It ‘s to your advantage as a homeowner to understand some of the HVAC terms you may hear when you’re shopping for a new cooling or heating system for your home or when you’re communicating with HVAC technicians. Knowing these nine HVAC terms will help you make informed decisions concerning this major investment in your home.
Depending upon the type of system you’re purchasing, you may see the following terms on its yellow EnergyGuide label:
- BTU – This stands for British thermal unit, which is a measurement of the amount of heating capacity a unit is capable of.
- HSPF – You may see this acronym for heating seasonal performance factor on the label for a heat pump telling how fuel efficient the unit is.
- SEER – The seasonal energy efficiency ratio is a percentage that reflects how much energy is used to cool the air.
If you’re ready to have a system installed, you should understand these terms:
- Load calculation – This calculation determines how much cooling and heating is needed in your home to keep it comfortable and safe for your family.
- ACCA – This stands for the Air Conditioning Contractors of America, which is a nationally recognized trade association for heating and cooling contractors.
- Manual J – This is the accepted ACCA method for load calculation and is used by most contractors to determine the size of the furnace or air conditioner that’s needed to heat or cool your home in the most efficient manner.
For a primer on your existing system, these terms are good to know:
- Air handler – This component usually contains your air conditioner’s evaporator coil and may contain a heating element for your heater.
- Coil – This component is a network of tubing or pipes that circulate fluid that cools or warms the air that passes over it.
- Condenser – This is an outside component for air conditioners and some heaters, where cool or warm air from indoors is dissipated.
Let T.F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating take the mystery out of the many HVAC terms you may encounter. We’ve been serving the HVAC needs of Long Island homeowners for over 75 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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