Air Conditioning Terms That It Pays To Know
If you’ve ever heard HVAC technicians use terms and phrases you didn’t understand, it’s time for you to brush up on the most important air conditioning terms. With the following terms in mind, you’ll be a more educated consumer when it comes time to buy a new air conditioner or have maintenance performed on your current system.
Here are some of the most common air conditioning-related terms to be aware of:
- Condensing unit: The outdoor portion of the air conditioner where hot air is released to the exterior.
- Compressor: Located in the outdoor condensing unit. This component is largely responsible for all the noise you hear coming from the outdoor unit. It raises the refrigerant’s temperature and pressure as it circulates through the system.
- Expansion device: Located just before the evaporator coil. When refrigerant passes through this device, the pressure caused by the compressor is released.
- Evaporator coil: The indoor portion of the air conditioner, where heat is picked up from indoor air and sent to the outdoor unit to be exhausted to the exterior.
- EER: Energy efficiency ratio, a rating given to air conditioners and geothermal heat pumps. It’s a measure of the unit’s efficiency at a given temperature. Look for 11.6 EER or higher for the greatest efficiency.
- SEER: Seasonal energy efficiency ratio, the rating given to central air conditioners. It’s a measure of the unit’s efficiency averaged over the entire season. Look for 14 SEER or higher for the greatest efficiency.
- Refrigerant: The fluid that cycles through the system, making air conditioning possible. Older air conditioners use R-22 refrigerant, though this began to be phased out in 2010. Look for R-410A refrigerant when you shop for a new air conditioning system. This version of refrigerant is more environmentally friendly.
- Refrigerant charge: Every time you have your A/C maintained, you’re likely to hear about the refrigerant charge. The correct charge is needed for the system to function at its highest potential, and a leak or incorrect charge at installation can greatly reduce efficiency.
To learn additional important air conditioning terms or for answers to other heating and cooling questions, please contact Sobieski Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning in Wilmington, Hockessin, Bear, Middletown, and West Chester, PA today.
Sobieski serves Wilmington, Delaware and the surrounding areas. Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
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