Understanding HVAC Terminology: Your Guide to Common AC and Heating Terms

Why Knowing HVAC Terms Matters

As a homeowner, you must familiarize yourself with the terminology surrounding your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system. Knowing these terms can be a game-changer if you’re considering a new installation, need repairs, or just want to communicate effectively with HVAC professionals. At Infinite HVAC Services in Quarryville, PA, we believe that an informed customer is a satisfied customer. In this blog post, we’ll introduce you to 28 common HVAC terms and acronyms that will empower you to make informed decisions about your home’s climate control.

Get Informed! Learn to Speak the Language of Heating and Air Conditioning!

At Infinite HVAC Services, our primary goal is to keep you comfortable by ensuring your HVAC system operates efficiently. By acquainting yourself with common HVAC terms, you’re empowered to:

Whether you need AC repair or an entire new air conditioner installation… understanding HVAC terminology serves multiple purposes. It allows you to:

  1. Choose the Right Unit: When you’re aware of terms like SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) and BTU (British Thermal Unit), you can make an informed decision when purchasing a new AC or heating system. Higher SEER ratings signify better efficiency, while BTUs help you determine the system’s heating or cooling capacity.
  2. Communicate Effectively: When you can accurately describe the issue with your HVAC system, it becomes easier for professionals to diagnose and fix the problem. Whether it’s a faulty evaporator coil or a malfunctioning controller, knowing the terminology helps.
  3. Preventative Maintenance for HVAC Systems: Regular maintenance is key to avoiding major HVAC issues. Understanding terms like ACH (Air Changes Per Hour) and AFUE (Annual Fuel Efficiency Ratio) can assist you in discussing maintenance needs with your HVAC technician.

Don’t get lost in the technical terms. Dive into our easy-to-understand HVAC glossary below, and always remember that our team is just a call away!

Your Quick HVAC Glossary

  1. ACH (Air Changes Per Hour): Represents how often the air is replaced in a room within an hour.
  2. AC (Air Conditioner): Equipment that cools and dehumidifies your space.
  3. British Thermal Unit (BTU): Measures the energy your HVAC system uses to heat or cool.
  4. AFUE (Annual Fuel Efficiency Ratio): Indicates how efficiently your heater uses fuel.
  5. SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio): Evaluates the efficiency of your air conditioner over a cooling season.
  6. Chiller: A device that cools liquids, which then travel over coils to cool the air in a space.
  7. Coil: Used in transferring heat. There are three main types: Heating, Evaporator, and Condenser coils.
  8. Dehumidifier: Equipment that reduces the humidity in the air.
  9. Diffuser: Enhances airflow from the ducts by distributing it evenly.
  10. Controller: Governs the operation of the HVAC system.
  11. Fresh air intake: Brings fresh air into the building.
  12. Grille: A cover with multiple slits allowing air to pass through.
  13. Ductwork: Pipes that facilitate air circulation in your home.
  14. HVAC: Stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning.
  15. Heat pump: A device that can both heat and cool your space.
  16. Heat transfer: The movement of heat from one place to another.
  17. OAT (Outside Air Temperature): Simply, the temperature outside.
  18. Plenum space: An enclosed space in buildings for air circulation.
  19. Packaged or Rooftop Unit: An outdoor air-handling unit with both heating and cooling mechanisms.
  20. Radiation: Transferring heat from one surface to another without affecting the intervening space.
  21. Refrigerant: A substance that cools air in air conditioners.
  22. Split system: A central HVAC system, often ductless, that allows for temperature control in individual rooms.
  23. Subcooling: When liquid refrigerant is cooler than its boiling point.
  24. Thermostat: A device to regulate temperature.
  25. VAV (Variable Air Volume): An energy-efficient HVAC system that adjusts airflow rate based on temperature needs.


Trust the Experts

HVAC terms can be a lot to digest, but they’re key to understanding your home’s heating and cooling needs. Should you experience any HVAC challenges in areas like Lancaster, PA or simply need advice on AC installations and replacementsInfinite HVAC Services is here to help.

Ready for a comfortable home? Get in touch today and schedule your estimate!

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Jennifer L.
Null, PA - Repair or Service Furnace or Forced Air Heating System
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Very professional. Did a great job. I would recommend and will hire again in the future.
Larry S.
Mountville, PA - Repair or Service a Heat Pump
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Thanks for fixing the problem that my OLD Hvac service company said nothing was wrong. I knew something was wrong the humidity was higher in side than it has been in the last 6 years. It does not feel clammy in the house NOW. Thanks a lot Rob and TJ.
Jason J.
Landisville, PA - Repair or Service a Water Heater
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Rob and T.J. provided wonderful service. Arrived on time, explained the repairs and associated costs well and answered all of my questions. Fixed our hot water heater and toilet swiftly. I really appreciated Rob and T.J's professionalism and I'm happy to know that we can call a company we can trust whenever we are in need of service for Plumbing or HVAC. They really went above and beyond to ensure our satisfaction.
Patrick M.
Parkesburg, PA - Install Natural Gas or Propane Furnace / Forced Air Heating System
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Great communication and timely install.
Cleon G.
Lancaster, PA - Repair or Service a Central Air Conditioning System
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Very good with customers. Found a problem within ten minutes. Corrected the problem. Offered services to prevent possible future problems. Pricing was very fair. Very cordial and professional. I will recommend them to my customers in my inspection business. C.E. Grove

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