Mini-glossary of HVAC Terms - Parker & Sons Skip to content

Mini-glossary of HVAC Terms

You probably know what HVAC stands for by now. And if you don’t, it stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. But there are lots of technical, important terms that only people who work in the industry understand. But since HVAC systems are integral to every household, we thought it would be a good idea to make a list of what we consider to be some of the most useful terms to know if you ever find yourself in need of assistance with your HVAC unit. Without further ado, here is a mini glossary of terms and definitions…

  • Air Handling Unit (AH/AHU): is the unit comprised of cooling and heating elements, humidifiers, chambers, dampers, filter racks, a blower, and other equipment crucial to airflow. It is not, however, part of the air duct system in a structure.
  • Centrifugal Fan: this mechanical fan is used for moving air or other gases through a structure.
  • Chiller: the chiller is a mechanical device that transforms liquid into a cooled liquid, which then flows through structural pipes, passing through the coils in air handling units and fan-coil units etc. that dehumidifies and cools the air you feel when you turn the air conditioning on. The system for water-cooled chillers is a bit different than air-cooled chillers.
  • Coil: the coil is the tool that actually transforms air into either cold or hot when an HVAC unit is turned on via thermostat.
  • Diffuser: the diffuser is responsible for distributing air evenly in different directions in the system of air ducts.
  • Grille: no, this isn’t the type of thing you cook on. The grille is what most people confuse as the “air filter.” Rather, the grille is the metal paneling that covers the ventilation area.
  • SEER: stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, which establishes the rating effectiveness of an HVAC unit by measuring the total energy input during a cooling season. The higher the rating, the more energy efficient the unit is.

And there you have it! Some useful terms to know the next time you’re HVAC unit is acting up.

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