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Common HVAC Terms to Learn Before Your Next Appointment

Have you ever felt like your air conditioner technician is speaking a different language? We get it. HVAC terminology can be overwhelming and confusing if you aren’t familiar with the industry.

You don’t have to be a certified HVAC tech with specialized knowledge– leave that to us! But a little education can go a long way to helping you better understand how your AC unit works.

Here are some common HVAC terms our team might use at your next appointment.

  • ACH – An acronym for Air Changes per Hour; refers to the number of times per hour air is supplied or removed from a room.
  • Air handler – Installed inside the home, the handler works with an outdoor AC unit and/or heat pump to make the air hot or cold. The handler is typically a metal casing that contains the evaporator coil and blower fan.
  • Blower fan – Sends conditioned air from the furnace, heat pump, or air conditioner into the home through the duct systems and vents.
  • Compressor – Part of an outdoor unit that compresses and pumps refrigerant to cool the house to the desired temperature.
  • Condenser coil – Located in the outdoor AC unit, condenser coils release heat to the outside air.
  • Condensing unit – The common name for the outdoor component of an air conditioning system, containing the condenser coil and compressor.
  • Ductwork – Specialized pipes or channels that allow airflow (including supply, return and exhaust air) within a home.
  • Dehumidifier – Equipment that reduces the level of humidity from the air by cooling air to the point where water turns to liquid from vapor form.
  • Energy Star® – A program by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designed to help consumers and businesses save money by choosing energy-efficient products and technologies.
  • Evaporator coil – Located inside the indoor air handler, evaporator coils extract indoor heat from the air and add it to the refrigerant.
  • Heat pump – A compressor that cycles both hot and cold air, designed to absorb heat from a cold space then release the heat to a warmer space.
  • HVAC – An acronym for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning
  • MERV rating – The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rate how efficiently an AC air filter removes particles from the air. The higher the rating, the smaller the captured particles.
  • Refrigerant – A chemical with heat-absorbing properties that can change from a vapor to a liquid and back again under pressure. The popular refrigerant R-22, or Freon, began a phase-out in January 2020, and will slowly be replaced by R-410A and R134.
  • Split system – An HVAC system that has both indoor and outdoor units that are connected by copper tubing.
  • Thermostat – A device that controls the temperature of your HVAC system.

For additional AC terminology, check out manufacturers Amana or Lennox for in-depth glossaries.

Our DDI team is ready to help!

At DDI Southeast, we want our customers to fully comprehend our explanations and feel comfortable asking questions. Understanding these common HVAC terms and how your unit works will help us partner together to maintain your system for long-lasting efficiency.

Do you have questions about your AC unit? Our team would love to chat!

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