AC – Acronym for central air system, air conditioner, or condensing unit.

AFUE – Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. Measured in a percentage, the AFUE of your furnace indicates how much energy is being turned into heat. The higher the percentage, the more efficient the gas furnace is. For example, a furnace that is 95% efficient uses 95% of the gas consumed to heat the home while only 5% is wasted by escaping through the flue.

Air Conditioner – The outdoor condensing unit.

Air Handler – Sometimes referred to as a fan coil. This is an air distribution unit that contains a blower, coil and sometimes a heater package.

BTU – British Thermal Unit. This unit of measurement is used for both cooling and heating. A BTU rating is given to both furnaces and air conditioners. Residential air conditioners range from 18,000 BTU’s to 60,000 BTU’s. While residential gas furnaces range from 40,000 BTU’s to 135,000 BTU’s.

CFM –Cubic Feet per Minute. A measurement of airflow that determines how many cubic feet of air flow through a homes ductwork system. Each heating and cooling system has a targeted CFM for proper operation.

Capacity – The amount of heating or cooling power a unit possesses. This is not a measurement of capacity. Capacity can be rated in BTU’s or with tonnage which is exclusive to air conditioners.

Carbon Monoxide – An odorless, colorless gas that is extremely poisonous. This gas is emitted when carbon-based fuels are burned. Dangerous conditions exist in homes where this gas is not properly vented outside.

Compressor – The heart of an air conditioner, a compressor circulates liquid and gas refrigerant through a refrigeration system. It enables the critical heat transfer needed to cool or heat a home.

Condenser Coil – This is the coil that wraps around the outdoor condensing unit, air conditioner or heat pump. The fan located at the top of an air conditioner pulls air across these coils to dissipate heat.

DB – Decibels (dB) measure noise level intensity.

Damper – A type of “valve” or “flapper” used in duct work that can control the volume of air flow traveling through ductwork. Dampers can be manually or automatically operated.

Downflow – A furnace configuration where a fan blows air downward into ducting below as opposed to a more common up-flow design.

Ductwork – Hollow rectangular, square or round sheetmetal gateway used to carry air from the furnace / air handler to the air registers throughout the home. Without ductwork systems a home would unevenly heated and cooled.

EER – Energy Efficiency Ratings (EER) is a measurement of air conditioner efficiency. It is determined by dividing a unit’s BTU output by its wattage.

ENERGY STAR – ENERGY STAR® is a government-backed program assisting businesses and individuals with creating a cleaner environment through higher energy efficiency. Products with the ENERGY STAR rating will be more efficient and save money on energy bills.

Electronic Air Cleaner (EAC) – An air cleaning product that uses electricity to magnetize and capture microscopic particles that would otherwise pass through a paper or fabric filter.

Evaporator Coil – A coil shaped like an ‘A’, ‘N’ or even a slab that is used to either cool or warm indoor air. An evaporator coil is where actual air conditioning occurs.

Fan Coil – Sometimes referred to as an air handler. This is an air distribution unit that contains a blower, coil and sometimes a heater package.

HSPF – The Heating Seasonal Performance Factor is a measures how efficiently a heat pump can extract heat from the outdoor air. The higher the HSPF number, the more efficient the heat pump will be.

HVAC – Acronym used for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning.

Heat Exchanger – The heart of a furnace, the heat exchanger transfers heat generated by burned gas into the passing indoor air.

Heat Pump – An outdoor unit that is able to use electricity to produce heat. A heat pump is essentially an air conditioner that can operate in a reverse mode.

Horizontal Flow – A furnace configuration where a fan blows air horizontally into ducting either left or right as opposed to a more common up-flow design.

Humidifier – A device that adds humidity into a ducting systems air stream in the fall and winter. A whole-house unit mounts on the ductwork near an air handler or furnace and is automatically provided water through the main water line supply.

Indoor Coil – see Evaporator Coil

Indoor Air Quality – An increasingly important term measuring how healthy and clean the air is that we breathe. More attention is being given to indoor air quality as health issues are being linked to the conditioner of the air in our living space.

Load Estimate – A calculation considering  a home’s square footage, geographical orientation, doors, windows, walls, insulation and foundation configuration which determines the total BTU’s required to heat and cool a home.

Maintenance Agreement – An annual service plan that involves a cleaning and inspection on an air conditioner, furnace, heat pump or air handler. This service is typically performed twice per year; once in the spring/summer and once in the fall/winter. Accessories such as humidifiers and air cleaners can be a part of annual maintenance as well. A maintenance agreement helps prevent equipment failure and lowers homeowners utility bills. With Fresh Air-Weinrich a $25 rebate can be received every year a customer renews their agreement.

MERV – The measurement of efficiency used on fabric or paper air filters. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. MERV rating measures a filter’s effectiveness at which it removes particles sizing between 3-10 microns with a scale ranging from 1 to 16. The higher the rating, the better.

Operating Cost – The utility cost of operating your home’s heating and cooling system.

Outdoor Coil – see Condenser Coil

Puron® Refrigerant – Puron® refrigerant is an environmentally sound refrigerant designed not to harm the earth’s ozone layer. Federal law requires that all manufacturers phase out ozone depleting refrigerants in the next few years. Puron refrigerant is approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency as a replacement from Freon 22*.

R-22 refrigerant – R-22 is a single component HCFC refrigerant with low ozone depletion potential. It has long been used in a variety of air-conditioning and refrigeration applications in a variety of markets. Per U.S. EPA regulations, new R-22 cannot be used in new systems effective in 2010, although service quantities of the refrigerant may be produced until 2020.

Refrigerant Lines – A large (suction) and small (liquid) copper line that links the condenser coil to the evaporator coil. The larger line is insulated.

SEER – The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio is a measurement of an air conditioner’s or heat pump’s efficiency. The higher the SEER rating, the lower the utility bills will be.

Setback Thermostat – A thermostat with the ability to automatically change temperatures to conserve energy through the use of a homeowner configured program.

Silencer System – Carrier’s Silencer System ensures whisper quiet operation inside and out. Carrier systems meet or exceed local and industry sound standards with quiet motor mounts, a compressor sound blanket, forward swept fan blades, a laminated sound suppression compressor mounting plate and a top with integrated silencer airflow baffle.

Split System – Refers to air conditioner or heat pump that has a separated condenser and evaporator coil. The evaporator coil is located inside while the evaporator coil is located outside.

Thermidistat™ – An advanced thermostat that monitors both the indoor and outdoor temperature as well as controls the indoor temperature and humidity.

Thermostat – Wall mounted device that monitors and controls the indoor temperature.

Thermostatic Expansion Valve – Commonly referred to as a TXV, a thermostatic expansion valve serves as a metering device, allowing an optimal amount of refrigerant into an evaporator coil.

Ton – Also referred to as tonnage, a ton is the unit of measurement for air conditioning capacity. One ton = 12,000 BTUs per hour.

Two Stage Compressor (or two stage cooling) – Two Stage Compressors are capable of two levels of operation, a low stage and a high stage. Properly sized equipment will operate 80% of the time in low stage, enhancing efficiency and comfort with lower humidity levels and quieter operation. It’s like getting two air conditioners or heat pumps in one system.

Two stage heating – Two stage gas valves allow furnaces to operate at a high heat or low heat. When the temperature is mild in the fall and winter a two stage furnace can operate at low capacity. (Low operation will make up the majority of a two stage furnaces run time.) Once the the temperature outside becomes frigid the furnace can then operate a high heat capacity. Two stage heating is like having two differently sized furnaces in one.

Tune-Up – A service performed by our technicians where an air conditioner, furnace, heat pump or air handler/fan coil is cleaned and inspected. Typically a yearly routine is established where the outdoor unit is serviced in the spring and the indoor unit is serviced in the fall.

Upflow – A type of furnace that draws cool air from underneath and blows the warmed or cooled air out the top into the duct work. This is the most common furnace and air handler configuration in the St. Louis area.

Variable Speed Blower – A type of blower motor inside a furnace or air handler that has the ability to ramp up or down to the optimal airflow needed for a home. A variable speed blower saves money through reduced operating costs and has the ability to circulate air constantly. The benefit to constant circulation is a more even distribution of indoor temperatures and continuous air filtration. All of this can be done at very low operating costs because of  the variable speed blower’s ability to run at lower speeds.

Zoning – A system designed to direct conditioned airflow to specific areas of the home. The air flow is controlled by a series of automatic dampers which communicate with a respective thermostat. Each specific zone is represented with a thermostat that controls what part of the home receives more or less air flow. Zoning allows a desired temperature distribution as determined by the homeowner.


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