Glossary Of Terms
AFUE - Annual Fuel
Utilization Efficiency, a rating that reflects the efficiency of a
gas furnace in converting fuel to energy. A rating of 90 means that
approximately 90% of the fuel is utilized to provide warmth to your
home, while the remaining 10% escapes as exhaust.
BTU - British Thermal
Unit. In scientific terms, it represents the amount of energy
required to raise one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. One BTU
is the equivalent of the heat given off by a single wooden kitchen
match. For your home, it represents the measure of heat given off
when fuel is burned for heating or the measure of heat extracted
from your home for cooling.
CFM - A standard of
airflow measurement. Cubic feet per minute. A typical system
produces 400 CFM per ton of air conditioning.
Capacity - The output
or producing ability of a piece of cooling or heating equipment.
Cooling and heating capacity are normally referred to in BTUs.
Compressor - The
heart of an air conditioning or heat pump system. It is part of the
outdoor unit that pumps refrigerant. The compressor maintains
adequate pressure to cause refrigerant to flow in sufficient
quantities to meet the cooling requirements of the system.
Condenser Coil or Outdoor Coil -
Located in the outdoor unit, the coil dissipates heat from the
refrigerant, changing the refrigerant from vapor to liquid.
Damper - Found in
duct work, this movable plate opens and closes to control airflow.
Dampers are used effectively in zoning to regulate airflow to
Down Flow Furnace - A
furnace that pulls in return air from the top and expels warm air at
Ductwork - Pipes or
channels that carry air throughout your home.
Evaporator Coil - The
coil that is inside your house in a split system. In the evaporator,
refrigerant evaporates and absorbs heat from air passed over the
Heat Exchanger - A
device for the transfer of heat energy from the source to the
Horizontal Furnace -
A furnace that lies on its side, pulling in return air from one side
and expelling warm air from the other.
Humidifier - A device
that injects water vapor into heated air as the air is expelled from
Humidity - The amount
of moisture in the air. Air conditioners remove moisture for added
HSPF - Heating
Seasonal Performance Factor, a rating used in measuring the heating
efficiency of a heat pump. The higher the number, the more efficient
HVAC - Heating,
ventilation and air conditioning.
ICM - Integrally
Controlled Motor. A specially engineered, variable-speed motor . ICM
motors are more than 90% efficient versus 60% efficiency for
conventional motors. Continuous comfort, whisper-quiet operation and
ultimate system efficiency are the benefits of the indoor products
graced with the ICM motor.
Package System - A
piece of air conditioning and heating equipment where all components
are located in one cabinet. Used occasionally in residential
applications, the package unit is installed either beside or on top
of the home.
Refrigerant - A
substance that produces a refrigerating effect while expanding or
Refrigerant Lines -
Set of two copper lines connecting the outdoor unit and the indoor
SEER - Seasonal
Energy Efficiency Ratio, a rating that measures the cooling
efficiency of a heat pump or air conditioner. The higher the number,
the more efficient the unit.
Split System - Refers
to a comfort system configuration consisting of components in two
locations. Common examples include an outside unit, such as an air
conditioner and an indoor unit, such as a furnace and coil.
Switchover Valve - A
device in a heat pump that reverses the flow of refrigerant as the
system is switched from cooling to heating. Also called a reversing
valve or four-way valve.
Thermostat - A
temperature control device, typically found on a wall inside the
home, that consists of a series of sensors and relays that monitor
and control the functions of a heating and cooling system. American
Standard's programmable thermostats allow you to program different
levels of comfort for different times of the day.
Ton - A unit of
measurement used for determining cooling capacity. One ton is the
equivalent of 12,000 BTUs per hour.
Up Flow Furnace - A
furnace that pulls return air in from the bottom and expels warm air
from the top.
Zoning - A method of
dividing a home into zones and enabling you to control the amount of
comfort provided to each.
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