A system comprised of an outdoor unit called the evaporator and an indoor unit called the condensing unit.  The evaporator is connected to the condensing unit by copper tubing and electrical wiring which is passed through a 2 1/2" - 3" hole.



Ductless Mini-Split
Air Handler

The indoor part of an air conditioner or heat pump that moves cooled or heated air throughout the ductwork of your home.


British Thermal Unit (BTU)

A measurement 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.


Central Air-Conditioning

A system in which air is cooled at a central location and distributed to and from rooms by one or more fans and ductwork. 



There are typically two HVAC coils in a sytem - the condenser coil in the outside unit and the evaporator coil in the indoor unit.  The coils are what increase or decrease the temperature via heat transfer.



An AC or heat pump compressor is part of an outdoor air conditioner or heat pump that compresses and pumps refrigerant to meet household cooling requirements. 



A condenser (or AC condenser) is the outdoor portion of an air conditioner or heat pump that either releases or collects heat, depending on the time of year. 


Decibel (dB)

A decibel (dB) is a unit used to measure the relative intensity of sound.  For example, sound levels in a library are normally about 40 dB, normal conversation range from 50 to 60 dB, and an operating motorcycle can be as high as 100 dB.


Department of Energy (DOE)

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is a federal agency responsible for monitoring the consumption of energy sources and setting industry-efficiency standards for all heating and cooling units manufactured in the U.S.



Ductwork refers to the system of ducts (metal or synthetic tubes) used to transport air from heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment throughout your home.


A program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designed to help consumers and businesses save money by choosing energy-efficient products and technologies.  Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment with the Energy Star label meets or exceeds federal guidelines for energy-efficient performance.


Energy Star
Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER)

The ratio of cooling capacity to the power input (in watts).  The higher the EER rating, the more efficient the air conditioner. 


The part of an air conditioner or heat pump that absorbs the heat from the air in your home.  It is located inside the air handler or attached to the furnace. 


Evaporator Coil

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


Heat Pump

Heating Seasonal Performance Factor is the heating efficiency rating for heat pumps.  The higher the rating, the more efficient the heat pump. 



Heating, ventilation and air conditioning


NATE Certification

North American Technician Excellence (NATE) conducts rigorous, independent testing verifying the real-world knowledge and application of HVAC technicians and installers.


Programmable Thermostat

A thermostat with the ability to adjust home heating and cooling equipment according to a pre-set schedule.



A chemical that produces a cooling effect while expanding or vaporizing.  All air conditioners and heat pumps utilize refrigerant.


Variable Speed Motor
Zoning System

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio is an energy efficiency rating for air conditioners.  The higher the SEER, the more efficient the unit.


A device that monitors the indoor temperature and automatically adjusts your heating or cooling system to maintain the desired level.


Unit of measurement for determining cooling capacity.  One ton equals 12,000 BtuH.


A motor that operates at a wide range of speeds to precisely control the distribution of heated and cooled air throughout the home.


A type of system that regulates and redirects air to specific areas in the home, often to alleviate the problem of hot or cool spots.  This allows for the creation of customized temperature zones throughout the home for increased comfort and efficiency. 


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