HVAC Terminology 101 (Pt. 1)
Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning
The Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute is a nonprofit, voluntary organization of manufacturers of air conditioning, refrigeration, and heating products. It publishes standards for testing and rating heat pumps and air conditioners in order to provide the consumer with a standardized unit of comparison between equipment of various manufacturers.
Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association
The Department of Energy is the federal agency in charge of monitoring the consumption of energy sources.
A Watt is a unit of electricity.
A kilowatt is 1,000 units of electricity.
A kilowatt hour is the amount of kilowatts of electricity used in one hour of operation.
A therm is a unit of measure for natural gas. You will find this term used on your gas bill.
A British Thermal Unit is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water (about one pint) by one degree Fahrenheit.
Btu’s per hour
A ton s a unit of measure for the cooling capacity of an air conditioner or a heat pump. To determine the number of tons of cooling you must take the Btu’s per hour and divide by 12,000 (Btuh/12,000). Typical sizes for single family residences are between 2-5 tons. For example, a 3-ton air conditioner will remove 36,000 Btuh (3 X 12,000).
The actual capacity of the unit will change based on indoor and outdoor conditions. The published rating of a unit is based on its performance at the ARI standard temperature levels: 95°deg;F outdoors, and 80°deg;F indoors.