HVAC Contractors, The Top Heating Terms, And What Homeowners Should Know
What are the top HVAC terms customers should know? You're not an HVAC contractor. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't know the lingo. From the types of systems to heating installation vocabulary, take a look at the top HVAC words that can help you to choose the right products and services.
Heating System Terms
There isn't one universal type of HVAC system that works in every home. Whether your older heater is on its way out, you want to improve energy efficiency, or you're building a new home, you need to choose a suitable heating system. If you're not sure what your options are and what vocabulary you need to know, the top system-related terms include:
- Forced air furnace. As the name implies, this type of HVAC system forces heated air into your home. A forced air furnace uses air ducts and vents to move heat from the central unit to other indoor areas.
- Boiler. A boiler heats water. The system moves the heated water (or steam) throughout the indoor space and into radiators via a system of pipes.
- Mini-split heat pump. This ductless system includes an outdoor compressor and indoor air handlers.
Which system is the best choice? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, duct-related air losses account for 30 percent or more of a system's energy consumption. This makes a mini-split system an energy-saving idea. If your home doesn't already have ducts, this type of system can also save you money in installation costs.
Heating Installation Terms
You will need to schedule an installation service after you choose a system. But this could lead to more questions about HVAC terms. If you want to learn more about the language a contractor uses, read on for information on some of the most commonly used installation or installation-related terms:
- AFUE. The AFUE, or annual fuel utilization efficiency, number measures a furnace's efficiency. This equals the heat output divided by the heat input.
- Compressor or condenser. This exterior component is necessary to make a mini split heat pump work. The U.S. Department of Energy notes that you can install a compressor up to 50 feet away from the indoor unit.
- Installation. This is the most obvious installation-related term. In general, an installation service would include placing and connecting the components of a system. Extras, such as adding ducts, are also part of the installation process. Only a qualified HVAC company should install your system.
Other terms you may hear will relate to the different parts of the system. These could include (depending on the type of heater you choose) the blower, the blower motor, burners, flame sensor, heat exchanger, combustion chamber, air handler, or pilot light.
For more information, reach out to a local service, such as Malone Heating & Air.