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HVAC Glossary of Terms

Mobile HVAC

HVAC Glossary of Terms

Like any industry, the HVAC industry has its own language, including a lot of acronyms. Courtesy of the folks at Carrier, here is a list of some common terms, and their definitions.

If you need air conditioning or heating repair or new installation, call Climatemp at (888)877-4147. We serve Mobile and Baldwin County areas, including Gulf Shores AL and Spanish Fort.

AFUE

Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. Indicated as a percentage, your furnace’s AFUE tells you how much energy is being converted to heat. For example, an AFUE of 90 means that 90% of the fuel is being used to warm your home, while the other 10% escapes as exhaust with the combustion gases. The higher the AFUE, the higher the efficiency of your furnace.

ADVANCED RECIPROCATING COMPRESSOR

Type of compressor that uses a more efficient process for compressing refrigerant for better cooling efficiency.

AIR HANDLER

The portion of your air conditioning or heating system that forces air through your home’s ductwork.

AIR PURIFIER

Air purifiers treat 100% of the air flowing through your HVAC system before it even circulates, removing particulates, bacteria and viruses from the air. Removes smaller particulates your air filter can’t catch.

BTU

British Thermal Unit. Used for both heating and cooling, BTU is a measure of the heat given off when fuel is combusted. Or for cooling, it’s a measure of heat extracted from your home. (One BTU is approximately equal to the heat given off by a wooden kitchen match.)

BTUH

A British Thermal Unit (BTU) is the unit of heat required to raise 1 pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit. BTUH is British Thermal Units per Hour.

CFM

Cubic Feet per Minute. A measurement of airflow that indicates how many cubic feet of air pass by a stationary point in one minute. The higher the number, the more air is being forced through the system.

CAPACITY

The ability of a heating or cooling system to heat or cool a given amount of space. For heating, this is usually expressed in BTUs. For cooling, it is usually given in tons.

CHECK-FLO-RATER

The patented Check-Flo-Rater metering device accurately controls refrigerant flow to ensure precise system operation, efficiency and performance.

COMPRESSOR

Part of the heat pump or air conditioner unit that controls the pressure applied to the refrigerant, necessary for taking in heat to warm your home or getting rid of heat to keep your home cool.

CONDENSER COIL

Part of the outdoor portion of a split-system air conditioner or heat pump. By converting refrigerant that is in a gas form back to a liquid, the coil sends heat carried by the refrigerant to the outside. Also referred to as an outdoor coil.

CONTROL SYSTEM

Thermostat, Infinity® Touch Control device used by homeowner to set temperature and other settings.

DB

Decibels (dB) are a unit measuring the intensity of noise.

DAMPER

A type of “valve” used in ductwork that opens or closes to control airflow. Used in zoning to control the amount of warm or cool air entering certain areas of your home.

DEHUMIDIFIER

A device that can be added to your heating and cooling system that works to draw excess moisture out of indoor air.

DOWNFLOW

A type of furnace that takes cool air from the top and blows warm air to the bottom – common where your furnace must be located in a second-floor closet or utility area.

DUCTWORK

Hollow pipes used to transfer air from the air handler to the air vents throughout your home. Ductwork is one of the most important components of a home heating and cooling system.

EER

Energy Efficiency Ratings (EER) measure the efficiency with which a product uses energy to function. It is calculated by dividing a product’s BTU output by its wattage.

ELECTRONIC AIR CLEANER (EAC)

An electronic device that filters out large particles and contaminants in indoor air. It then electronically pulls out tiny particles that have been magnetized, such as viruses and bacteria, drawing them to a collector plate.

ENERGY SAVER SWITCH

An energy saver switch causes the air conditioner’s fan and compressor to cycle on and off together, reducing energy use.

ENERGY STAR®

ENERGY STAR® is a government-backed program helping businesses and individuals protect the environment through superior energy efficiency. Products with the ENERGY STAR rating are both efficient and help save on energy bills.

EVAPORATOR COIL

Part of a split-system air conditioner or heat pump located indoors. The evaporator coil cools and dehumidifies the air by converting liquid refrigerant into a gas, which absorbs the heat from the air. The warmed refrigerant is then carried through a tube to the outdoor unit (condenser coil). Also referred to as an indoor coil.

FAN COIL

An indoor component of a heat pump system, used in place of a furnace, to provide additional heating on cold days when the heat pump does not provide adequate heating.

FREON™

The trade name Freon™ is a registered trademark belonging to E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company (DuPont). Production of Freon will cease in 2015 per the Montreal Protocol.

GEOTHERMAL HEAT PUMP

Carrier geothermal heat pumps tap into the earth’s surface to use the energy and consistent heat found in the ground, instead of using outside air like traditional heat pumps.

HSPF

The Heating Seasonal Performance Factor is a measure of the heating efficiency of a heat pump. The higher the HSPF number, the more efficiently the heat pump heats your home.

HVAC

Term used for Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning.

HEAT EXCHANGER

The part of a furnace that transfers heat to nearby air. That air is then distributed through the ductwork throughout your home.

HEAT PUMP

A heating and air conditioning unit that heats or cools by moving heat.

HORIZONTAL FLOW

A type of furnace, installed on its “side,” that draws in air from one side, heats it and sends the warm air out the other side. Most often used for installations in attics or crawl spaces.

HUMIDIFIER

A piece of equipment that adds water vapor to heated air as it moves out of the furnace. This adds necessary moisture to protect your furnishings and reduce static electricity.

HYBRID HEAT®

Hybrid Heat® systems deliver exceptional performance by using a heating source that provides the most energy-efficient comfort during moderate heating conditions.

IAQ

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) refers to the cleanliness of the air in a home. IAQ factors include particulate count (pollen, mold), humidity and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in a home’s air – all of which can aggravate allergy and asthma symptoms.

INDOOR COIL

See Evaporator Coil.

LOAD ESTIMATE

A series of studies we perform to determine the heating or cooling requirements of your home. An energy load analysis uses information such as the square footage of your home, window or door areas, insulation quality and local climate to determine the heating and cooling capacity needed by your furnace, heat pump or air conditioner. When referring to heating, this is often known as a Heat Loss Analysis, since a home’s heating requirements are determined by the amount of heat lost through the roof, entryways and walls.

LOW BOY

Low Boy is a type of furnace configuration in which the furnace is lower in height and occupies more floor space.

MERV

The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value is the standard comparison of the efficiency of an air filter. The MERV scale ranges from 1 (least efficient) to 16 (most efficient) and measures a filter’s ability to remove particles from 3 to 10 microns in size.

MATCHED SYSTEM

A heating and cooling system comprised of products that have been certified to perform at promised comfort and efficiency levels when used together and used according to design and engineering specifications.

MULTIPOISE

A multi-direction configuration that allows for both upflow and downflow installations.

OPERATING COST

The day-to-day cost of running your home comfort equipment, based on energy use.

OUTDOOR COIL

See Condenser Coil.

PAYBACK ANALYSIS

Overall measure of the efficiency and value of your home comfort system. By combining your purchase price and ongoing operating costs, a payback analysis determines the number of years it will take before monthly energy savings offset the purchase price.

PURON® REFRIGERANT

Puron® Refrigerant is an environmentally sound refrigerant designed not to harm the earth’s ozone layer. Federal law requires all manufacturers phase out ozone-depleting refrigerants in the next few years. Puron Refrigerant is approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a replacement for R-22.

R-22 REFRIGERANT

R-22 is a single-component HCFC refrigerant with low ozone depletion potential. It has long been used in a variety of air conditioning and refrigeration applications in a variety of markets. Production of R-22 will cease in 2015 per the Montreal Protocol. Also commonly known as Freon.

RECIPROCATING COMPRESSOR

A type of compressor used in air conditioners that compresses refrigerants by using a type of “piston” action.

RECLAIMING

Returning used refrigerant to the manufacturer for disposal or reuse.

RECYCLING

Removing, cleaning and reusing refrigerant.

REFRIGERANT LINES

Two copper lines that connect the Condenser (Outdoor) Coil to the Evaporator (Indoor) Coil.

REMOTE ACCESS

Allows you to access your system remotely. Requires Wi-Fi® enabled model connected to a Wi-Fi network. Some models require a dedicated Wi-Fi router.

REMOTE ROOM SENSOR

When the most convenient location for the main thermostat or control is not best for assessing the average conditions of the home (such as when it’s located near an exterior door), you can apply a remote sensor to feed information about the comfort conditions to the main unit.

SEER

The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio is a measure of the cooling efficiency of your air conditioner or heat pump. The higher the SEER number, the more efficient the system is at converting electricity into cooling power.

SCROLL COMPRESSOR

A specially designed compressor that works in a circular motion instead of an up-and-down piston action.

SETBACK THERMOSTAT

A state-of-the-art electronic thermostat with a built-in memory that can be programmed for different temperature settings at different times of the day.

SINGLE PACKAGE

One outdoor unit that contains both a heating and cooling system.

SMART RECOVERY

Actively manages system ramp-up during “away” periods to meet homeowner comfort needs while saving money.

SMART SETBACK PROGRAMMING

Uses information about indoor and outdoor conditions and the specifics of the system’s capabilities to determine the best temperature setback during “away” periods and when to ramp up to save energy while staying within homeowner min/max temperature preferences.

SPLIT SYSTEM

Refers to an air conditioner or heat pump that has components in two locations. Usually, one part of the system is located inside (evaporator coil) and the other is located outside your home (condenser coil).

THERMOSTAT

Unit that monitors and controls your HVAC system products.

THERMOSTATIC EXPANSION VALVE

A thermostatic expansion valve (TXV) is a precision device used to meter the flow of liquid refrigerant entering the evaporator at a rate that matches the amount of refrigerant being boiled off in the evaporator.

TON

A unit of measure for cooling capacity. One ton = 12,000 BTUs per hour.

TOTAL HOME COMFORT SYSTEM

The ultimate solution to providing you with consistent, customized home comfort, despite the ever-changing weather.

UL

UL (Underwriters Laboratories) is an objective, nonprofit organization that tests, rates and certifies electrical products for public safety.

UV LAMPS

Ultraviolet lamps attack and kill mold and bacteria that can grow on the cooling coil of many HVAC systems, preventing them from circulating through the home.

UPFLOW

A type of furnace that draws cool air from the bottom and blows the warmed air out the top into the ductwork. This type of furnace is usually installed in a basement or an out-of-the-way closet.

VARIABLE-SPEED

Technology that allows your system to operate quietly and efficiently at longer, lower speed cycles throughout the day – meaning your system and comfort stay consistent.

VENTILATOR

A ventilator captures heating or cooling energy from stale indoor air and transfers it to fresh incoming air.

ZONING

A way to increase your home comfort and energy efficiency by controlling when and where heating and cooling occurs in a home. Programmable thermostats are used to control operating times of the equipment. Dampers are used to direct airflow to certain areas or “zones” of the home.

 

Call Climatemp today at 251-968-6006 or one of the numbers above that matches your specific location for air conditioning repair and air conditioning installation 24/7. If you’re not in a rush, you can also use our Request Service form and someone will get back to you shortly.

Air Conditioning 101

air conditioning mobile

Air Conditioning 101

Here on the Gulf Coast of Alabama, it helps to know a little about how your air conditioning system works. Many of us take our air conditioning systems for granted. We expect to be able to toggle the air conditioning on in the first warm day of spring.

Climatemp specializes in central air conditioning repair and air conditioning installation in Gulf Shores AL, Mobile, Orange Beach, Daphne, Spanish Fort and Saraland areas. As authorized Carrier dealers for the Mobile and Baldwin County area, we know a thing or two about air conditioning.

The most common type of central air conditioning system is the split system. This system includes products that are both inside and outside your home. Typically, the air conditioning unit or heat pump is outside, in a cabinet that includes a condenser coil and a compressor, while the furnace and evaporator coil are on the inside. These two units are connected by refrigerant lines that run underground and conduct refrigerant back and forth between the units. The condenser pumps the chemical refrigerant through the system.

Once you’ve turned on the air conditioning, warm air in your home is drawn into the system, and blows across the indoor evaporator coil. That air transfer “cools” the air. The refrigerant is pumped back to the compressor where the cycle starts again. The heat absorbed by the refrigerant is moved outside your home while cooled air is blown into your duct system and out through the air supply registers located in each room. The moisture that contributes to that sticky, humid feeling is also condensed out of the air. Your air conditioning system is usually combined with your central heating system because they share the same ductwork for distributing conditioned air throughout your home. This system is called your HVAC system (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning).

If space is limited, a good solution for your air conditioning needs is a packaged system, where everything is in one unit that sits outside your home. And for areas of your home that don’t have ductwork, such as a garage, there is the ductless split system.

Your HVAC system is one of the more complicated systems in your home, and requires a professional to keep it in tip top shape, and make repairs as needed. Call Climatemp today at 251-968-6006 or one of the numbers above that matches your specific location for air conditioning repair and air conditioning installation 24/7. If you’re not in a rush, you can also use our Request Service form and someone will get back to you shortly