Service & Maintenance

Alphabet Soup: Deciphering HVAC Terms

Alphabet Soup: Deciphering HVAC Terms

Unless you're a seasoned professional, you probably need help figuring out all the HVAC terms and acronyms. HVAC itself stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning, by the way. Here are the meanings behind some common and important HVAC terms:

  • ACCA: Air Conditioning Contractors of America. A nonprofit industry group promoting professionalism, efficiency and healthy indoor air.

  • AHRI: Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute. A nonprofit organization that publishes testing and rating standards for air conditioners and heat pumps.

  • BTU: British thermal unit. The standard unit of measurement for heating and A/C capacity.

  • CFC: Chlorofluorocarbon. An ecologically-harmful refrigerant known to harm the ozone.

  • COP: Coefficient of performance. An efficiency ratio measuring heat delivered versus heat used. Higher numbers are better.

  • ERV: Energy recovery ventilator. Saves heat energy from your exhaust air to pre-heat incoming air, and adds water vapor from the exhaust to the incoming air to help maintain consistent humidity indoors.

  • HCFC: Hydrochlorofluorocarbons. Another refrigerant used in heat pumps and air conditioners. Considered a less harmful alternative to CFCs.

  • HRV: Heat recovery ventilator. Saves energy from your outgoing air; similar to an ERV but without regulating air moisture.

  • HFC: Hydrofluorocarbon. A refrigerant with no or almost no harmful effects on the ozone.

  • HSPF: Heating seasonal performance factor. Measures efficiency relative to the season; higher scores are better.

  • IAQ: Indoor air quality. Refers to condition of indoor air, levels of pollution, etc.

  • NATE: North American Technician Excellence. A testing and certification nonprofit for HVAC technicians.

  • R-22: Refrigerant banned from new machines since 2010 by the EPA for links to global warming and ozone depletion.Will soon be phased out entirely.

  • R-410A: Replacement refrigerant for R-22. Not ecologically hazardous and contains no chlorine.

  • SEER: Seasonal energy efficiency ratio. An efficiency measurement that shows the amount of energy required to cool the air. Higher numbers are better.

It's good to know exactly what you're talking about when it comes to purchasing or repairing HVAC equipment, and learning these HVAC terms will help. For professional assistance with home heating and air conditioning around Broken Arrow, get in touch with Air Assurance. We've been servicing the Tulsa metropolitan area since 1985.Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  Image courtesy of Shutterstock