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Cleveland HVAC Blog

Thinking About Upgrading Your HVAC Equipment? Learn These Industry Terms First

Posted by Paul Wadsworth on Mon, Sep 17, 2012 @ 01:38 PM

The more you know about HVAC systems, the better decision you'll be able to make when upgrading your HVAC equipment. Here are some terms that will help you make an upgrade purchase that will meet your home comfort needs while providing excellent return on your HVAC investment.

  • learn hvac termsAir handler: The fan or blower (often a part of your furnace) that moves air from the heating or cooling unit, through the ductwork and into your home.
  • BTU: British thermal unit, indicates the output of heating and cooling equipment.
  • Charge: The amount of refrigerant in your air conditioner or heat pump.
  • Coil: Tubing or pipes containing refrigerant. Heat capture and release occurs in the coils.
  • Compressor: It pressurizes gaseous refrigerant, circulating it and increasing its pressure and temperature.
  • Condenser: A coil where gaseous refrigerant returns to liquid form and releases the heat it contains.
  • Ductwork: The pathway that heated or cooled air takes from the main HVAC unit out to all parts of your home and back again.
  • Evaporator (aka cooling) coil: A coil where refrigerant transforms into a gas and absorbs heat from air passing through it.
  • Heat pump: A system that captures and moves heat. A heat pump cools your home by removing heat and warms it by bringing in heat from an outside source.
  • Load: The amount of heating or cooling needed to keep your home at the temperature you prefer.
  • Plenum: A box like, sheet metal compartment directly after the air handler or furnace where heated or cooled air accumulates before being distributed through the ductwork.
  • Refrigerant: The substance responsible for heat transfer. Refrigerant absorbs or releases heat as it changes from liquid to gas and back again.
  • SEER: Seasonal energy efficiency ratio. A number indicating the efficiency of air conditioning systems measured over an entire cooling season. Just like the familiar MPG rating for cars, higher SEER numbers indicate higher efficiency.
  • Load estimate: Evaluating your home's heating and cooling needs to make sure the HVAC system will not be too small or too large (both create problems) to work effectively.

With more than 75 years of professional HVAC experience, P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling is a trusted provider of HVAC sales, maintenance and repair to customers in Greater Cleveland. Contact us today for more information on the industry terms that will help you make better choices when upgrading your HVAC equipment.

pk wadsworth heating performance check


Paul WadsworthPaul Wadsworth is the President and Owner of P.K. Wadsworth Heating and Cooling. For 37 years, Paul has been providing heating and cooling services to the Greater Cleveland area. P.K. Wadsworth has been a trusted Cleveland HVAC service company for 75 years. The company understand the area's construction and local heating and air conditioning needs. Paul has an MBA from the University of Michigan and a B.S., Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. He's been President of the Cleveland Air Conditioning Contractors of America and a founding member of the local chapter. Paul was born and raised in Cleveland and has been active in the local community. He resides in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife and two sons.

The opinions and statements contained in this article are for general informational purposes only and are not instructions. Only trained, licensed and experienced personnel should attempt installation/repair. The author assumes no liability for the opinions/statements made in this article. Any individual attempting a repair or installation based on this article does so at their own risk of loss.

Topics: air conditioning, hvac equipment, heat pumps, HVAC service

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