Continuing a Tradition of Service for Over Ninety Five Years!

HVAC Terms West Volusia Homeowners Should Know

Posted on: November 11, 2014

A little understanding goes a long way. That adage holds true for HVAC terms homeowners need to know. Why, you ask, should you take the time to learn heating, ventilation and air conditioning terminology when you’re not an HVAC technician? When it comes time to upgrade your air conditioner or heater, you need to lower energy consumption, or hire a technician to perform maintenance, it’s helpful to be at least somewhat familiar with the ins and outs of HVAC.

HVAC Terms West Volusia Homeowners Should Know

HVAC Terms West Volusia Homeowners Should Know

  • Seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) is an industry term used to show the efficiency rating of an A/C over one cooling season. The higher the rating, the higher the system’s efficiency. Higher-rated systems employ more advanced, innovative features that consume much less energy than their standard counterparts. Minimum standard ratings for SEER start at 13 and can go as high as 26. Heat pumps are also assigned a SEER rating for their cooling function.
  • Annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) is the efficiency rating used for furnaces or heaters to show how much energy a system consumes in relation to the heat it gives out. Higher-rated systems are more efficient, just like SEER for air conditioners. But the AFUE rating is a little more straightforward then SEER. A 90 AFUE furnace uses 90 percent of the energy it consumes to generate heat, while losing 10 percent of the energy through the exhaust.
  • This efficiency rating is for a heat pump’s heating mode, noting its performance over one heating season. Higher numbers are more beneficial here, too, and minimum standards for HSPF start at 6.8.
  • Before you install any HVAC equipment, your technician should follow industry standard best practices for sizing the equipment to meet the heating or cooling load of your home. As such, Manual J is the method experts use to size the equipment. The calculation takes into consideration the heating/cooling load of the home, the amount of conditioned air that’s lost, the home’s efficiency (air leakage, insulation, window efficiency, etc.), and regional temperatures to come up with the right-sized HVAC system to ensure home comfort. Without a load calculation performed, you could end up with a system that’s too small to comfortably cool your home, or one that’s too large. Both scenarios are problematic, and result in problems like an uncomfortable home, uncontrolled humidity and increased wear and tear on the equipment.
  • Air conditioners and heat pumps employ a set of coils to help facilitate the heat-transfer process. The evaporator coils inside the air handler absorb heat from inside the home, while the coils in the outdoor condenser release heat to the outdoors. When dirt buildup occurs on the coils, it hinders the heat-transferring capacity of the A/C, which can increase energy bills, reduce cooling capacity, and more. It’s important to know the role that coils play so that you prioritize annual maintenance, a service that includes coil cleaning.
  • This gas moves through the sealed air conditioning and heat pump systems that power homes across West Volusia. Refrigerant lines must remain tightly sealed, as leaks release greenhouse gases known to damage the environment. Additionally, a system that runs on too little refrigerant eventually wreaks havoc, decreasing performance, increasing energy bills, and leading to a failing system. Regular maintenance check-ups include checking the refrigerant levels and maintaining refrigerant lines.
  • The series of interconnected tubes that runs throughout your home, ductwork is the system that delivers cooled and heated air to the rooms in your home. Your HVAC technician should occasionally check the balance of airflow through the delivery and return air ducts, as well as inspect the ductwork for contaminants and debris. Every three years or so, experts recommend that homeowners have their ducts cleaned to remove dirt, debris and possible contaminants like mold.

At Jacob Heating & Air Conditioning, we’re happy to take the time to help our customers learn as much as they need and are willing to know about air conditioning, heating and ventilation, because ultimately, we want you to be an informed consumer who makes educated decisions about your HVAC system and the energy efficiency of your home. Give us a call today to ask a question or schedule HVAC maintenance.