The term air conditioning refers to the cooling and dehumidification of indoor air for thermal comfort. In a broader sense, the term can refer to any form of cooling, heating, ventilation or disinfection that modifies the condition of air. An air conditioner (AC or A/C in North American English, aircon in British and Australian English) is an appliance, system, or mechanism designed to stabilize the air temperature and humidity within an area (used for cooling as well as heating depending on the air properties at a given time), typically using a refrigeration cycle but sometimes using evaporation, most commonly for comfort cooling in buildings and motor vehicles.
The distribution or movement of air.
Air Handler/Coil Blower
The indoor part of an air conditioner or heat pump that moves cooled or heated air throughout the ductwork of your home. An air handler is usually a furnace or a blower coil.
American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers
ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers) is an organization devoted to the advancement of indoor-environment-control technology in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) industry. ASHRAE was founded in 1894 to serve as a source of technical standards and guidelines. Since that time, it has grown into an international society that offers educational information, courses, seminars, career guidance, and publications. The organization also promotes a code of ethics for HVAC professionals and provides for liaison with the general public. It is based out of the town of Washington D.C.
Microscopic living organisms suspended in the air that grow and multiply in warm, humid places.
BTU/British Thermal Unit
A British thermal unit is a unit of heat energy. One BTU is the amount of heat required to raise one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. The higher the BTU rating, the greater the heating capacity of the system.
An odorless, colorless, tasteless, poisonous and flammable gas that is produced when carbon burns with insufficient air.
Central Air Conditioning System
A system in which air is treated at a central location and distributed to and from rooms by one or more fans and a series of ducts.
CFM/Cubic Feet per Minute
Stands for Cubic Feet per Minute. This measurement indicates how many cubic feet of air pass by a stationary point in one minute. The higher the number, the more air is being moved through the ductwork by the system.
The part of the outdoor air conditioner or heat pump that compresses and pumps refrigerant to meet cooling requirements.
The outdoor portion of an air conditioner or heat pump that either releases or collects heat, depending on the time of the year.
A movable plate, located in the ductwork, that regulates airflow. Dampers are used to direct air to the areas that need it most. Typically used in a zoning application.
The method by which air is channeled from the furnace or the blower coil throughout your home.
Electronic Air Cleaner
An electronic device that filters out large particles and bio aerosols in indoor air.
An EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) designation attached to HVAC products that meet or exceed EPA guidelines for high-efficiency performance above the standard government minimums.
It should be noted that in a thermodynamically closed system, any energy input into the system that is being maintained at a set temperature (which is a standard mode of operation for modern air conditioners) requires that the energy removal rate from the air conditioner increase. This increase has the effect that for each unit of energy input into the system (say to power a light bulb in the closed system) requires the air conditioner to remove that energy. In order to do that the air conditioner must increase its consumption by the inverse of its efficiency times the input unit of energy.
The Environmental Protection Agency develops and enforces federal environmental regulations. The EPA oversees the nationwide Energy Star® program.
The part of the air conditioner or heat pump that is located inside the air handler or attached to the furnace. Its primary function is to absorb the heat from the air in your house.
Heat pump is a term for a type of air conditioner in which the refrigeration cycle is able to be reversed, producing heat instead of cold in the indoor environment.
When an air handler or furnace is positioned on its side and circulates air in one end and out the other. Ideal for attic or crawl space installations.
An indoor air quality device that introduces moisture to heated air as it passes from the furnace into the ductwork for distribution throughout the home.
An automatic device used to maintain humidity at a fixed or adjustable set point.
The MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating of a filter describes the size of the holes in the filter that allow air to pass through. The higher the MERV rating, the smaller the holes in the filter, the higher the efficiency.
A unit of measure equal to one millionth of a meter, or one thousandth of a millimeter.
Air contaminants in the form of gases.
Any substances measuring less than 100 microns in diameter. The EPA has found that small particles (less than 2.5 microns) are responsible for the health effects of greatest concern.
Portable air conditioners
portable air conditioners come with or without wheels in a variety of sizes based on your needs. There’s much more information about these on sites like Home Muse so check out this article to find out more.
A thermostat with the ability to record different temperature/time settings for your heating and/or cooling equipment.
A chlorine-free refrigerant that meets the EPA’s newest, most stringent environmental guidelines.
A chemical that produces a cooling effect while expanding or vaporizing. Most residential air conditioning units contain the standard R-22 refrigerant, or Freon.
Two copper lines that connect the outdoor air conditioner or heat pump to the indoor evaporator coil.
A specially designed compressor that works in a circular motion, as opposed to up-and-down piston action.
The cooling performance of air conditioners and heat pumps is rated using the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) system, which ranges from 13.00 to 20.00+ for new systems. The higher the SEER, the better the efficiency, the greater your energy savings.
A heating and cooling system contained in one outdoor unit.
An HVAC system in which some components are located inside the structure of the house and some are located outside. Split systems should be matched for optimal efficiency.
Usually found on an inside wall, this device operates as a control to regulate your heating and cooling equipment, allowing you to adjust your home comfort at the touch of a switch.
Unit of measurement for determining cooling capacity. One ton equals 12,000 BTU™s.
Provides two levels of heating or cooling output for greater temperature control, energy efficiency and improved indoor air quality.
Variable Speed Motor
A motor that automatically adjusts the flow of warm or cool air for ultimate comfort.
A method of partitioning a home into independently controlled comfort zones for enhanced comfort and efficiency.