Storage tank that receives liquid refrigerant from evaporator
and prevents it from flowing into the suction line before
Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. Indicated as a percentage,
your furnace AFUE tells you how much energy is being
converted to heat.
The evaporator section of an air-conditioning system
that circulates and delivers the conditioned air. The
air handler is often referred to as the indoor unit.
It contains the evaporator coil, indoor fan motor and
generally a heat strip for supplemental heating
Leakage of air into rooms through cracks, windows, doors
and other openings.
British Thermal Unit. BTU is a measure of the heat given
off when fuel is combusted. One BTU is equal to the
heat given off by a wooden kitchen match.
The ability of a heating or cooling system to heat or
cool a given amount of space. For heating, this is usually
expressed in BTU. For cooling, it is usually given in
The amount of refrigerant placed in a refrigerating
Part of a split system heat pump or air conditioner
outdoor unit that controls the pressure applied to the
refrigerant, necessary for taking in heat to warm your
home or getting rid of heat to keep your home cool.
Part of a split system air conditioner or heat pump.
By converting refrigerant that is in a gas form back
to a liquid, the coil sends heat carried by the refrigerant
to the outside.
This section of an air conditioning system pumps vaporized
refrigerant from the air handler, compresses it, liquefies
it and returns it. It is often referred to as the outdoor
A type of "valve" used in ductwork that opens or closes
to control airflow. Used in zoning to control the amount
of warm or cold air entering certain areas of your home.
A decibel describes the relative loudness of a sound.
Some common sounds are fairly close to a typical air
conditioner or heat pump's sound level
human voice, 7.0 decibels; blender, 8.8. The average
sound rating range from 7.0 to 8.0 decibels.
The process of removing ice or frost buildup from the
outdoor coil during the heating season.
The reduction of water vapor in the air by cooling the
air below the dew point; removal of water vapor from
the air by chemical means, refrigeration, ect..
A type of furnace that takes cool air from the top and
blows warm air to the bottom - common when your furnace
must be located in a second floor closet or utility
A pipe or closed conduit made of sheet metal, fiberglass
board, or other suitable material used for conducting
air to and from an air handling unit.
Pipes or channels that carry air throughout your home.
The delivery system through which warm air from the
furnace is brought to where it's needed. Ductwork is
made of sheet metal, fiberglass, or flexible plastic,
and can be round or rectangular in shape.
A rating on comfort equipment is similar to the miles
per gallon rating on your car. The higher the rating
number, the more efficient the system and the lower
your fuel consumption will be. You can save a lot of
money with a high efficiency unit.
Electronic Air Cleaner
An electronic device that filters out large particles
and contaminants in indoor air. It then electronically
pulls out tiny particles that have been magnetized,
such as viruses and bacteria, drawing them to a collector
The back up electric heat built into a heat pump system.
The same as an auxiliary heater, except it is used exclusively
as the heat source when the heat pump needs repair.
Part of a split system air conditioner or heat pump
located indoors. The evaporator coil cools and dehumidifies
the air by converting liquid refrigerant into a gas,
which absorbs the heat from the air. The warmest refrigerant
is then carried through a tube to the outdoor unit (condenser
An indoor component of a heat pump system, used in place
of a furnace, to provide additional heating on cold
days when the heat pump does not provide adequate heating.
Device used for removal of airborne impurities or unwanted
elements from liquids. Filtering or "cleaning" the re-circulated
air in a residential or commercial building can be done
by a variety of products with differing levels of efficiency.
Standard cardboard frame filters are only about 15%
effective in removing dust and particles, and have no
effect on pollen, micro-organisms, smoke, and similar
pollutants. Electrostatic filters are much more effective.
Electronic air cleaners and HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate
Air) filters produce the best results.
The part of an environmental system which converts gas,
oil, electricity or other fuel into heat for distribution
within a structure.
A heat pump is a reverse cycle air conditioner. It uses
a compression cycle system to supply heat or remove
heat from a temperature controlled space. When you run
your air conditioner, your outdoor unit will be blowing
hot air (removing heat from your home and sending it
outside). When you run your heat pump, you reverse the
flow of refrigerant and remove the heat from the atmoshpere
outside and blow it inside. When the temperature dips
below 40 degrees outside, the heat strip switches on
to provide supplemental heat. Heat strips are very expensive
to operate. In southern climates, such as Florida, heat
pumps are very efficient. A 3 to 1 savings in heating
compared to electric heat strips.
Hydrofluorocarbon. A class of refrigerants.
A type of furnace, installed on its side that draws
in air from one side, heats it and sends the warm air
out on the other side. Most often used for installations
in attics or crawl spaces.
Heating Seasonal Performance Factor. This is similar
to SEER, but it measures the efficiency of the heating
portion of a heat pump. SEER, industry minimums have
been raised recently. The minimum is now 6.80 HSPF.
A piece of equipment that adds water vapor to heated
air as it moves out of the furnace. This adds necessary
moisture to protect your furnishings and reduce static
The amount of moisture in the air. Air conditioners
remove moisture for added comfort.
Heating, ventilating and air conditioning refers to
the indoor comfort industry.
Air flow inward into a space through walls, leaks around
doors, windows, or through building materials in the
A series of studies performed to determine the heating
or cooling requirements of your home. An energy load
analysis uses information such as the square footage
of your home, window and door areas, insulation quality
and local climate to determine the heating and cooling
capacity needed by your furnace, heat pump or air conditioner.
A heating and cooling system comprised of products that
have been certified to perform at promised comfort and
efficiency levels when used together, and when used
according to design and engineering specifications.
The day to day cost of running your home comfort equipment,
based on energy use.
A self contained air conditioning unit that includes
both the evaporator and condenser sections within a
single cabinet. It's advantages include simplicity of
installation, which leads to lower installation costs.
However, a package unit can create more noise and can
be less energy efficient than a split system.
A type of compressor used in air conditioners that compress
refrigerant by using a type of "piston" action.
Returning used refrigerant to the manufacturer for disposal
Removing, cleaning and reusing refrigerant.
Absorbs heat by a change of state (evaporation) from
a liquid to a gas, and releases heat by a change of
state (condenses) from a gas back to a liquid. FreonŽ
is the name commonly used for refrigerant, but this
is a brand name registered by Dupont. The correct name
for this gas is R-22. It is chlorofluorocarbon (CFC),
and its use is strictly regulated by the Federal Government
due to its effect on the ozone layer of the atmosphere.
Combination grille and damper assembly covering an air
opening or end of an air duct.
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. This is the approximate
efficiency of an air conditioning unit over a season
in a given climate. In the past, a unit with a SEER
of 8.00 was considered standard efficiency and a unit
with a 10.00 SEER was considered high efficiency. Beginning
January 23, 2006, new government mandates require that
manufactures of HVAC equipment can no longer make anything
less than 13 SEER rated air conditioning equipment.
Once the supply of 10 SEER equipment and components
is depleted, only the 13 SEER equipment will be available
for replacements. Due to their efficiency, these components
and systems cost much more than the components or systems
they replace. Several major components of an air conditioner
can be replaced independently of one another, allowing
a system to be repaired vs. replaced. However there
may be some incompatibility issues between 10 SEER and
13 SEER equipment that may require additional components
to be replaced rather than the one component that failed.
For example: When a 10 SEER condenser, which is outside
your home, can't be repaired and must be replaced with
a 13 SEER unit; the 10 SEER evaporative coil, inside
your home, must also be replaced with a 13 SEER unit
even though there is no mechanical malfunction with
the 10 SEER evaporative coil.
A specially designed compressor that works in a circular
motion versus and up and down piston action.
A state of the art electronic thermostat with a built
in memory that can be programmed for different temperature
settings at different times of the day.
Sound Rating Number (SRN)
Sound is measured in bels (a bel equals 10 decibels).
The SRN of a unit is based on ARI test, performed at
ARI standard rating conditions. Average sound rating
range is from 7.0 to 8.0 decibels. The lower the SRN
rating, the quieter the unit.
Refers to an air conditioner or heat pump that has components
in two locations. Usually one part of the system is
located inside (evaporator coil) and the other is located
outside you home (condenser coil).
This is an air conditioner that uses different forms
of heating such as natural gas, LP gas, electric resistance
heat and oil.
Unit that monitors and controls your HVAC system.
Usually refers to a device that will not allow the condenser
to restart for an average of five minutes.
Heat pumps and air conditioners are generally sized
in tons. Typical sizes for a single family residences
are between two and five tons. Each ton equals 12,000
BTU's per hour.
A type of furnace that draws cool air from the bottom
and blows the warmed air out the top into the ductwork.
This type of furnace is usually installed in a basement
or an out of the way closet.
A ventilator captures heating or cooling energy from
stale indoor air and transfers it to fresh incoming
A way to increase your home comfort and energy efficiency
by controlling when and where heating and cooling occurs
in a home. Programmable thermostats are used to control
operating times of the equipment. Dampers are used to
direct airflow to certain areas of the home.