10 Heating and Cooling Terms You Should Understand

The terms your heating and cooling contractor uses can be confusing. Become familiar with the following 10 heating and cooling terms so you feel comfortable communicating with the next technician who comes to your door.

  • HVAC: Heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Heating and cooling contractors are also called HVAC contractors.
  • SEER: Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. This rating is given to all air conditioners to describe how efficiently they use electricity when cooling your home. The minimum allowed today is 13 SEER.
  • HSPF: Heating Seasonal Performance Factor. This rating is given to all heat pumps to describe their heating efficiency. Heat pumps also earn a SEER rating to measure their cooling efficiency.
  • AFUE: Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. This rating is given to all furnaces to describe how efficiently they convert a combustible fuel source into usable heat for your home. The minimum allowed today is 80 AFUE.
  • HRV/ERV: Heat recovery ventilator/energy recovery ventilator. An HRV is a machine that ventilates your home, preheating the air as it enters to limit the impact on your heating bills. An ERV is more advanced. It transfers moisture as well as air temperature, so it can effectively preheat or pre-cool incoming air while humidifying or dehumidifying it simultaneously.
  • IAQ: Indoor air quality. Clean indoor air is important for your health, especially if you have allergies, asthma or other respiratory problems.
  • Btu: British thermal unit. This is the unit used when describing heating and cooling capacity. For example, a one-ton air conditioner removes heat at a rate of 12,000 Btu/hr.
  • Load calculation: A contractor should conduct a load calculation when determining a new system’s capacity (in Btu/hr) based on home size and orientation, climate, insulation levels, air infiltration rate, window layout, and other factors.
  • Manual J: This manual contains methods for conducting load calculations.
  • NATE: North American Technician Excellence. NATE is the only testing and certification organization with nationwide acknowledgement. Make sure the contractor you use hires NATE-certified technicians.

To put your knowledge of these heating and cooling terms to good use, contact Conroe Air today. We serve Conroe, Montgomery County and surrounding areas.