A Simple, Yet Essential, Review of Some HVAC Service Acronyms

HVAC service is a highly specialized field; as such there are a handful of phrases, acronyms, and terms that only air conditioning and heating contractors or the HVAC educated understand. While this can seem a little intimidating at first, simply getting a hold of some of the essential terms and labels associated with HVAC can make you more knowledgeable and prepared for making decisions concerning your HVAC services, and especially which system will be most efficient.

The following is our brief, tip-of-the-iceberg glossary of popular HVAC service acronyms that distinguish between the qualities of units.

BTU – British Thermal Unit is traditionally a unit of energy output. BTU is used for measuring heat, but in terms of HVAC, the BTU is used as an indicator of how much energy an HVAC unit is producing. This can be in terms of cooling, heating, or air purifying. hvac repair paramus nj

SEER – Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio has become a standard rating of efficiency for HVAC systems. Mathematically, SEER is calculated by dividing the BTU of a typical cooling season by the total electrical energy input for the same period. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the machine is. In the United States, all new residential systems are required to have a SEER rating of at least 13, with a rating of 14 being qualification for an ENERGY STAR label. Currently residential air conditioning units can reach a SEER of 27.2, with even stronger units on the horizon once certain technological barriers are crossed.

HSPF – Heating Seasonal Performance Factor is strongly correlated with SEER, but focuses upon the heat output of a unit rather than its cooling efficiency. Mathematically, HSPF is the BTU of heat produce in a season divided by the watt-hours of energy used. If the resulting figure is over or equal to 8 HSPF, the system is considered being highly efficient and could be eligible for a US tax credit.

AFUE – Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency is a thermal efficiency measurement for combustion units such as furnaces and boilers. Furnace repair and replacement is expensive, that is why a highly AFUE rated unit will make the best out of the change, when necessary. The number itself is a dimensionless ratio to express the efficiency of the output compared to the input of the system; e.g., if a system has a 100 BTU input with a 90 BTU heat output, than the AFUE would be 90%. For boiler repair, AFUE is an easy, go-to rating to distinguish between systems for a final decision.



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