HVAC repair workers working outside

If you are in the market for a new HVAC system or find you are constantly in need of repairs, it can be helpful to learn the terms used by HVAC professionals. Here’s a glossary of HVAC terms to help you talk like a pro. 

HVAC Terms: Common Acronyms 

Other than HVAC which stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, it’s a good idea to become familiar with common acronyms used in the biz: 

  • AFUE: Annualized Fuel Utilization Efficiency to rate furnace efficiency. 
  • BTU: British Thermal Unit, which is a unit of heat energy. The higher the number the better the heating capacity. 
  • CAE: Combined Annual Efficiency to measure how much heat is produced for every dollar of fuel used for HVACs and water heaters. 
  • CFM: Cubic Feet Per Minute to measure airflow. 
  • HEPA Filter: High-Efficiency Particulate Absorbing which means a filter can trap and remove smaller particles from the air. 
  • HSPF: Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, used to rate heat pump efficiency. The higher the better. 
  • MERV Rating: Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value for filters. The higher the more efficient. 
  • SEER: Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio which measures energy efficiency for air conditioners. The higher the better. 

These are the most common acronyms used in the industry. 

HVAC Terms: A Complete Glossary 

Here are the HVAC terms you will often hear thrown around by HVAC professionals: 

  • Air Handler: This is the component that blows cold or hot air through your home’s ductwork. 
  • All-in-One System: A system where all the parts are in one cabinet. Sometimes called a packaged system. 
  • Capacity: How much cold or warm air a unit can produce measured in BTUs for hot air and tons for cold. 
  • Compressor: This is the outdoor component of an AC unit or heat pump. 
  • Condenser Coil: The exterior part of an AC or heat pump to release and/or accumulate heat. 
  • Cycling: When the system turns on and off to maintain temperatures. 
  • Damper: A movable part to regulate airflow in the ductwork. 
  • Ductwork: The ducts that carry air through your home. 
  • Energy Star: The program that awards the highest rating to the most efficient HVAC systems. 
  • Evaporator Coil: Absorbs heat from the air from inside the system. 
  • Heat Exchanger: Allows heat to move from one fluid to another without touching. 
  • Heat Pump: Used to move heat or cool a space for a ductless HVAC system. 
  • Humidifier: Adds moisture to indoor air. 
  • Humidistat: Maintains humidity automatically. 
  • Indoor Coil: The interior part of the AC system that works with the outdoor unit. 
  • Load Calculation: The calculation used to assess a space’s energy needs to find the right size system. 
  • Modulating Heating: A more fuel-efficient heating system that adjusts to temperatures in the space. 
  • Outdoor Coil: Disperses heat from the outdoor unit from the refrigerant turning it from a vapour to a liquid. 
  • R-22 Refrigerant: This is the refrigerant being phased out and replaced with more eco-friendly, chlorine-free R-410A Refrigerant. 
  • R-410A: As above, the chlorine-free refrigerant meeting the newest environmental guidelines. 
  • Refrigerant: The substance used to create the cooling effect in AC systems. 
  • Scroll Compressor: A special compressor that operates in a circular motion. 
  • Split System: A ductless system using a heat pump or air conditioner with indoor and outdoor components. 
  • Thermidistat: The control that monitors temperature and humidity while regulating the system to maintain consistent temperatures based on the chosen setting. 
  • Thermostat: The wall-mounted control that regulates temperatures for the HVAC system. 
  • Ton: The unit of measurement for an AC’s cooling capacity. 
  • Ventilator: This system exchanges stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air. 
  • Zoning: How the temperature is controlled and the areas that are heated or cooled. 

This HVAC glossary will have you conversing with HVAC professionals in their own language. 

Speak Like a Pro to a Pro Today

If you would like to start a conversation about your HVAC needs, speak to the HVAC professionals at RB Heating ClimateCare. 

Contact Us

Sign up to receive helpful home comfort tips and reminders
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
climatecare logo
energystar logo
hrai logo
tssa logo
wsib logo
Excalibur Authorized Dealer