When it comes to technical HVAC speak, it’s important for home owners to be able to understand their equipment and what the technicians are saying so you can make the right decisions. The experts at Angie’s List have helped make a list of terms you should know:
Air Exchange Rate – The rate at which air from the outdoors replaces the air that exists inside a structure. The air exchange rate is measured two different ways: ACH or CFM
ACH – Air Changes per Hour, or the number of times outside air replaces inside air within an hour
CFM – Cubic Feet per Minute, the volume of air that flows through any given space in one minute
Condenser Coil – This is located within an air conditioner or heat pump. It works when the fan blows in air from the outside, refrigerant circulates through the condenser coil. Outside air is then either released or collected, depending upon he unit’s current function.
Cooling Capacity – The measurement of the amount of heat an air conditioning unit can remove from a room in a one hour time frame.
Energy Star – The Energy Start Program was created by the Environmental Protection Agency to rate energy efficient products used in homes.
Freon – A registered trademark of DuPont, Freon is an organic compound used as a coolant used in HVAC systems. It is often used interchangeably with coolants of the same type sch has hydrochlorofluorocarbons.
HEPA – High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance air filter
HERS – Home Energy Rating System, a program used by homeowners, builders, and mortgage lenders to measure the energy quality within a home.
HVAC Home Zoning – A home set up with zoning has separate thermostat controls for different areas (“zones”) within the home. This allows certain areas to be cooler or more heated than others, which can lead to reduced energy cost.
IAQ – Indoor Air Quality, the amount of pollution that is in the air within a building.
MERV Rating – Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value rating, used to describe the size of the holes in filters. Filters with higher MERV ratings have smaller holes, which allow only the smallest sized particles to pass through.
SEER – Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, a rating described the amount of energy that is used to regulate temperature over the course of a year. It’s used by HVAC professionals to rate the efficiency of HVAC systems. Currently the lowest SEER rating allowed by the U.S. Department of Energy is 13.0/
Ton – A unit of measure used to determine the amount of energy needed to cool indoor air. One ton of air equals 12,000 BTUs