Useful AC Definitions

Needing a new air conditioner, getting one installed or simply researching them can be an overwhelming task to begin with and even more overwhelming when you don’t understand the language used to talk about these systems. At Ballard Natural Gas Service we have compiled a short list of some useful AC definitions that you can refer to when considering repairs and/or a replacement of your HVAC system.

Air Handler
The indoor component of your air conditioner or heating system that moves air through your home.

BTU
British Thermal Unit. In scientific terms, it represents the amount of energy required to raise one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. One BTU is the equivalent of the heat given off by a single wooden kitchen match.

Compressor
Part of the outdoor component to your air conditioning unit that pumps refrigerant. Works to maintain the pressure in your HVAC system to provide adequate cooling to your home.

Energy Star®
A Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program designed to reduce the nation’s energy consumption. ENERGY STAR® -qualified heating equipment can be up to 15 percent more efficient than standard models. ENERGY STAR® -qualified cooling equipment can be up to 7 percent more efficient than minimum-standard equipment.

HVAC
Stands for Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning. It is the general term for any residential or commercial comfort systems, this includes humidifiers, air cleaners etc.

MERV Rating
Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) is a standard that rates the overall effectiveness of air filters. Higher value MERV rating equates to finer filtration, meaning fewer dust particles and other airborne contaminants can pass through the filter.

NATE
North American Technician Excellence. This is the nationwide certification program for home heating and cooling technicians. It’s the only certification that is recognized by the entire industry.

Seer Rating
This calculation is the efficiency rating used for central A/C systems as an average over the entire cooling season.
The SEER rating of a unit is the cooling output during a typical cooling-season divided by the total electric energy input during the same period. The higher the unit’s SEER rating the more energy efficient it is. In the U.S., the SEER is the ratio of cooling in British thermal unit (BTU) to the energy consumed in watt-hours. The coefficient of performance (COP), a more universal unit-less measure of efficiency, is discussed in the following section. (wikipedia definition).

Do you need new AC? Are you replacing your current one or do you need a brand new one installed?
If you are in Seattle or the greater Seattle area request service online and if you are not sure if you are in our service area, check out our service area page for more information on the communities we serve.

Need HVAC Service?

Contact the experts at Ballard Natural Gas.

Call us at 206-784-8101!