Many of the technical jargon that we use in the heating and air conditioning business, aren’t commonly known by homeowners. So, let’s define some of these terms.

This acronym stands for Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning

Air Conditioning or Heating “System”
A system refers to a group of matched components. These components usually consist of a furnace, a cooling coil and a condenser. These components must match to arrive at their particular efficiency rating.

Efficiency (SEER & AFUE)
This is a measurement of how much gas or electricity each system will use compared to another.

Air conditioning systems use the term SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). The minimum SEER rating is currently 13. Systems with much higher ratings are available.

Gas heating systems use another acronym known as AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency). The minimum furnace efficiency is currently 80%. Furnace AFUE ratings as high as 96% are available.

First, know that efficiency and capacity are not related. Every home needs a specific amount of air conditioning and heating to keep the occupants comfortable. Each heating and air conditioning system produces a specific amount of heat and cooling. This is measured in BTU’s (British Thermal Units). The total capacity needed is determined by a Manual J Load calculation.

Manual J Load calculation
This calculation, which is now usually performed on a computer, uses details of the building to determine the capacity required. Room size, window size and type, insulation in the walls and attic, orientation to the sun are just a few of the items that are taken into account to arrive at the proper capacity needed. (By the way, forget that rule of thumb that says you’ll need 1 Ton for every 400 square feet)

A thermostat is a device that measures temperature and turns on or off a heating or cooling system when it reaches the temperature that has been set. All modern thermostats are digital, and usually programmable so that they can be set to provide different settings at various times of day.

Heat Pump
A heat pump is an air conditioning system that reverses the flow of refrigerant from the condenser. This allows it to heat a home with the same unit that cools it. Heat pumps are most often used where natural gas is not currently available.

For more terms visit our website – You’ll find many informative articles.


Did you ever wonder how your heating and air conditioning system works? Did you ever want to know more about thermostats and ducts? Were you confused about which air filter is the right one for your system?

Most homeowners could use some unbiased information about their heating and air conditioning systems. So, every month we conduct a Homeowners Workshop where homeowners from the community can pick up tips about their own comfort system.

In our 2-hour workshop we discuss furnaces, condensers, heat pumps, ducting, current efficiency ratings, rebates, the Freon phase-out, zoning, component matching, grilles, repairs, maintenance and a variety of other related subjects. We will also discuss SEER & AFUE ratings and how much you can expect to save on your utility bills with high-efficiency equipment.

Bring a list of questions; this is your time to get them all answered. There is no cost to attend but reservations are required due to limited space. Spend a little time with us and you’ll take home some truly useful information.

Attendees will also receive a free copy of our Heating and Air Conditioning Buyers Guide. So, plan now to attend. Call Alex at (818) 886-2600 to reserve your seat.

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