a device that helps to remove indoor pollutants from the air, such as dust, pollen, and pet dander. It can be especially beneficial for people with allergies or respiratory problems.
The condenser is a component in your air conditioning unit that is located outside and removes the heat from the refrigerant gas. This process allows the refrigerant to cool down and be compressed again, restarting the refrigeration cycle.
EER, or Energy Efficiency Ratio, is a measure of an air conditioning unit’s cooling output compared to the amount of energy it uses at a specific temperature and humidity level.
19. Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV):
A heat recovery ventilator is a device that helps to improve ventilation while reducing energy loss. It works by exchanging heat between the outgoing stale air and incoming fresh air, reducing the amount of energy needed to heat or cool the incoming air.
MERV, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, is a measure of an air filter’s effectiveness at removing indoor pollutants. The higher the MERV rating, the more effective the filter is.
A diffuser is a component in your HVAC system that distributes air throughout your home or office. It is usually located on the ceiling and you can easily adjust and control the direction and air flow.
A dehumidifier is a device that helps to remove excess moisture from the air in your home or office. It can be especially beneficial in areas with high humidity levels.
A grille is a component in your HVAC system that covers the air vents in your home or office. It prevents debris and insects from entering the ductwork.
OAT, or Outdoor Air Temperature, is the temperature of the air outside your home or office. This is an important factor in determining the heating and cooling requirements of your HVAC system.
25. Plenum Space:
The plenum space is a part of your HVAC system that connects the air handler to the ductwork. It is typically located in the attic or crawl space of your home or office.
26. Packaged Unit or RTU:
A packaged unit, also known as a rooftop unit (RTU), is a type of HVAC system that is installed on building’s roof. It provides both heating and cooling and is typically used in commercial buildings.
Understanding HVAC terms is essential for anyone who owns, maintains, or operates an HVAC system. By knowing these terms, you can more effectively communicate with HVAC professionals and make informed decisions about your system. By keeping your HVAC system well-maintained and running efficiently, you can also save money on energy bills and prevent costly repairs. Overall, knowing HVAC terms is an important step in ensuring that your HVAC system is working to its full potential.