Your heating and cooling systems may seem complicated, but knowing the right terminology can be a huge benefit when diagnosing a problem or communicating with a HVAC professional. Here are some of the HVAC terms you should know:
BTU – A term used to rate water heaters based on their heating power. For example, a 50,000 BTU heater can raise the temperature of 500 pounds of water by 100 degrees in one hour.
Carbon monoxide – A clear, odorless gas that can cause serious harm. It’s created by burning natural gas, oil and other fuels. Reducing exposure to carbon monoxide is essential.
Compressor – A component of an air conditioner that produces and pumps cold air into the home.
Damper – A metal plate that allows you to control the airflow through your duct work, allowing you to target your heating and cooling to specific locations.
ENERGY STAR® – Products that receive this designation meet efficiency and performance standards established by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Evaporator coil – This coil is designed to absorb heat inside the home. It’s usually attached to the furnace or air handler.
Heat pump – This is a HVAC unit capable of cooling and heating a home. It works by pumping heat in during the winter and moving it out during summer.
MERV rating – A rating system used to describe the size of holes in air filters. Higher ratings mean greater efficiency.
Programmable thermostat – A unit that allows the user to control the temperature during specific times of day. It can help homeowners conserve a lot of energy.
Refrigerant lines – Two copper lines that move refrigerant between outdoor HVAC units and indoor evaporator coils. Refrigerant is a chemical that has a cooling effect.
Two-stage operation – Air conditioners, furnaces, or other devices that can operate at both a high and low setting. Multiple stages allow for greater efficiency.
If you’d like more information about HVAC terms, expert advice about your heating and cooling systems, or other issues related to home comfort, please contact us at Wolff Mechanical Inc. We’ve been proudly serving the Central Arizona region for more than 22 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Phoenix Valley area of Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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