HVAC Terms To Understand Before You Go Shopping
HVAC terms can be confusing if you’re not an industry insider. Most professionals go to the effort of explaining issues in an understandable language; however, technical jargon and the occasional buzzword can get in the way of effective communication. It’s important to know what your HVAC dealer’s telling you so you can make informed buying decisions. Bridge the communication gap by learning a few common HVAC terms you’ll probably hear from sales and service personnel.
- AFUE: Short for annual fuel utilization efficiency, this figure expresses gas-fired furnace efficiency according to the percentage of fuel actually utilized as heat. Beginning in May 2013, the Federal minimum AFUE nationwide including Delaware and Maryland will be 80 percent. In northern regions including Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the minimum AFUE will be 90 percent.
- Air handler: It’s a separate indoor unit comprising a blower fan and an air conditioning evaporator coil. In A/C and furnace combo units, the air handler may also include furnace heating elements.
- Condenser coil: The outdoor component of a central A/C system, the condenser circulates refrigerant that disperses heat extracted from the interior of the home into the outside air.
- Heat exchanger: This critical furnace component transfers heat from the combustion chamber to the airflow that’s distributed through the house.
- Heating/cooling load: This factor is how much energy in BTUs your furnace and air conditioner have to generate or remove in order to keep the home comfortable. It’s a complex calculation that must be made by an HVAC professional using industry-standard software to accurately determine the required capacity of your new furnace and air conditioner.
- SEER: It stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio and expresses the energy efficiency of central air conditioners. Presently, the Federal minimum SEER rating is 13. High-efficiency A/C units may have SEERs as high as 23.
Ask the pros at Sobieski Services for a full explanation of any HVAC terms you’re unfamiliar with.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
Image Credit: Daniel Y. Go