Learn Your HVAC Contractor’s Language, And Hold Up Your End Of The Conversation

Posted On: October 10, 2012

It can be an intimidating process when researching new heating or cooling equipment for your home or when speaking to an HVAC contractor, if you’re not familiar with the terminology. We’ve provided a short glossary of terms to help you feel more confident when discussing heating and cooling systems with an HVAC contractor.

AFUE stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency, and is an important indicator of a furnace or boiler’s use of energy. In the form of a percentage, it states how much energy an appliance converts into heat. The U.S. Department of Energy has mandated that all new furnaces have this rating. The minimum allowable rating is 78 percent, which means 78 percent of energy goes to heating, while 22 percent of energy is lost. High-efficiency furnaces start at 90 percent and go up to nearly 100 percent.

Airflow refers to the distribution of air, which is critically important in HVAC units. Without proper airflow, the heating and cooling equipment will struggle to meet your temperature demands. Clogged or dirty filters are prime sources of diminished airflow, though leaky ductwork can also reduce the flow of air.

Blower is responsible for moving either heated or cooled air through the ductwork and out into your home.

Evaporator coil is part of the HVAC unit that simply speaking, absorbs heat from the air. When airflow is diminished, the coil can overheat and malfunction. Using a HVAC contractor to maintain and keep your system clean will lessen any chances of this occurring.

Heat pump is an HVAC appliance that heats and cools by either pulling air out of the house, or bringing warm air in from outside. When cooling, it works the same way as an air conditioner.

HVAC stands for Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning, and is the term commonly used when referring to heating and cooling systems.

Manual thermostat is usually placed on an inside wall and allows you to manually set the house cooling and heating system to a desired temperature.

Programmable thermostat can be programmed to automatically set and adjust the house temperature at various pre-selected times.

To speak to a HVAC contractor about your heating and cooling needs, please contact us at Ernst Heating & Cooling, proudly serving the Metro-East area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hamel, Illinois and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about HVAC language and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide. 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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