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8 Must-Know HVAC Terms for Both Homeowners and Businesses


Whether you are in the market for a new heating and cooling system or just want to make sure your equipment is in good standing for the year, there are a few HVAC terms that are important to be aware of and how they might affect your home or business. Throughout this post, we will cover some basic terms to help you evaluate future purchases as well as the performance of your current systems.

Let's get to it!

1. HVAC and HVACR are both obvious need to know terms. I’m sure most of you already know what their definition entails, but let it serve as a refresher! HVAC is an acronym for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning. HVACR means the same but the R puts “Refrigeration” into play.

2. The air filter purifies particles of dust, soot, toxins, and allergens. Air filters should be replaced every 3 to 12 months for optimum efficiency in your HVAC unit, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations.


3. A thermostat is the main control unit for an HVAC system. There are a few different types of thermostats that you can use with heating and cooling systems, such as manual, programmable, and smart thermostats.

4. A heat pump is a system that transfers heat to cool down or heat up an area as it travels between both indoor and outdoor units. Heat pumps are an excellent choice for energy-efficient heat and cooling in your home that can even reduce your energy bill.

5. The HSPF is the heating seasonal performance component that shows the efficiency of heat pumps. The HSPF should be 8 or higher for an efficient heat pump.

6. The North American Technician Excellence otherwise known as NATE, is an HVACR technician certification program. When looking to hire a technician for any job, if you see that they are NATE-certified, you can trust they know what they’re doing. This is because technicians with this certification are required to complete ongoing training and accreditation in order to maintain it. This helps them stay up to date with all new emerging technology.

7. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The SEER rating of an AC unit is the output of cooling over a normal cooling season/by the total electric energy input during the same period. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the AC unit is. In the past, all AC units had to have a rating of 10 or higher. However, the current minimum is for SEER is 13 to 14, depending on the region and climate of your location.

8. The AFUE is the measurement of Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency of heating equipment per year. It measures the percentage of efficiency of the fuel used to produce energy and/or heat. Therefore, like your SEER rating, the higher the AFUE, the more efficiently the furnace or heat pump produces heat. In the past, it was common for homes to have a furnace with an AFUE of about 80%. Today, a family can have a gas-fueled heating unit with more than a 98% AFUE rating. Meaning, out of every dollar spent on heating, 98 cents of it generates fuel.

Home and business owners should be educated when it comes to their HVAC systems in the heating and cooling industry. Knowing these important terms are helpful to prevent unforeseen repairs from occurring. Now that you are familiar with these terms, put your knowledge to use when the next need for an HVAC service repair pops up!


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