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HVAC Dictionary

Want to improve your HVAC vocabulary? We've got a list of terms to help.


AccuClean™

Brand name for American Standard Heating and Air Conditioning's whole-home air filtration that removes up to 99.98 percent of airborne allergens from the filtered air in your home.

AccuLink™ Communicating System

AccuLink™ Communicating System is American Standard’s integrated and self-configuring system that makes it possible for your components to automatically talk to each other. It lets you remotely adjust settings and provides proactive alerts so you know your system is working at its best.

AFUE

Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. AFUE is a rating that reflects how efficiently a gas furnace converts fuel to energy. An AFUE of 90 means that approximately 90 percent of the fuel is utilized to provide warmth to your home, while the remaining 10 percent escapes as exhaust.

Air Cleaner

A device that removes allergens, pollutants and other undesirable particles from air that is heated or cooled.

Air Filtration System

A device that removes allergens, pollutants and other undesirable particles from air that is heated or cooled.

Air Handler

The indoor component of your air conditioner or heating system that moves air through your home.

Allergen

A substance that causes an allergic reaction. It includes dust, pollen, pet hair and dander, dust mites, mildew, lint, fungus, most tobacco smoke, cooking grease and bacteria. Test.

All-In-One System

An air conditioning and/or heating system in which all components are located in one cabinet. Used in certain localities and for certain building types, the all-in-one system is installed either beside or on top of your home.

BTU

British Thermal Unit. In scientific terms, it represents the amount of energy required to raise one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. One BTU is the equivalent of the heat given off by a single wooden kitchen match. For your home, it represents the measure of heat given off when fuel is burned for heating, or the measure of heat extracted from your home for cooling.

Capacity

The output or producing capability of a piece of cooling or heating equipment. Cooling and heating capacity are normally referred to in BTUs.

CFM

Cubic Feet per Minute, a standard of airflow measurement. A typical air conditioning system produces 400 CFM per ton of air conditioning.

Comfort-R™

Comfort-R™ is American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning's process for reducing your home's humidity and maintaining a comfortable temperature. Set by the dealer, Comfort-R™ ramps up the airflow in your home—making your home cooler and more comfortable faster.

Compressor

The heart of an air conditioning or heat pump system. It is part of the outdoor unit that pumps refrigerant. The compressor maintains adequate pressure to cause refrigerant to flow in sufficient quantities in order to meet the cooling requirements of the system and your home.

Condenser Coil

Located in the outdoor unit, the coil dissipates heat from the refrigerant, changing the refrigerant from vapor to liquid. In American Standard units, the coil is called Spine Fin™.

Control

A temperature-control device, typically found on a wall inside the home. It consists of a series of sensors and relays that monitor and control the functions of a heating and cooling system. American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning's programmable controls allow you to program different levels of comfort for different times of the day.

Cycling

Refers to the process of an HVAC system turning on and off. Some systems require less cycling than others, leading to higher energy efficiency and less wear on the system.

Damper

Found in ductwork, this movable plate opens and closes to control airflow. Dampers are used effectively in zoning to regulate airflow to certain rooms.

Ductwork

Pipes or channels that carry air throughout your home.

Energy Star®

A program developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in order to reduce the nation's energy consumption. ENERGY STAR® -qualified heating equipment can be up to 15 percent more efficient than standard models. ENERGY STAR® -qualified cooling equipment can be up to 7 percent more efficient than minimum-standard equipment.

Furnace

An indoor heating unit that works in conjunction with an air conditioner or heat pump.

Heat Pump

An outdoor unit that warms your home in winter and cools your home in summer.

HEPA Filter

A High Efficiency Particulate Absorbing filter. A HEPA filter removes particles from the air by trapping them as air flows through.

Home Automation

Anything that gives you remote or automatic control of things around your home, including but not limited to your HVAC, lighting or security system.

HSPF

Heating Seasonal Performance Factor. Refers to the efficiency of the heating mode of heat pumps over an entire heating season: The higher the number, the more efficient the unit.

Humidifier

A device that adds moisture to dry indoor air during wintertime and in hot, dry climates.

Humidity

The amount of moisture in the air. Variable speed systems can reduce this moisture for added comfort.

HVAC

The classic acronym for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning. Today, an HVAC system also includes air cleaning and moisture control.

Hybrid Comfort System

A home comfort system that combines a heat pump with a gas furnace (also available in packaged systems). For areas with colder temperatures, combining electric heating (heat pump) with gas heating (furnace) lets you choose from two fuel sources in order to respond to fluctuations in utility costs.

Indoor/Outdoor System

Refers to a comfort system consisting of components in two locations. Common examples include an outside unit, such as an air conditioner, and an indoor unit, such as a furnace with a coil.

Indoor Coil

The other, less visible half of your outdoor unit. It's attached to your furnace or air handler. As indoor air flows across it, heat and moisture are drawn out, leaving air that is cool, comfortable and conditioned.

Load Calculation

A detailed analysis of your home's energy needs conducted by your dealer to help determine which comfort system is best for your home.

Matched System

A heating and cooling system wherein all components are matched in capacity and efficiency. This enables your system to perform at its best, and most efficient, for longer.

Modulating Heating

Fully modulating heating provides greater fuel efficiency and ideal comfort control by constantly adjusting to changing temperatures in your home.

NATE

North American Technician Excellence. This is the nationwide certification program for home heating and cooling technicians. It's the only certification that is recognized by the entire industry.

Nexia™ Home Intelligence

Nexia™ Home Intelligence is a home automation system that, when paired with an American Standard AccuLink™ Platinum XV Control or an AccuLink™ Remote Control, makes it possible to manage your home’s HVAC system, locks, lights, security and more by computer or most web-enabled cell phones.

Outdoor Coil

Located in the outdoor unit, the coil dissipates heat from the refrigerant, changing the refrigerant from vapor to liquid. In American Standard units, the coil is called Spine Fin™.

Outdoor Unit

The outdoor portion of a split system, such as an air conditioner or heat pump. May also be a packaged air conditioning and/or heating system in which all components are located in one cabinet.

Packaged System

An air conditioning and/or heating system in which all components are located in one cabinet. Used in certain localities and for certain building types, the all-in-one system is installed either beside or on top of your home.

Refrigerant

A substance that produces a cooling effect. It's used in most air conditioning and cooling systems.

SEER

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. This is a rating that measures the cooling efficiency of a heat pump or air conditioner. The higher the number, the more efficient the unit.

SEET

Seasonal Extreme Environmental Test. This is the American Standard testing facility for heating and air conditioning systems, where the equivalent of five years of operation is condensed into 16 weeks of testing under harsh conditions. American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning wants to ensure your new system will be as reliable as possible.

Smart Home

A smart home features an advanced system that offers remote or automatic control of the systems around your home, including but not limited to, your HVAC system, lighting or security system.

Spine Fin™

A revolutionary technology that makes stronger, more efficient cooling coils. Spine Fin™ consists of thousands of tiny fins bonded to continuous aluminum refrigerant tubing. The tiny fins create a greater surface area, helping it to more efficiently transfer more heat from your home. American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning features Spine Fin™ coils in many of our outdoor products.

Split System

Refers to a comfort system consisting of components in two locations. Common examples include an outside unit, such as an air conditioner, and an indoor unit, such as a furnace with a coil.

Thermostat

A temperature-control device, typically found on a wall inside the home. It consists of a series of sensors and relays that monitor and control the functions of a heating and cooling system. American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning's programmable controls allow you to program different levels of comfort for different times of the day.

Ton

A unit of measurement used for determining cooling capacity. One ton is the equivalent of 12,000 BTUs per hour.

Two-stage Heating / Two-stage Cooling

Two-stage heating and cooling is considered to be more efficient, because it operates at a low, energy-saving speed most of the time. However, on days when more heating or cooling is required, it switches to the next stage for maximum comfort.

Variable-Speed Motor

The fan motor inside higher efficiency indoor and outdoor units is designed to change its speed based on your home's heating and air conditioning requirements. Working in conjunction with your thermostat, it keeps the appropriate-temperature air (e.g., warm air on cold days) circulating throughout your home, reducing temperature variances. The variable-speed motor also increases dehumidification and is quiet because it runs at a lower speed most of the time. Plus, the consistent air circulation eliminates noisy startups and shutdowns.

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