HVAC Glossary

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Air Conditioner – A device that chills warm air through a process using chemical or mechanical energy.

Air Handler – The primary unit of a heating or cooling system that contains the blower, heater, or cooling equipment. This unit is attached to the ductwork or ventilation system to distribute the air throughout the structure.

Duel-Fuel Systems – A heating device that uses both gas and electricity. The gas is optimal for extreme cold, while the electricity offers more economical heating for milder temperatures.

Electric Air Cleaner – A device used to increase indoor air quality with filtration and purification. The system is electrically powered and often combined with the traditional HVAC system.

Electric Heater – A device that converts electricity to heat via a heating element.

Gas Furnace – A heating system that burns gas fuel to create heat that will be circulated through a structure.

Gas Heater – A self-contained unit that burns gas fuel for heat but does not connect to a ventilation system.

Heat Pump – A system that extracts heat from outside sources and circulates it indoors to warm a structure.

Media Air Cleaner – Air cleaning or purification using a dense filtration surface to trap contaminants in the air.

Programmable Thermostat – A control unit for heating and cooling systems that monitors the current indoor temperature and uses the heating and cooling systems to maintain a desired, preset temperature. This device can be set to run different systems at different times and is known to increase the heating and cooling system’s energy efficiency.

Roof-Top Units – This heating and cooling equipment is located on the roof of a structure rather than inside or ground level. Typically, these units are found in larger commercial applications. It could be heating, cooling, or both and can operate using gas or electricity.

Split System – These are freestanding smaller units that heat or cool a specific area by circulating refrigerant to small coils. A fan circulates the air and helps to heat or cool the space. There is no ventilation or ductwork system used with this equipment.

Two-Stage Cooling Units – An air conditioning system that includes a compressor with two operating levels for added economy and reduced stress on the equipment.

UV Lights – These devices are attached to an HVAC system and use ultraviolet light to kill bacteria and other contaminants in the air as it flows through the system. They are installed to increase indoor air quality and reduce pollutants.

Variable Speed Blower – An air handling blower motor in an HVAC system that can be run at different capacities for added energy efficiency and lower operating cost.