HVAC Terms

At Precision Heating & Air, we want our customers to be as informed as possible, so that you can make the most educated decision about your heating and cooling systems. With over a decade of experience and a continued commitment to ongoing training, we have helped countless homeowners and property managers find innovative and reliable solutions to their every HVAC need. 

We are sharing some of the most frequently used jargon in our industry, so you feel comfortable and confident discussing your systems with one of our technicians.

HVAC Glossary:

  • Absolute Pressure: Often denoted with the subscript “abs”, absolute pressure is a pressure that is relative to the zero pressure of a perfect vacuum.
  • Absolute Temperature: The temperature of an object on a scale where 0 is taken as absolute zero—being measured using Kelvin and Rankine.
  • Absolute Zero Temperature: This is the temperature at which a thermodynamic system has the lowest energy. It corresponds to -273.15C on the Celsius scale and to -459.67F on the Fahrenheit scale. No electronic device can operate at this temperature.
  • Absorbent: The ability to take in and hold liquid.
  • Absorption Refrigerator: A refrigerator that uses a heat source, like solar energy or distinct heating system, which provides the energy needed to drive the cooling process. The principle can be used to air condition buildings through the use of waste heat from a gas turbine or water heater. As the gas turbine is producing electricity, hot water, and air conditioning, absorption refrigerator systems are very efficient.
  • ACCA: Standing for The Indoor Environment & Energy Efficiency Association, the ACCA is a non-profit association whose membership includes more than 60,000 professionals and 4,000 businesses. This association works together to promote professional contracting, energy efficiency, and healthy, comfortable indoor environments.
  • Accumulator: A storage tank which receives liquid refrigerant from an evaporator and prevents it from flowing into the suction line before vaporizing.
  • AFUE: The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency is the amount of fuel converted to space heat in proportion to the amount of fuel entering the boiler or furnace. This does not include the electricity consumption of the fan and controls, and is expressed as a percentage.
  • AHRI: The Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute is the trade association representing manufacturers of both HVACR and water heating equipment throughout the globe.
  • BBB: The Better Business Bureau helps customers find businesses, brands, and charities they can trust.
  • BTU: British Thermal Unit is a basic measure of thermal energy (heat). One BTU is the amount of energy needed to heat one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit.
  • CEE: The Consortium for Energy Efficiency is the US and Canadian consortium of gas and electric efficiency program administrators. This consortium works together to accelerate the development and availability of energy-efficient products and services.
  • COP: The Coefficient of Performance is a measure of efficiency for heat pumps, representing the ratio of total heating capacity to electrical energy input. For example, if a system has a COP of 3, it will deliver three units of thermal energy for every one unit of electricity consumed.
  • EER: The Energy Efficiency Ratio is the ratio of output cooling energy in BTU to input electrical energy at a given operating point.
  • HSPF: Heating Seasonal Performance Factor is the measure of a heat pump’s energy efficiency over one heating season. It represents the total heating output of a heat pump, including any supplementary electrical heat, during the normal heating season as compared to the total electricity consumed during the same period.
  • HVAC: This common acronym stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. This is the most commonly used term when referring to combination systems that do both heating and cooling.
  • Mini-Split: These are ductless air conditioners or heaters that affect a single room. Mini-split heat pumps and air conditioners provide a smart, flexible solution as they are extremely cost, space, and energy efficient.
  • NATE: The North American Technician Excellence Inc. is an independent, third-party non-profit certifying body for HVACR technicians. NATE’s certification tests represent real-world working knowledge of HVACR systems and candidates can earn installation and/or service certification in one or more specialty areas. Developed by the NATE technical committee, which is comprised of industry experts, each exam is based on specific knowledge areas.
  • SEER: Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio is the cooling output during a typical cooling season divided by the total electric energy input during the same period. The higher the unit’s SEER rating, the more energy efficient it is.
  • SHGC: Solar Heat Gain Coefficient is a measure of how well a window blocks heat caused by sunlight.
  • U-Factor: This is a measure of how well a window performs at stopping heat flow. Windows with a lower U-factor will ensure a better insulated space.
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Are you curious about how Precision Heating & Air can help with your heating, cooling, ventilation, or indoor air quality needs? Call us today at (512) 379-6385 or fill out our online contact form to schedule an appointment.

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