9 HVAC Terms All Cincinnati Homeowners Should Understand
The heating and cooling industry has a lot of verbiage, and while some of these HVAC terms apply only to professionals, others are important for homeowners to know and understand. These HVAC terms cover operations within your HVAC unit, as well as terms a repair service might mention after inspecting your unit.
- SEER 13 – A seasonal energy efficiency ratio of 13 is the minimum efficiency standard for air conditioners and heat pumps. All HVAC units sold must meet this standard. SEER is the measurement of how efficient your unit is at cooling the air.
- Blower fan – A blower fan moves air from your return duct and pushes it over the coil or heat exchanger of your unit. Air is circulated and then cooled or heated before it’s sent through the supply duct and back into your home.
- British thermal unit, or BTU – Heating and air conditioner capacity is measured in BTUs. One British Thermal Unit is the amount of heat it takes to increase the temperature of one pound of water just one degree.
- Compressor – This is the term for the outdoor unit you find on a split-system air conditioner. The compressor adds pressure to the refrigerant so that it flows through your HVAC system.
- Dampers – These devices alter which way air flows through your home’s ducts. Dampers are usually controlled automatically by your system.
- Ducts – Ductwork is the system of tubes made from sheet metal, flexible plastic or fiberglass that carry the air through your home from your HVAC system.
- Forced air HVAC system – This is the term for any type of HVAC system that has a fan blowing conditioned air through the ducts or air channels.
- Heat exchanger – A heat exchanger transfers heat from burning fuel in your furnace to the air that’s used to heat your home.
- HEPA filter – High efficiency particulate air filters are effective at removing irritants from the air and keeping them from inside your home.