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Industry Info

Energy Star

Terms & Definations

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Glossary


Annualized Fuel Utilization Efficiency

Is a measure of your furnace's heating efficiency. The higher the AFUE percentage, the more efficient the furnace. The minimum percentage established by the DOE for furnaces is 78%.


AHRI

Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute. An industry trade association that develops standards for measuring and certifying product performance.


Air Conditioning

It refers to the cooling and dehumidification of indoor air for thermal comfort.


Airflow

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.


BTU

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.


BTU/h

British thermal units per hour.


CAE

The Combined Annual Efficiency is a measure of the amount of heat produced for every dollar of fuel consumed for both home and water heating.


Carbon Monoxide

An odorless, colorless, tasteless, poisonous and flammable gas that is produced when carbon burns with insufficient air.


Central System

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

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.


Compressor

The part of the outdoor air conditioner or heat pump that compresses and pumps refrigerant to meet household cooling requirements.


Condenser Coil

The outdoor portion of an air conditioner or heat pump that either releases or collects heat, depending on the time of the year.


DB

A decibel is a unit used to measure the relative intensity of sound.


Dual Fuel

A comfort system that pairs an electric heat pump with a gas furnace, providing an energy-efficient alternative to the conventional furnace/air conditioner combination.


EnerGuide

EnerGuide is a Government of Canada initiative that rates the energy consumption and efficiency of household appliances, heating equipment, cooling equipment, ventilating equipment, new houses and personal vehicles. The EnerGuide label is used to make informed buying decisions by comparing the energy performance of different products.


ENERGY STAR®

The international Energy Star symbol identifies major electrical appliances that meet or exceed technical specifications designed to ensure that they are among the most energy efficient in their class, without compromising performance.


Evaporator Coil

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.


Geothermal

Geothermal systems use the solar energy that is stored year-round just beneath the earth's surface. This energy is free, unlimited, 100% renewable. A geothermal system is a proven cost-effective way of heating, cooling and providing hot water in a home while emitting absolutely no carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide or other harmful greenhouse gases.


Heat Exchanger

Located in the furnace, the heat exchanger transfers heat to the surrounding air, which is then pumped throughout the home.


Heat Pump

A heat pump is an HVAC unit that heats or cools by moving heat. During the winter, a heat pump draws heat from outdoor air and circulates it through your home's air ducts. In the summer, it reverses the process and removes heat from your house and releases it outdoors.


Horizontal Flow

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.


HSPF

HSPF stands for Heating Seasonal Performance Factor and measures heat pump efficiency. The minimum set by the Department of Energy is 6.8 HSPF and for Energy Star, 8 HSPF. The higher the HSPF, the greater the energy economy.


Humidifier

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.


HVAC

Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning.


Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat gives the user the option of changing the temperature setting automatically during the nights and during the work day when the occupants have left the house. It can help reduce overall household energy consumption.


QAI

Indoor air quality (IAQ). An HVAC industry term to define the characteristics of a comfortable home.


Refrigerant


The fluid used for heat transfer in a refrigerating system; the refrigerant absorbs heat a low temperature and low pressure and transfers heat a higher temperature and a higher pressure, usually with changes of state.


R410A Refrigerant

R-410A is a chlorine-free, non-ozone depleting refrigerant that most manufacturers have selected to replace R-22.


Scroll Compressor

A specially designed compressor that works in a circular motion, as opposed to up-and-down piston action.


SEER

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


Split System

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.


Thermostat

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.


Ton

Unit of measurement for determining cooling capacity. One ton equals 12,000 BTU/h.


Two-Stage Operation

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.


Zoning

In air conditioning, the division of a home or a building into separately controlled spaces for enhanced comfort