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Air Conditioning Terms You Should Know

We all know the feeling of being completely lost when someone starts using a specialized vocabulary we’re unfamiliar with. The problem arises because the people using that specialized vocabulary have used it so long, they’ve forgotten what it was like to not know those terms, and they toss phrases and acronyms around as if they were well-known. With that in mind, here are some common air conditioning terms that will help you better understand what your air conditioning technician is talking about. This is not a complete list, of course, but it will help bridge the gap between not understanding and having an understanding that will help you in the future.

BTU or Size

To better understand the concept of air conditioning sizing, let’s start with the fact that air conditioning cools your home by removing heat that has accumulated within it. The term used to measure heat is a BTU, also known as a British Thermal Unit, and it refers to the amount of heat that can be removed from your home per hour. Portable or window air conditioning systems generally refer to this number directly, but your home cooling system applies it in a different way. In most instances, central air systems are rated with the numbers 1 through 5. Each of these numbers represents how much heat your air conditioning can remove from your home in an hour. One ton is equal to 12,000 BTUs of heat per hour, thus a one-ton unit removes 12,000 BTUs, a two-ton unit removes 24,000 BTUs an hour, and so forth. If your home generates 34,000 BTUs an hour of heat, you’ll need a three-ton unit (36,000 BTUs) to cool your home effectively.

Load Calculation

Knowing how much heat needs to be removed from your home is exactly why a reputable air conditioning company completes a load calculation on your home before determining what size system you need. A system that’s too small will not cool your home, and one that is too large will cost more to operate. A load calculation takes the size of your home into consideration along with other factors such as the layout of your home, as well as the number and type of windows and doors. Your AC technician will be glad to explain how the load calculation on your home is determined. When this is done properly, you won’t be getting a cookie-cutter assessment of what size your home needs. The load calculation on your home will be individualized to your home’s circumstances, this allowing for a better determination of your needs.

Efficiency Rating

Efficiency ratings are applied to modern appliances to assist you in knowing whether you’re getting an efficient model or one that really doesn’t do a very good job in terms of energy usage. When it comes to air conditioning equipment, there are two terms to remember.

The Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) and the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) each provide numbers that can tell you how efficient a particular unit is in performing its designed task. EER ratings are typically 9.7 or higher, and SEER ratings are 13 and higher. In general, the higher the rating, the more efficient the unit. Your air conditioning technician will gladly explain your system’s rating if you have questions.

Other Terms

You’ll discover that air conditioning terminology makes use of a lot of terms that most people rarely use in day-to-day conversation. When you’re having problems with your system or you’re looking at buying a new system, it’s important to make certain you know what you’re getting. Never hesitate to ask your air condition technician. The experts at Comfort Experts, Inc. are trained to give you the best service, as well as the best information available. Your understanding is just as important as your comfort.