We have all been there. Let’s say that something in your house requires a little TLC. So, you speak to a service provider on the phone or in person about some new part that you need or the state of something in your house. You hang up the phone or walk away from the conversation and then try to relay that message to another person. And bam! The what-did-they-say-about-that-thingy moment happens. Those kinds of moments happen because we are unfamiliar with a particular word. So naturally, it’s not always easy to remember what it is.
When speaking with your air conditioning service provider you may also encounter some terms you may have heard before but aren’t exactly sure what they mean. So, here are some of the more common ones that will help you avoid the aforementioned moments should you ever come across them:
- H.V.A.C. – Stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. This is a broad spectrum class of contractors that deal with most comfort needs. Most comfort contractors deal with these three classifications and refrigeration as well. Some even work on major household appliances
- BTU – Stands for British thermal unit, and is a measurement of heat. A BTU is the amount of heat that is needed to raise or lower the temperature of one pound of water by one degree. This is how air conditioning and refrigeration is rated by the use of BTU’s or tons. (1 ton of cooling equals 12,000 BTU/hour, and most residential air conditioners in this area are between 2 and 4tons or 24,000 and 48,000 BTU)
- Sensible Heat – heat that when added or removed causes a change in temperature but not in the state
- Latent Heat – heat that when added or removed causes a change in state but not in temperature
- Humidistat – this is a device that usually installed by the thermostat. Its function is to measure the amount of humidity present and instruct the system to act accordingly
- Supply – this is where the air comes out after being conditioned
- Return – this is where the air goes back into the system
- Air handler – this is the piece of equipment that is usually located in the attic. The air handler contains a coil, a blower and some other miscellaneous controls
- Condensing unit – this is the part that is on the outside of your home, it contains a compressor, a fan, a large coil and some other miscellaneous parts
I hope this helped clear up some questions about a/c terminology.
As always thank you and keep cool!
Bryan Hayes, along with his brother Todd, is a co-owner of a Sanibel Air Conditioning company on Sanibel, FL. They also own and operate an island-based electrical service company Sanctuary Island Electric, Inc. Bryan can be reached at Bryan@Sanibelair.com