Buying new or upgrading existing heating and cooling equipment for your Northeast Ohio home is a substantial financial investment. Understanding the HVAC terms a professional uses will help you make a more informed decision on equipment that will impact your home’s value and comfort levels and your utility bills. The following 10 HVAC terms are commonly used by professionals when inspecting your home for service or upgrades:
HVAC: This stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning, and is often given as HVAC/R, with the “R” standing for refrigeration. It’s a catch-all term for all matters related to the words in the phrase.
BTU (or Btu): The British Thermal Unit measures the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. It’s commonly used in regard to the amount of energy needed or used for heating.
Heat pump: A heat pump is an appliance that uses the principle of refrigeration to provide both heating and cooling for a home. It’s usually installed as a central split system, similar to a central A/C, with one component out in the yard and the other inside. Air-source heat pumps are the most common variety.
Load calculation:This is a mathematical formula to determine how much heating or cooling is required to bring your home to a comfortable level. It considers factors such as climate, square footage and room sizes of the home, air leakage and the amount and type of windows, doors and insulation.
NATE: North American Technician Excellence, a nonprofit organization that tests, then certifies HVAC technicians.
SEER: The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio is an efficiency rating for air conditioners and the cooling function of heat pumps.
Zoning system: Different areas of the home being served by a single heating or cooling system. Each zone has a thermostat to control temperature.
Ductwork: A system of large, usually squarish pipes that transports air from central heating and cooling equipment throughout the home.
Energy Star: A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency label affixed to HVAC systems, products and appliances meeting or exceeding EPA standards of performance. Homeowners who purchase Energy Star-qualified appliances and equipment may qualify forfederal tax credits.
MERV rating: The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value rates the efficiency of air filters, based on the smallest airborne particulates a filter will capture. For residential purposes, the rating runs from 1 to 16.
For more expert HVAC advice, please call us at Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing, serving a 60-mile radius around Cleveland.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Western Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about HVAC terms and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
For those Do it Yourselfers who would rather take control of your own indoor comfort, you can shop our online store for replacement parts, products and accessories!