Common HVAC Terms All Homeowners Should Be Familiar With

Common HVAC Terms All Homeowners Should Be Familiar WithYour HVAC system is one of the most important investments you’ll make in your Overland Park home. To prevent breakdowns and to ensure it operates as efficiently as possible, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends scheduling annual pre-season maintenance appointments.

By learning some common HVAC terms, you’ll be able to communicate better with your contractor and play a more active role in the health of your system.

Common HVAC Terms

• Airflow: The movement of air, when used in HVAC terms, refers to air distribution through ductwork or vents. Often measured in Cubic Feet Per Minute (CFM).
• Air handler (coil blower): An air handler is usually a blower coil and/or heater that’s located indoors and delivers heating or cooling conditioned air through ductwork.
• Boot: The “boot” looking fitting that connects the vertical return air duct horizontally to the side furnace or air handler.
• Compressor: Located in the outdoor heat pump or air conditioner condensing unit. This part is responsible for pumping freon through the system’s refrigeration piping circuit .
• EER: Energy Efficiency Ratio is used to indicate the efficiency of geothermal heat pumps and window A/Cs.
• Grill: The non-operable louvered cover for return vent openings
• Heat exchanger: The heart of the gas burning heater that absorbs the heat produced by the burners all the while the fan is blowing air over the sealed exchanger and into the homes duct system.
• Load calculation: A measurement of heat loss (i.e. through home infiltration) and heat gain (i.e. from home internal heat sources including occupants).
• MERV: Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value is used to tell consumers how much pollutants and dust an air filter can trap. The higher the number the better the filtration.
• Register: The louvered cover of operable supply vents.
• SEER: Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio is used to indicate the efficiency of home central air conditioners.
• Thermostat: A small wall mounted manually adjustable control that measures the temperature in your home based on your desired setting.
• Ventilator: Exchanges fresh outdoor air that’s been filtered with stale indoor air.
• Zoning: A heating and cooling system that allows you to set different temperatures for various areas of your home. Each “zone” has its own thermostat.

Do you want more information on basic HVAC terms? Feel free to contact Overland Park Heating & Cooling, Inc. in Kansas City anytime.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Overland Park, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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