HVAC Terminology

AFUE

Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. Used to express the efficiency of gas furnaces. The higher the AFUE rating, the SUITE more efficient the unit. Federal law has required that all new residential furnaces built after January 1992 operate with an AFUE of 78% or higher. All our furnaces are manufactured to exceed these requirements with a minimum AFUE of 80%.

If your furnace was built before 1992, chances are it is operating with an average efficiency of around 60%. Most of the heat is lost up the chimney or out the exhaust vent – devices used by older furnaces to expel dangerous fumes created by the furnace, such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, aldehydes, and even soot.

HC.

Modern furnaces use more technologically advanced venting techniques to achieve greater energy efficiency. An important note: Be sure to ask your installing contractor if your chimney or exhaust vent is suitable for use with your new equipment.

ARI

The Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute is an organization created by HVAC manufacturers to ensure an acceptable level of quality within the industry. ARI is a voluntary, nonprofit organization which publishes ratings standards and benchmarks for testing cooling and heating products.

BTU

Short for British Thermal Unit. The amount of heat required to raise or lower the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.

BTUH

The heat transfer rate of HVAC equipment is measured in British Thermal Units per Hour.

CAPACITY

Usually measured in BTUs or tons, capacity refers to an air conditioning or heating unit’s ability to cool or heat a space. For instance, a 20-ton air conditioning unit has twice the capacity of a 10-ton unit.

CFM

A unit to express the movement of volume, including air, in Cubic Feet per Minute. A 400 CFM air handler moves 400 cubic feet in one minute.

COMPRESSOR

The compressor plays an integral role in cooling your home. It is the device responsible for pumping refrigerant through the refrigerant lines and the coil, making the transfer of heat from inside your house to the outdoors possible.

CONDENSER

The coil responsible for dissipating heat to the surrounding, outside air. Also called the condenser coil, or outdoor coil, its role is reversed when a heat pump is used in heating mode.

COP

The Coefficient of Performance rates a heat pump’s ability to efficiently use electricity in its operation. The Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute provides the Coefficient of Performance at 47 degrees Fahrenheit and 17 degrees Fahrenheit. This is because a heat pump is more efficient at higher, outside-air temperatures.

dB

The relative loudness of a sound is expressed in dB, short for decibel. As an example, the sound of a human voice talking is around 70 dB. (See also SRN.)

DOE

A federal agency, the Department of Energy, sets the standards for efficiency throughout the HVAC industry and monitors consumption of energy sources.

DOWNFLOW

A term used to describe the direction of airflow through a furnace. A downflow furnace takes return air from the top, heats it and then delivers the warm air from the bottom.

DUCT/DUCTWORK/DUCTING

A central heating and air conditioning system uses many components to heat or cool air This warm or cool air is then transferred to different registers throughout the house via special flexible large-diameter pipes or ducts The system of ducts throughout your house is often referred to as ductwork or ducting.

EER

Energy Efficiency Ratio The ratio of the cooling capacity of the air conditioner in BTUs per hour to the total electrical input in watts This measure is determined by comparing test units to the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute specifications.

EFFICIENCY

A general term used to describe how effectively a heat pump air conditioning system or furnace converts incoming energy to outgoing energy The higher the number the more efficient the unit and the lower the operating costs.

EVAPORATOR COIL/EVAPORATOR

An integral part of the indoor unit of a heat pump or air conditioning system. So-called because when warm air passes over a coil filled with liquid refrigerant, the refrigerant itself evaporates and absorbs some of the heat. This gas refrigerant is then pumped to the outdoor coil, where it releases heat into the surrounding air and returns to its liquid state.

HEAT EXCHANGER

Responsible for transferring heat from furnace burners to the blower.

HOR FLOW

A term used to describe the direction of airflow through a furnace. A horizontal flow furnace takes return air from one side, heats it, arid then delivers the warm air from the other side.

HSPF

Heating Seasonal Performance Factor. It measures the efficiency of the heating portion of your heat pump. The Department of Energy minimum is 6.8. (Similar to SEER.)

HUMIDIFIER

Usually available as an optional accessory, a humidifier is used to inject water vapor into the dry, heated air expelled from a furnace/air handler. The benefits can be improved efficiency and a more comfortable living environment.

HVAC

Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning. Used to refer to the industry at large, particularly dealers of heating and air conditioning equipment.

INDOOR COILS

Split-system home comfort systems use two main components to deliver air for a comfortable living environment. The indoor coil is the device responsible for transferring heat from indoors to the outdoors (or the reverse in the case of a heat pump in heating mode) Most modern systems are designed to achieve maximum efficiency when the indoor unit (coils and blower) is properly matched with the outdoor unit (air conditioner or heat pump). For best results, be sure to replace both the indoor and outdoor units at the same time.

K

A unit used to express 1,000 Watts. Denoted as kW.” Note that the W in ‘kW’ is always capitalized because the Watt unit was named after a person.

KWH

If a unit uses 1,000 Watts in 1 hour, it is said to have an energy rating of lkWh.

MODULATING FURNACES

Furnaces are designed to deliver maximum heat for comfort on the coldest of days In most cases those days account for fewer than three percent of winter days. The rest of the time, your furnace is providing more heat than necessary. Because conventional furnaces are either providing no heat or at full capacity the temperature in your house goes up and down by several degrees adversely affecting your comfort and your energy bills Modulating furnaces solve this problem by varying the amount and temperature of air delivered between different capacities so that the air flowing out of the registers is always at the temperature you determine This results in lower operating costs, more comfortable temperatures throughout the house and quieter operation.

PACKAGE UNIT

Equipment in which all heating and cooling components are located in one cabinet. Installed either beside or on top of a home or business.

REFRIGERANT

The liquid used to absorb and transfer heat from one part of the home comfort system to another.

REFRIGERANT LINES

Copper lines used to transfer the refrigerant between the outdoor unit and the indoor unit.

SEER

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. Used to express the efficiency of an air conditioning unit, or a heat pump in cooling mode. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the unit. The Department of Energy minimum is 10.

SPLIT SYSTEM

A home comfort system that uses an indoor and an outdoor component to deliver comfortable air to a living environment.

SRN

The Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute performs tests and assigns a Sound Rating Number (SRN) to units. A lower SRN rating indicates a quieter unit with average SRNs of between 74dB and 80dB.

THERMOSTAT

A temperature-measuring device used to control the operation of home comfort systems to maintain a comfortable temperature within the house. Programmable thermostats allow you to program different temperatures for different times of the day.

TON

The ton ratings you see here have nothing to do with the weight of the unit. In fact, a ton is simply 12,000 BTUs (see BTU definition on this page). A typical home cooling/heating system uses heat pumps or air conditioners with a capacity of between 1.5 and 5 tons.

UPFLOW

A term used to describe the direction of airflow through a furnace. An upflow furnace takes return air from the bottom, heats it, and then delivers the warm air from the top.

WATT/WATTS

Electrical power also expressed as ‘W’ For example a 100W globe consumes 100 Watts of electrical power The W in Watt is always uppercase because it is named after a person.

ZONE/ZONING

A home may be divided into several different areas, or zones, to better control the temperatures throughout the house The process of dividing your home into different zones is called zoning.

Verified Google Reviews!

Glen Pratt
Glen Pratt
22:48 04 Jan 18
I am new homeowner and had never got a heater inspection/tune-up... I scheduled one with Precision and had a great experience. My technician Steve was timely, professional, (funny), and honest. He showed me a few ways to increase the life of my system while also improving the quality of my air and lowering my utility bill. I recommend Precision Air for sure.read more
Corey Cronk
Corey Cronk
18:59 05 Jan 18
Precision (Mike + Team) were all a pleasure to work with. Work was done quickly with no mess and everyone was very professional. I will surely share my experience with friends and family. Do not hesitate to work with Mike and his team.read more
Nadja Frist
Nadja Frist
20:50 17 Jun 16
Were so glad we decided to go with Precision Air Heating & Cooling for our new AC and duct work, we couldn’t be happier. They sincerely care about their customers, have pride in their company and their work, and stand behind it. Without a doubt they are the best of the best. Any questions or concerns we had were addressed. We can’t say enough about how impressed we are of their knowledge, professionalism and care for us as clients. Precision Air Heating & Cooling, you are top notch, truly the best! Thank you for all that you’ve done!read more
Charlie Strickler
Charlie Strickler
19:53 24 Oct 16
I hired these guys to service my old boiler and radiator heating system. The unit was made in 1987 so I was expecting to have to get a new unit. While it does need to be replaced eventually I was happy that they didn't make me feel like I had to. They just serviced it and gave me a recommendation for a new one. They seem like honest guys. Thanks.read more
Exposurein
Exposurein
20:46 05 Mar 15
You installed new high efficient gas tank-less heater this winter and I wanted to wait to give a full review. Everything with the installation was very easy from Tim making the appointment showing up on time and being very helpful through our decision process. He did not try to get us to buy with all kind of specials like some of the other companies. One large company would not leave my home unless we signed that day. We had to throw them out all they were concerned with was selling us a heater! When Lou the installation manager came out to do the materials list he was polite and attentive to our needs. The men did not make do or improvise because they had all the right parts and it looks much better than my neighbors who used another local company. Greg did a great install on our oil to gas conversion. I could not believe that small wall hung unit would heat our home. Well it not only heat our home and hot water it reduced our costs a whole bunch! We normally used 900 gallons of oil at an average cost of 3.75 for yearly budget of 3400. This winter we only spent just over $600. Thank you Precision Air for guiding us on our new tank-less heating system and being so professional. read more
Bob Weber
Bob Weber
20:17 15 May 18
Precision Air was professional, courteous and did a great job. Would recommend them to anyone doing a oil heat to natural gas/central air conversion. As is usual there were challenges with an old house and they knew exactly what to do. We're lovin' the nice, cool, allergen free environment on these surprise 90* days!read more
Leslie Delhaie
Leslie Delhaie
16:41 05 Jun 18
We used Precision Air for a new/replacement installation. Precision Air was one of four installers that we met with and received pricing from. They were not the cheapest of the quotes but we chose them based on all factors. The entire process from the initial phone contact to the completion of my PECO rebate forms after the installation was handled with friendly professionalism - almost as though we were a friend of the family (we were not). And although they were not the cheapest of those interviewed, they gave us the most value for our dollar and their cost was well under (less than half of) our highest quote for a comparable system.read more
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675 Tower Lane
West Chester, PA 19380

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