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There are so many terms and acronyms when it comes to AC systems that it can be a difficult subject to understand.  At some point or another you may end up needing some AC repair, and it will help to know what the AC repair technician is talking about. This isn’t a complete guide and it won’t make you a cooling expert, but it will shed some light on terms you may not know.

BTU or Size

A cooling system may have a BTU number.  The term stands for British Thermal Units, which is a common energy term.  This is used to show how much heat is being removed per hour.  You’ll generally see this number listed on portable and window air conditioners, although you may notice your home cooling system works a little differently.  It will most likely be given a number 1 through 5.  This represents the number of tons.  Each ton means that the unit is removing 12,000 BTUs of heat per hour.  So if your system is rated at 3 tons, it is removing 36,000 British Thermal Units of heat every hour.

Load Calculation

The load calculation is used to determine the heat gain and heat loss of a structure so that the equipment installed in a house won’t be too big or too small.  The load calculation is a huge factor to consider when replacing an HVAC system in your home.  If you get one too big, you’ll waste money and energy.  But if you get a unit that is too small, your home may not be comfortable.  Typically, the load calculation is something that your heating and cooling company can figure out based on the size and layout of your home.

Efficiency Rating

You may have been to an appliance store and noticed that the efficiency of a product is now in the spotlight.  This is also the case when it comes to air conditioning.  The rating to pay attention to when looking for a cooling system is the EER, which stands for Energy Efficiency Ratio.  This is usually displayed as a number with the minimum standard being a 9.7 or higher set by the U.S. Department of Energy.  Another rating system is the SEER or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating.  It is similar to the EER, but the minimum rating starts at 13.

Air conditioning terminology can be very confusing.  This list will help you when looking at what type of cooling system you have or possibly may want to get.  There are many other terms that have to deal with the cooling unit itself.  Terms like condenser, coil, and compressor are common, along with others that were not discussed here.  You may find yourself hearing some of them when dealing with a professional, and understanding general terms will help you to comprehend what an AC repair tech is talking about. If there is an issue with the parts mentioned above, it’s possibly an issue that is best left up to those who know what they are talking about, like the experts at Comfort Experts, Inc.

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