Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Institute
American Society of Heating, Refrigerating & Air-Conditioning Engineers
Sheet Metal Workers International Association Local Union 66
Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association Western Washington
Washington State Department of Labor & Industries
Western Washington Sheet Metal Joint Apprenticeship Training Center
Common Heating & Cooling System Components
Air Conditioner — Also known as a condenser, this exterior unit is paired with a coil (also known as an evaporator) to comprise the system that cools the air in your building.
Furnace — This interior unit heats and circulates air throughout a structure's ducts.
Thermostat — This is the temperature control center of your heating and cooling system.
Components That Improve Indoor Air Quality
Germicidal UV Light — Uses UV technology to continuously sterilize and purify the indoor air you breathe and significantly reduce environmental stressors on your immune system.
Central Humidifier — Maintains the proper level of moisture in your building, which reduces static electricity and helps you feel warmer in winter and more comfortable year round.
Energy Recovery Ventilator — An indoor air quality component that brings fresh outside air into your space while expelling stale air.
Electronic Air Cleaner — Additional filtration intended to reduce airborne allergens, providing better air to breathe.
Know Your HVAC Terminology
AFUE — Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency — Measures a gas furnace's efficiency. The higher the AFUE rating, the more efficient the unit.
BTU — British Thermal Unit. Represents the measure of heat given off when fuel is burned for heating.
Capacity — Refers to a unit's ability to cool or heat a space. Usually measured in BTUs or tons.
Condenser — In an air conditioning system, it dissipates heat from the refrigerant, changing the refrigerant from vapor to liquid. In a heat pump system, the coil absorbs heat from the outdoors in the heating mode.
Ducts — The pipes or channels that carry air throughout the home.
HSPF — Heating Seasonal Performance Factor. Measures the heating efficiency of a heat pump. The higher the number, the more efficient the unit.
HVAC — Heating Ventilating and Air Conditioning
MERV — Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value — Measures efficiency of air filters.
Refrigerant — A chemical that produces a cooling effect.
Refrigerant Reclaim — The act of processing used refrigerant gas that has previously been used in some type of cooling loop such that it meets specifications for new refrigerant gas. In the United States, the Clean Air Act of 1990 requires that used refrigerant is processed by a certified reclaimer, which must be licensed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the material must be recovered and delivered to the reclaimer by EPA-certified technicians.
SEER — Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. Measures cooling efficiency in air conditioners and heat pumps; the higher the SEER, the more efficient the unit.
Thermostat — The control center of a heating and cooling system.
Ton — Unit of measurement used for determining cooling capacity. One ton equals 12,000 BTUs per hour.
UV — Ultraviolet. Ultraviolet light is high-frequency light above the visible spectrum.
Zoning — Method of dividing a building into different areas or zones that can be independently controlled.
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