HVAC for Dummies - Heating and Air, HVAC for the Average Joe
Everything you wanted to know about Air Conditioning
HVAC (Heating - Ventilation - Air Conditioning) can sometimes be overwhelming. Here we'll break down some of the most commonly used terms in the business, so the next time you call your heating and air conditioning service specialist for help, you'll impress the expert!
Air Conditioning, HVAC for Dummies
Air conditioner: A mechanical device used to control temperature and air movement in a confined space.
BTU/H: (British Thermal Units per Hour): A measure of cooling or heating capacity.
Capacity or Load: A refrigeration rating system usually measured in Btu/h.
Compressor: A refrigeration or air-conditioning system pump that circulates refrigerant through pipes between an outdoor and indoor unit using pressure.
- Ductless Mini-Split: Ductless systems consist of one or more outdoor compressor units and indoor air-handling units, called “heads”, linked by a dedicated refrigerant line. There is no ductwork required.
External Static Pressure (ESP): Measure of static pressure losses from ductwork, fittings, dampers, grills, and any other devices located in the airstream.
- Freon: See Refrigerant.
Heat pump: An air conditioning system that provides either heating or cooling - because it can reverse the direction of refrigerant flow.
HSPF (Heating Season Performance Factor): A rating of the seasonal efficiency of a heat pump unit when operating in the heating mode.
Indoor unit: The air handler of the air conditioning system. It contains a heat exchange coil, filters, remote signal receiver and fan.
Outdoor Unit: A component of the air conditioning system which contains the compressor, fan, circuit board, and heat exchange coil. It pumps refrigerant to or from the indoor unit.
Refrigerant: Many people commonly refer to refrigerant as Freon, which is actually a 'brand' name (much like Kleenex). Refrigerant is a gas/liquid substance that is used to provide cooling, by direct absorption of heat. The most environmentally-friendly refrigerant at this time is R410A.
Refrigerant lines: Insulated copper tubing through which refrigerant flows to and from the indoor and outdoor unit.
SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio): The rating of the seasonal efficiency of air conditioning or heating units. The higher the SEER, the more energy efficient the unit is.
Split-Ductless System: A system comprised of a remote outdoor condensing unit connected by refrigerant pipes to a matching, non-ducted indoor air handler and a remote controller. Special cases for introducing ventilated air may call for limited ducting to air handler from outside.
Split-zoning System: A system comprised of a remote outdoor condensing unit connected by refrigerant pipes to a matching, indoor air handler that conditions single or multiple room space that is conditioned to a set temperature and is independent from other rooms within the same structure.
Zone (zoning): A single or multiple room space that is conditioned to a set temperature and is independent from other rooms within the same structure.
A trained and licensed HVAC contractor can help you determine the appropriate options for your home's air conditioning. For more information, contact the Total Comfort Mechanical Heating and Air Conditioning Service website or call us at (781) 697-9016.
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