HVAC Glossary

HVAC Glossary
  • AFUE

    Annualized Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) is a measure of your furnace's heating efficiency. The higher the AFUE percentage, the more efficient the furnace. The minimum percentage established by the DOE for furnaces is 78%.

  • AHRI

    Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) is an industry trade association that develops standards for measuring and certifying product performance.

  • Air Conditioning

    Air conditioning refers to the cooling and dehumidification of indoor air to maintain a cool indoor atmosphere, especially during warm weather.

  • Air Handler/Blower Coil

    An air handler is usually a furnace or a blower coil, and is the indoor part of an air conditioner or heat pump that moves cooled or heated air throughout the ductwork of your home.

  • BTU

    (BTU/h) stands for British Thermal Units per hour.

  • CAE

    Combined Annual Efficiency (CAE) is a measure of the amount of heat produced for every dollar of fuel consumed for both home and water heating.

  • Carbon Monoxide

    An odorless, colorless, tasteless, poisonous and flammable gas that is produced when carbon burns with insufficient air. Carbon monoxide is highly dangerous, can cause health problems at low levels and can be deadly at high levels.

  • Central System

    A central system is a system in which air is treated at a central location and distributed to and from rooms by one or more fans and a series of ducts.

  • CFM

    CFM stands for Cubic Feet per Minute. CFM is a type of measurement that indicates how many cubic feet of air pass by a stationary point in one minute. The higher the number, the more air is being moved through ductwork by a system.

  • Compressor

    A compressor is the part of an outdoor air conditioner or heat pump that compresses and pumps refrigerant to meet household cooling requirements.

  • Condenser Coil

    The outdoor portion of an air conditioner or heat pump that either releases or collects heat, depending on the time of the year.

  • dB

    A decibel is a unit used to measure the relative intensity of sound.

  • Dual Fuel

    A comfort system that pairs an electric heat pump with a gas furnace, providing an energy-efficient alternative to the conventional furnace/air conditioner combination.

  • EnerGuide

    EnerGuide is a Government of Canada initiative that rates the energy consumption and efficiency of household appliances, heating equipment, cooling equipment, ventilating equipment, new houses and personal vehicles. The EnerGuide label is used to make informed buying decisions by comparing the energy performance of different products

  • Energy Star®

    The international Energy Star symbol identifies major electrical appliances that meet or exceed technical specifications designed to ensure that they are among the most energy efficient in their class, without compromising performance. The designation Energy Star Most Efficient recognizes and the most efficient products among those that qualify.

  • Evaporator Coil

    The part of the air conditioner or heat pump that is located inside the air handler or attached to the furnace. Its primary function is to absorb the heat from the air in your house.

  • Geothermal

    Geothermal systems use the solar energy that is stored year-round just beneath the earth's surface. This energy is free, unlimited, 100% renewable. A geothermal system is a proven cost-effective way of heating, cooling and providing hot water in a home while emitting absolutely no carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide or other harmful greenhouse gases.

  • Heat Pump

    A heat pump is an HVAC unit that heats or cools by moving heat. During the winter, a heat pump draws heat from outdoor air and circulates it through your home's air ducts. In the summer, it reverses the process and removes heat from your house and releases it outdoors.

  • HSPF

    HSPF stands for Heating Seasonal Performance Factor and measures heat pump efficiency. The minimum set by the Department of Energy is 6.8 HSPF and Energy Star, certified products must be 8 HSPF. The higher the HSPF, the greater the energy economy.

  • Humidifiers

    Humidifiers are indoor air quality devices that introduce moisture to heated air as it passes from the furnace into the ductwork for distribution throughout the home. Humidifiers can help with dry skin, allergy symptoms, and reduce static electricity.

  • HVAC

    HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning.

  • IAQ

    Indoor air quality (IAQ) is an HVAC industry term that refers to the air quality inside a home or building. Poor indoor air quality can impact productivity, health symptoms, and more. IAQ is important to having a comfortable home and work environment.

  • Multi-zone system

    A multi-zone system is a flexible air conditioning and/or heating ductless system composed of various indoor units (wall mounted, ceiling or recessed) installed in different rooms so each zone can be adapted and personalized to the specific needs of the occupants or the space.

  • Programmable Thermostat

    A programmable thermostat gives the user the option of changing the temperature setting automatically during the nights and during the work day when the occupants have left the house. It can help reduce overall household energy consumption.

  • R-410A Refrigerant

    R-410A is a chlorine-free, non-ozone depleting refrigerant that most manufacturers have selected to replace R-22.

  • Refrigerant

    Refrigerant is the fluid used for heat transfer in a refrigerating system. The refrigerant absorbs heat at a low temperature and low pressure and transfers heat at a higher temperature and a higher pressure, usually with changes of state.

  • Scroll Compressor

    A scroll compressor is a specially designed compressor that works in a circular motion, as opposed to up-and-down piston action, and is becoming increasingly popular in HVAC systems due to its efficiency and reliability.

  • SEER

    The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is an energy efficiency ratio for air conditioners that involves comparing the cooling output with the energy used. The higher the SEER, the better the energy performance and the more a homeowner will save.

  • Split or Ductless System

    A split or ductless system is an air conditioning and/or heating system that consists of two parts which do not require ventilation ducts. The cooling unit or condenser is located outside, and is connected to the indoor evaporator which is located in the room to cool and/or heat. Because there are no vents or ductwork involved, the air conditioning unit is visible in the room.

  • Ton

    A ton is a unit of measurement for determining cooling capacity. One ton equals 12,000 BTU/h.

  • Variable Speed Motor

    A motor that automatically adjusts the flow of warm or cool air for ultimate comfort.

  • Zoning

    When it comes to air conditioning, the term "zoning" relates to the division of a home or a building into separately controlled spaces for optimal comfort.

All the most-trusted brands
All the most-trusted brands
A solution for every budget
A solution for every budget
Over 65 years of expertise
Over 65 years of expertise
Choose from over 750 dealers
Choose from over 750 dealers