Do you feel knowledgeable about your HVAC system? If your air conditioner broke tomorrow, would you be comfortable with what you needed to ask your Wichita area HVAC contractor? If you’re like most Kansas homeowners, the answers to both questions might be “no.”

But that’s okay! It’s never too late to brush up on common HVAC terms. Being knowledgeable about your home heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment will help you make better decisions on repairs, replacements and your energy costs. Here are a few handy HVAC terms to know:

  • SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). This is a rating geared toward air conditioners and reflects how much energy they need to produce a specified cooling output. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) requires all newly manufactured air conditioners to have a minimum 13 SEER. But purchasing higher SEER units is not only possible, but will help you save more on your home energy costs.
  • AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency). This is a rating geared towards furnaces and reflects how much of a given system’s allotted fuel is transferred into producing heat for a home. In other words, it measures a system’s energy efficiency. A furnace with an AFUE of 85 percent is capable of utilizing 85 percent of its allotted fuel to heat your home, the remaining 15 percent accounts for what is lost.
  • Compressor. This is the outside unit of your home’s A/C or heat pump. It’s what compresses and pumps refrigerant through the system to remove heat from your home and meet household cooling requirements. If your compressor fails, you will most likely have to replace the unit.
  • Ductwork. In a central forced air system, ductwork is the system of metal segments that channels conditioned air from your central HVAC equipment to the different areas of your home.
  • Variable speed motor. Newer HVAC equipment often features this handy device that automatically adjusts warm or cool air flow for increased energy efficiency and comfort.

For more information about helpful HVAC terms, contact your neighborhood HVAC experts at Comfort Systems, proudly serving homeowners throughout Wichita and her surrounding neighborhoods.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wichita, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about HVAC systems and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.