It can be pretty frustrating to look at the invoice your HVAC contractor hands you and not understand what you’re reading. What’s more, you may not know what actions need to be taken to keep your system working as efficiently and effectively as possible. To take a proactive role in the care of one of your home’s most important investments and to communicate better with your contractor, it’s best to learn some basic HVAC terms.
Basic HVAC Terms
- Airflow: In terms of HVAC, this refers to the distribution of air through vents or ductwork.
- Air handler (coil blower): Usually found in indoor units, the air handler is usually a blower coil and/or heater that moves conditioned air through ductwork.
- Boot: This part connects the vertical return air duct horizontally to the air handler or side furnace.
- EER: Energy Efficiency Ratio is the efficiency rating used for geothermal heat pumps and window A/Cs.
- Register: The louvered cover of operable supply vents.
- Grill: The non-operable louvered cover of return vent openings.
- Heat exchanger: This component of the gas burning heater absorbs the heat produced by the burners as the fan blows air over the sealed exchanger and through your home’s ductwork.
- Load calculation: A measurement of heat loss (i.e. through air leaks) and heat gain (from heat sources located inside, such as any occupants).
- MERV: Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value is used to indicate the amount of pollutants and dust an air filter can capture. Higher efficiency ratings mean more contaminants are removed.
- Thermostat: The small device mounted on your wall that measures the temperature in your home and can be adjusted according to your preferences.
- Ventilator: The device that exchanges fresh, filtered outdoor air with stale indoor air.
- Return: The end of the duct system that draws air from inside your home into the air handler, so that it can be conditioned.
Please feel to contact Overland Park Heating & Cooling, Inc. in Kansas City anytime to learn more about these basic HVAC terms.
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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