Decoding HVAC Tech Talk: How to Talk to Your Air Conditioning Technician
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It’s that time of year and as the temperatures rise so do the amount of a/c service and repair calls we receive here at A.J. Perri.

Many of our customers have questions about how air conditioners work and how to troubleshoot some common HVAC problems.

If you have ever had to talk to an HVAC technician about your heating or cooling system, you know there are several technical terms involved.

HVAC lingo (that is Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning of course,) can be confusing.

We have put together a “cheat sheet” of common HVAC terms for the next time you need to talk to your technician. For more HVAC terms or detailed explanations visit our online glossary of HVAC and Plumbing terms anytime.

Of course, a reputable heating or cooling company will always take the extra time to make sure that you understand what they are doing when working on or replacing your HVAC equipment. You can always give A.J. Perri a call anytime you have a question.

Common HVAC terms:

ACH– is the air exchange rate of your system. The ACH is equal to the amount of times the volume of the air in your space is replaced by natural or mechanical ventilation in one hour.

Air Cleaner– an air cleaner is a piece of equipment that can remove harmful or unwanted particles and pollutants from your air.  An air cleaner can remove pollen, bacteria, allergens, dust and other pollutants and can help improve the quality of air you breathe indoors. Some air cleaners can be incorporated right into your heating & cooling system.

Air flow– is simply the amount of air your duct system moves. The average air conditioner is built to move approximately 400 cubic feet of air per minute.

Air Handler– your air handler is the central unit in your heating & cooling system and is made up of a blower and other heating and cooling elements.

BTU– stands for British Thermal Unit and is equal to any unit of energy that is used to heat or cool. A unit of energy is measured by the amount of energy it takes to raise one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.

Capacity– is often measured in BTUs and is the amount of output of a piece of heating or cooling equipment.

CFM– the standard airflow measurement stands for Cubic Feet per Minute. 400 CFM is standard for most air conditioners.

Compressor– is the outdoor unit that pumps refrigerant. Your system’s compressor must maintain adequate pressure to pump the right amount of refrigerant to properly cool your home.

Condenser– a coil that is contained in your outdoor unit, the condenser coil dissipates the heat from the refrigerant.

Cycling– is the process of your heating & cooling system turning off and on. The less your system must cycle off and on to cool your home the more efficient.

Ductwork– your ductwork consists of the pipes that move conditioned air throughout your home.

Heat Pump– a heat pump is a piece of heating & cooling equipment that can warm your home in the winter and cool it in the summer. Heat pumps are most useful in mild climates.

SEER– stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The SEER of an air conditioner or heat pump is its cooling efficiency. The higher the SEER rating of an air conditioner or heat pump, the more efficient it is at cooling.

To learn more about your air conditioner or other heating or cooling equipment, please visit our website or blog. If you live in our New Jersey service area and need air conditioner maintenance or repair please give A.J. Perri a call.