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Glossary of Terms

Here is a list of terms commonly used in the industry.

Air Handler
The indoor part of the air conditioner. It houses the evaporator coil and the blower.

British Thermal Unit. The quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit (see "Ton").

Cubic Feet per Minute. This is a measure of air flow.

The component inside the condenser that pumps the Freon (coolant) through the pipes in a recirculating manner. Think of it as the engine in your air conditioner.

The outdoor section of your air conditioner. Simplified, it has two functions: To condense the Freon (coolant) from a gas to a liquid, and to release the stored heat into the outside air.

Located inside the air handler, its primary purpose is to absorb the heat and moisture (humidity) from the recirculated air inside your home.

Heat Pump
A true reverse-cycle air conditioner. An air conditioner removes heat from inside your house and releases it outside. A heat pump works the same way, but also has the capability to reverse this process, so on cold days it can pick up heat from outside and release it indoors.

The Heating Seasonal Performance Factor rating. This is for heat pumps—the higher the rating, the better the energy performance.

R-22 Refrigerant
A chlorine-based refrigerant currently being phased out of use.

R-410A Refrigerant
A chlorine-free refrigerant—environmentally friendly.

Scroll Compressor
A unique compressor that uses circular motion rather than a piston motion to compress the refrigerant.

The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, is an energy efficiency rating for air conditioners. The higher the SEER, the better the energy performance of the air conditioner.

An adjustable wall-mounted device that controls the room temperature by turning the air conditioner on or off.

A unit of measure for cooling capacity. One ton is equal to 12,000 BTUs. A formula incorporating the square footage of your home is used to calculate the proper size of air conditioning unit necessary to cool your home.

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