The world of air conditioning has its own unique language filled with acronyms, abbreviations and ratings. When shopping for an HVAC system, its important to understand basic air conditioner terminology so you can make an informed and educated purchase.
Here’s some air conditioner terminology that will help you when buying or replacing your unit.
AHRI—The Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute publishes standards for testing and rating air conditioners to provide consumers with a standard unit of comparison between equipment of various manufacturers
Air handler—Part of your heating, ventilating and air conditioning system that contains the blower that circulates air through the ductwork.
Coil—The tubing or pipes that carry the refrigerant and where heat is transferred.
Condenser—Refers to the outdoor unit (or air conditioner). It is known as the condenser because that is where the refrigerant goes from a gas to a liquid (condenses) in the refrigeration cycle.
Ductwork—The large metal system that distributes the cool air from the air handler through your house.
Evaporator—Denotes an air conditioner’s indoor coil. As opposed to the condenser, the evaporator is where the refrigerant goes from a liquid to a gas.
Load calculation—A tool to determine a building’s heat loss and gain. The results tell how much heat must be removed from your home’s living quarters so your HVAC equipment can be properly sized based on its heating and/or cooling capacity.
MERV—The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. It rates how well your filter captures airborne particles that measure 0.3 to 10 microns. The higher the rating, the better your filter performs.
Refrigerant—The liquid that flows through your air conditioning system and expedites heat transfer.
Register—The metal covering over your house’s supply vents. They typically have louvers or dampers to control how much air is coming out.
Ton—Measures your unit’s cooling capacity.
Aladdin Heating and Cooling has been serving the residents of Birmingham, Shelby Township, Rochester and the Metro-Detroit area since 1945. For more expert advice about air conditioner terminology and other issues related to home comfort, please feel free to contact us by calling 800-762-0079.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Warren, Michigan about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air conditioners and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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