A Quick Guide to Cooling Season HVAC Terms

quick guide to HVAC terms

Your cooling system is directly related to your family’s home comfort. The hot and humid summers in Maryland can be excruciating without a working air conditioning system. If you want a cool and comfortable season, it’s important to schedule your HVAC maintenance as soon as possible. But, before you get that tune-up, familiarize yourself with some basic HVAC terms to help you understand and communicate any concerns you may have.

Becoming versed in common cooling season HVAC terminology can help you make more informed decisions and understand your family’s home comfort a little better. Here are some terms to know.

Condenser: An exterior unit of your air conditioner that sits inside a large metal box in your yard (or on the roof) that contains the parts that control the temperature of the refrigerant and pressure. In other words, the parts that make it possible to cool your home.

Compressor: The part inside the condenser that compresses, pumps, and circulates the refrigerant to cool your home.

Condenser coil: A copper coil in the condenser that either releases or collects heat depending on the season.

Evaporator coil: This coil condenses humidity and absorbs the heat from your home. It’s generally located inside the indoor air handler.

MERV: This stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value of an HVAC air filter, which basically means how well the air filter removes particles from the air. Higher MERVs remove smaller particles, and vice versa.

Refrigerant: This is the main component that gives you comfort in the summer. Refrigerant is a chemical that produces a cooling effect while expanding and vaporizing. It relies on pressure changes to replace the heat. The outdoor condenser should state the type of refrigerant your system uses.

SEER: Seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) is a measure of a system’s efficiency. The higher the SEER, the more energy efficient the unit is. The current minimum SEER for today’s units is 13, according to government standards.

Zoning: Controlling comfort based on dividing your home into separate zones.

Knowing and understanding these basic HVAC terms can help you communicate better with your HVAC professional, and therefore better control your home comfort. For more expert advice on terminology and home comfort concerns, contact the professionals at Comfort Tech today.

One thought on “A Quick Guide to Cooling Season HVAC Terms

  1. This list is amazing! I’ve been talking to an HVAC contractor and I haven’t been able to understand most of what he’s talking about, but this has helped a ton. This is literally a Rosetta stone for my conversations with the repairman. I’ve heard of a lot of the terms, just knew them by different names or things. Thank you so much for sharing!

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