When you call your HVAC company for your annual air conditioner maintenance, it’s good to know a bit about how your equipment works. And while you don’t have to get certified in HVAC system technology to have a working familiarity with your equipment, knowing some common industry terms will enable you to troubleshoot problems more precisely and communicate better with your technician.
These HVAC terms will get you started.
Airflow. This is the volume of air your duct system moves. Typically, air conditioners move about 400 cubic feet for each ton of air conditioner capacity.
Air Handler or Blower. Located indoors, this A/C or heat pump part moves cool or warm air through the ductwork.
Compressor. Located outdoors, the compressor is part of the condensing unit and is involved in raising the refrigerant temperature and pressure.
Evaporator Coil. Attached to the furnace or located inside the air handler, this part of the A/C or heat pump absorbs heat from the air in the home.
HVAC. This acronym stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning.
Plenum. The plenum (a section of the ductwork system) connects the air handler to the other ducts.
Refrigerant Charge. Refrigerant is a fluid that conveys heat. For many years R-22 was the predominant refrigerant but is being phased out to protect the ozone layer. Other refrigerants such as R-410a are being used in new equipment. The refrigerant charge should be checked annually to ensure the equipment is cooling properly.
Return Duct. This is the side of the ductwork system where air from the house is pulled into the air handler for conditioning.
SEER. This acronym stands for “seasonal energy efficiency ratio,” an efficiency measure for air conditioners.
Split System. A split system is the most common type of residential central air conditioner, with the compressor located outdoors and the evaporator and air handler located indoors.
Supply Duct. This is the side of the ductwork system from which the conditioned air is distributed.
To learn about other handy HVAC terms, contact Cool Power LLC. We’ve been serving the Hauppauge area since 1975.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hauppauge, New York and the Long Island area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about HVAC terms and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 631-292-0629.
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