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HVAC Terms You Need to Know

HVAC Terms You Need to Know

Understanding your HVAC system can help you know when it’s time for yearly maintenance or when repairs are needed. And when you schedule either of those appointments, it’s common to hear your HVAC technician say a term you have never heard before.

Here are some Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning terms you need to know:

Important HVAC Terms to Know

Air Handler

This is the system that helps circulate air through the duct system and can be found inside the house. It is generally paired with a heat pump or air conditioner and contains a blower.

Airflow Volume

The amount of air circulating through a space, measured by cubic feet per minute.


HVAC capacity is a measurement of the output of the heating and cooling unit in your home. Measured in BTUs or British Thermal Unit, per hour.

Heat Pump

It may look like a typical AC condensing unit, but it uses electricity to efficiently heat your living space in the winter and cool it in the summer.

Line Set

Two lines of refrigerant that connect the evaporator coil and condensing unit of your system. One is a small, copper tube with liquid, and the other is a large insulated suction line.

Load Calculation

A load calculation will be completed by your HVAC technician to determine how much heating and cooling your home needs for its size and the size of your system.


Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, MERV, is how a filter is rated for your system. The efficiency is better when the rating is better.


Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, SEER is the measure and the rating of the efficiency of an air conditioner. This is determined by the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute. It can be calculated by taking BTU/ hour and dividing it by the watts of electricity.


This measures the capacity of cooling in an air conditioner, in tons or BTU per hour. The tonnage is measuring how much heat the AC can remove, and the amount of energy is needed to raise one pound of water one degree.


The process of moving air in and out of a space by mechanically forced means.

If you’re unsure or have questions on these terms, call a professional. For all of your heating and cooling needs contact Elite Air, Inc. at (609) 527-3354.

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