If you need a new furnace or air conditioner, you might have heard of HVAC, or Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. But what do these terms include? Understanding the words is important if you are doing some research and asking for quotes. At A1 Heating and Air Conditioning, we ant to help you make an informed decision about your home’s climate control needs. This guide from our technicians we hope will demystify common HVAC terminology!

Heating System Terminology

  • Furnace: A unit that heats air by burning fuel and distributing it throughout the home. Fuel types include oil, natural gas, and electricity.
  • Boiler: Similar to a furnace but heats water instead of air. Boilers are used to deliver hot water through pipes in your floor to heat your house.
  • Heat Pump: A modern heating appliance that works by transferring heat from outside to inside a home for heating and cooling.
  • Mini-split: A small, rectangular heating unit that is installed on a wall inside your home, with a fan that blows hot or cold air around the room. These require a heat pump outside the building. They are a solution when there is no ductwork under the floor of a room, connected to a basement furnace.

Ventilation System Jargon

  • Ductwork: A network of small metal rectangular tubes or pipes, installed inside the walls and floors as the home is built, that move air from the HVAC system (typically in a basement) up through floor and/or ceiling vents into all the rooms in a house.
  • Air Handler: A device used to regulate and circulate air that is part of an HVAC system.
  • Vents and Grilles: Floor openings that allow air to enter and exit rooms.

Air Conditioning Terms Explained

  • Central Air Conditioning: A system that cools and dehumidifies air inside a heat pump or furnace, and then uses a fan to push that air through ducts into the entire building or home.
  • SEER Rating: Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, a measure of air conditioning efficiency.
  • Refrigerant: A chemical compound used in cooling systems to absorb heat.
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General HVAC Terms

  • Thermostat: A device that controls the temperature of a space. These are typically installed on the wall of a room on the main floor of the house.
  • MERV Rating: Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, indicating the effectiveness of air filters placed inside the furnace.
  • BTU: British Thermal Unit, measuring the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.

Understanding HVAC Maintenance Terms

  • Preventative Maintenance: Regular checks and onsite adjustments to ensure that all parts of an HVAC system runs efficiently.
  • HVAC Inspection: An examination by a trained HVAC technician to check how the HVAC is performing and identify any issues. Usually the first part of a maintenance visit.
  • Seasonal Tune-Up: Routine maintenance to the HVAC components performed at specific times of the year as the seasons change and different comfort levels are required inside the home

Energy Efficiency and HVAC

  • Energy Star: A government-backed symbol for energy efficiency.
  • AFUE, HSPF, EER Ratings: Measures of efficiency for heating and cooling systems.

Final Words: Keeping Comfort Simple with A1

Getting the hang of HVAC lingo makes conversations with pros easier and your decisions smarter. Remember, understanding these terms helps keep your home’s climate just right. For any questions about HVAC services, just shout out to the team at A1 Heating and Air Conditioning in Kelowna, BC – we’re always ready to lend a hand and ensure your home stays comfy and efficient.
Happy Holidays from everyone at A-1!