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Terms and Phrases to Know About Your HVAC

Terms and Phrases to Know About Your HVAC

When dealing with an HVAC contractor, it is a good idea to have some knowledge of the terms and phrases that person might be using. Here's a list of common HVAC terms you can use for reference.

Terms and Phrases to Know about HVAC

  • Air Cleaner - A device used to filter out pollutants and allergens from your inside air.
  • Air Handler - The unit inside your home which moves heated and cooled air through the ducts.
  • AFUE - Annualized Fuel Utilization Efficiency measures the efficiency of your furnace. The higher the AFUE rating, the more efficient the furnace.
  • BTU - A single British Thermal Unit measures how much heat must be used to increase the temperature of one pound of water by one degree on the Fahrenheit scale.
  • CFM - Cubic Feet per Minute is a standard HVAC measure for how much air is being pushed through in a given minute. A higher number means its moving faster.
  • EER - Energy Efficiency Ratings measures how efficient an appliance uses energy.
  • HEPA - High-Efficiency Particulate Absorbing filters capture fine particulates that flow through the air, making your indoor air quality better.
  • Load Calculation - Technicians analyze the home's cooling and heating needs to determine the energy load for the HVAC systems.
  • MERV rating - Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value rates the size of holes in air filters. The higher the rating, the more efficient the filter will do its job.
  • SEER - Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating measures the cooling efficiency of a heat pump or air conditioner. The higher the SEER, the higher the system's efficiency will be.
  • Ton - In HVAC terms, a ton measures the cooling capacity of a heat pump or air conditioner. One ton is the same as 12,000 BTUs every hour.
  • Zoning - Zoning involves dividing the system delivery of cooled and heated air to allow individual temperature control to different rooms or areas of the home.



These terms will help you understand what your HVAC contractor is talking about. If you ever need assistance with your HVAC, call Dowd Mechanical Heating & Air right away.

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