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Glossary

Coils

Are Combination metal coils with copper tubing and aluminum fins. Homeowners sometime have problems with this combination because of chemical reactions between the two different metals causing corrosion.

Compressor

The single most important component in an Air Conditioner, the heart of the system. The Compressor is the pump that circulates the refrigerant through the system.

Energy Star

An Air Conditioner that meets or exceeds the minimum efficiency level of 13.00 SEER designed by the EPA for Energy Star recognition.

HSPF

Heating Seasonal Performance Factor. The rating used in measuring the heating efficiency of a heat pump. The higher the number, the more efficient the unit.

Humidity

The amount of moisture in the air, a key factor in home comfort. High humidity can cause the air to feel sticky and moist. When the humidity is low the air feels dry. Most people are comfortable when the humidity is between 30 and 60 percent. Mold can grow if the humidity is to high.

HVAC

An industry acronym that stands for "heating, ventilation and air conditioning."

NATE

This stands for North American Technician Excellence. NATE is the nationwide certification program for HVAC technicians working in the residential and commercial market.

SEER

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. A measure of cooling efficiency for air conditioners and heat pumps. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the Air Conditioner. The SEER rating is the total cooling output provided by the unit during its normal annual usage period, divided by its total energy consumption during the same period. The SEER rating is similar to the Miles Per Gallon rating for cars.

Split System

Most residential air conditioners are split systems meaning the coil is located indoors in an air handler and the condenser unit is located outdoors. Two copper lines called refrigerant lines connect the indoor air handler and outdoor condenser. These lines are filled with a refrigerant that travel in a closed loop between the coil and condenser.

Packaged Unit

An air conditioning system that is built in one piece. Compressor, condenser coils, evaporator coils, evaporator motor and all electrical components are contained in one single system.

Air Handler

The portion of the central air conditioning or heat pump system that moves heated or cooled air throughout a home's ductwork. In some systems a furnace handles this function.

BTU
(British Thermal Unit)

The standard of measurement used for measuring the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree (Fahrenheit). BTUH - The number of BTUs in an hour.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas produced by burning any fuel. CO is poisonous and symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to those of the flu: headaches, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea and dizziness. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends a yearly, professional inspection.

CFM
(Cubic Feet per Minute)

The abbreviation for cubic feet per minute, commonly used to measure the rate of air flow in an air conditioning system.

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