Useful HVAC Terms to KnowIt’s often said that HVAC technicians and contractors speak in a different language. There are a ton of HVAC terms specific to the industry that are important, but not well known by most homeowners. While it’s unreasonable to expect homeowners to know them all, it’s a good idea to brush up on a few common terms before a repair visit or when you’re shopping for a new system.

  • Annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE): The AFUE rating of a furnace is arguably its most important characteristic. The AFUE of a unit gives you an overall efficiency you can expect, determined over the typical weather of a year.
  • Airflow: The general term airflow can refer to any movement of air. In the context of most HVAC-related situations, airflow refers to the air that is specifically moving through the system (like in ducts) or home.
  • Cubic feet per minute (CFM): CFM is a volumetric flow rate metric that is commonly referred to when speaking about HVAC systems. In order for a system to function properly, it must maintain a certain airflow speed, typically given in CFM.
  • Energy Star: It is a certification that certain HVAC products can receive if they meet certain performance and efficiency guidelines set by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). If you’re looking for a quality product, the Energy Star designation is an easy way to find one.
  • Seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER): When speaking about air conditioner performance, SEER is the go-to metric. This ratio compares how much cool air a unit can produce compared to the fuel it consumes to do so.
  • Zoning: In order to improve your home’s energy efficiency, a contractor might suggest implementing a zoning system. This allows you to send air in different amounts to certain parts, or “zones”, of your home.

It’s not important or necessary to know all the HVAC terms there are, but it is useful to at least know most of the terms above.

If you’re now ready to speak with HVAC professionals about your Greater Cleveland area home’s HVAC system, contact the experts at Stack Heating & Cooling.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about HVAC terms and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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