HVAC Terminology? Want to know what all those confusing terms mean? Find out here!

Air Distribution SystemAny system of ducts, plenums and air handling equipment that circulates air within a space[s]

CapacitorA device to start a motor or compressor [or to keep it running once it has started – may have one indoor and one outdoor]

Compressor – The pump that moves refrigerant from the indoor to outdoor unit [through coils] and back. The compressor is also known as the ‘brain’ of the system.

CondensateThe liquid that condenses due to the lowering of its temperature to the saturation point Condenser [outdoor] coil – Uses refrigerant and either releases or collects heat from the outside air.

Condenser FanDistributes air over the condenser

Condensing UnitA refrigerating machine consisting of one or more compressors and other accessories that work together to cool your home

Contactor – In the condenser, the main switch that turns the outdoor unit on

DehumidifierMachine that removes moisture from the air

Duct A tube or conduit utilized for conveying air.

Duct SystemA continuous passageway for the transmission of air that includes ducts, duct fittings, dampers, plenums, fans and accessory air-handling equipment and appliances

ENERGY STAREco-friendly systems – more energy efficient that help to lower utility bills and improve overall air quality – must be ENERGY STAR to qualify for tax credit

FurnaceA completely self-contained heating unit that is designed to supply heated air to spaces remote from or adjacent to the appliance location.

Heat ExchangerA device that transfers heat from one medium to another

Heat PumpA refrigeration system that extracts heat from one substance and transfers it to another portion of the same substance or to a second substance at a higher temperature for beneficial purposes.

HVACHeating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning

HumidifierMachine that adds moisture to the air

NATENorth American Technical Excellence, you can find them here.

Package UnitA heating and a/c unit in one cabinet. This unit can either be found beside your home, in the attic or on the roof.

Return AirAir removed from an approved conditioned space or location and recirculated or exhausted

SEERSeasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio – The higher the SEER, the more efficient the unit and lower overall utility bills.

Split SystemAn outdoor unit [condenser or heat pump] and indoor unit [furnace with coil or air handler]

Supply Air The air delivered to each or any space supplied by the air distribution system or the total air delivered to all spaces supplied by the air distribution system

VentilationThe natural or mechanical process of supplying conditioned or unconditioned air to, or removing such air from any space

Zoning SystemSections the home into different zones so each can be controlled separately – meant for comfort more so than energy efficiency