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At Royal Air Conditioning & Heating, Inc. of North Venice, FL, we firmly believe that a well-informed customer is better able to make sound decisions. Our goal is transparency and we have a policy of never rejecting a question. The bad question is the one unasked.

Below are commonly used terms in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning industry. These may be useful when dealing with contractors or assessing a solution to a problem you might have. Of course, you are welcome to call us for any issue you may have with your system. Our trained technicians are always willing to help, and the following bullet list includes terms you may use while working with them:

❅ Air Conditioner:
Assembly of equipment for the simultaneous control of air temperature, relative humidity, purity, and motion.

❅ Air Flow:
The distribution or movement of air.

❅ Air Handler:
The portion of the central air conditioning or heat pump system that moves heated or cooled air throughout a home's ductwork. In some systems a furnace handles this function.

❅ Blower:
An air handling device for moving air in a distribution system.

❅ BTU British Thermal Unit:
The standard of measurement used for measuring the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree (Fahrenheit). BTUH - The number of BTUs in an hour.

❅ Capacity:
The ability of a heating or cooling system to heat or cool a given amount of space. For heating, this is usually expressed in BTU's. For cooling, it is usually given in tons.

❅ Carbon Monoxide:
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas produced by burning any fuel. CO is poisonous and symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to those of the flu: headaches, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea and dizziness. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends a yearly, professional inspection.

❅ Central Air Conditioner System:
System in which air is treated at a central North Venice, FL and carried to and from the rooms by one or more fans and a system of ducts.

❅ CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute):
The abbreviation for cubic feet per minute, commonly used to measure the rate of air flow in an air conditioning system.

❅ Charge:
Amount of refrigerant in a system.

❅ Compressor:
The pump that moves the refrigerant from the indoor evaporator to the outdoor condenser and back to the evaporator again. The compressor is often called "the heart of the system" because it circulates the refrigerant through the loop.

❅ Condensing Unit:
Part of a refrigerating mechanism which pumps vaporized refrigerant from the evaporator, compresses it, liquefies it in the condenser and returns it to the refrigerant control. The outdoor portion of a split system air conditioner contains the compressor and outdoor coil ignoring the reverse cycle operation, also the outdoor in a heat pump system.

❅ COP (Coefficient of Performance):
This is a measure of the energy efficiency of a chiller.

❅ Cooling Capacity:
A measure of the ability of a unit to remove heat from an enclosed space. COP - Coefficient of Performance of a heat pump means the ratio of the rate of useful heat output delivered by the complete heat pump unit (exclusive of supplementary heating) to the corresponding rate of energy input, in consistent units and under operating conditions.

❅ Cooling Load:
Heat which flows into a space from outdoors and/or indoors.

❅ Damper:
Found in ductwork, this movable plate opens and closes to control airflow. Dampers are used effectively in zoning to regulate airflow to certain rooms.

❅ Defrost Cycle:
The process of removing ice or frost buildup from the outdoor coil during the heating season.

❅ Dehumidification:
The reduction of water vapor in air by cooling the air below the dew point; removal of water vapor from air by chemical means, refrigeration, etc.

❅ Department of Energy (DOE):
A federal agency that sets industry efficiency standards and monitors the use of various energy sources.

❅ Ductwork:
Pipes or channels that carry air throughout a building.

❅ Electronic Air Cleaner:
An electronic device that filters out large particles and contaminants in indoor air.  It then electronically pulls out tiny particles that have been magnetized, such as viruses and bacteria, drawing them to a collector plate.

❅ Emergency Heat (Supplemental or Auxiliary Heat):
The back-up heat built into a heat pump system.

❅ Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER):
Means the ratio of the cooling capacity of the air conditioner in British Thermal Units per hour, to the total electrical input in watts under ARI-specified test conditions.

❅ Evaporator:
Absorbs heat from the surrounding air or liquid and moves it outside the refrigerated area by means of a refrigerant. It is also known as a cooling coil, blower coil, chilling unit or indoor coil.

❅ Evaporator Coil:
A series or network of tubes filled with refrigerant located inside the home that take heat and moisture out of indoor air as liquid refrigerant evaporates.

❅ Fahrenheit (Represented as degrees "F"):
The scale of temperature measurement most commonly used in the United States of America.

❅ Filter:
A device used to remove dust and other particles from air for the purposes of reducing the load on the respiratory system and to protect the HVAC equipment. Filters vary greatly in particle arrestance; the higher the MERV rating, the better the filter.

❅ Freon:
A general term used to identify, any of a group of partially or completely halogenated simple hydrocarbons containing fluorine, chlorine or bromine, which are used as refrigerants.

❅ Heat Loss:
The amount of heat lost, measured in BTU's from a space to be conditioned, at the local winter outdoor design temperature and a specified indoor design condition.

❅ Heat Pump:
An air conditioner that contains a valve that allows it to alternate between heating and cooling.

❅ Heating Capacity:
The rate at which a specific device can add substantial heat to a substance, expressed in BTUh (British Thermal Units per hour).

❅ Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF):
means the total heating output of a heat pump in British Thermal Units during its normal usage period for heating divided by the total electrical energy input in watt-hours during the same period.

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning.

❅ Humidification:
The process of adding moisture to the air within a space.

❅ Humidistat:
A device designed to regulate humidity input by reacting to changes in the moisture content of the air.

❅ Humidity:
The amount of moisture in the air. Air conditioners remove moisture for added comfort.

❅ Kilowatt (kW):
Equal to 1,000 watts. Kilowatt-hour (kWh) - A common unit of electrical consumption measured by the total energy created by one kilowatt in one hour.

❅ Latent Cooling Capacity:
An A/C system's capability to remove moisture from the air.

❅ Load Calculation:
A mathematical design tool used to determine the heat gain and heat loss in a building so that properly sized air conditioning and heating equipment may be installed.

❅ Matched System:
A heating and cooling system comprised of products that have been certified to perform at promised comfort and efficiency when used together, and used according to design and engineering specifications.

North American Technician Excellence, Inc. The leading non-profit certification program for technicians in the heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC/R) industry.

❅ Outdoor Coil/Condensing Unit:
The portion of a heat pump or central air conditioning system that is located outside the home and functions as a heat transfer point for collecting heat from and dispelling heat to the outside air.

❅ Packaged Unit:
A self-contained heating and/or air conditioning system.

❅ Refrigerant:
A substance that produces a refrigerating effect while expanding or vaporizing.
The ratio of the amount of vapor contained in the air to the greatest amount the air could hold at that temperature. Normally expressed as a percentage.

❅ Return Air:
Air drawn into a heating unit after having been circulated from the heater's output supply to a room.

❅ Reversing Valve:
A device in a heat pump that reverses the flow of refrigerant as the system is switched from cooling to heating.

❅ SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio):
A rating that denotes the efficiency of air conditioning equipment. It is the amount of cooling your equipment delivers for every dollar spent on electricity. It is the ratio of cooling delivered by a system, measured in BTUs, to the dollar cost of the electricity to run the system, as measured in watt-hours. This ratio is determined using specified federal test procedures. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the unit. The more efficient the unit, the lower the operating cost.

❅ Split System:
A central air conditioner consisting of two or more major components. The system usually consists of a compressor-containing unit and condenser, installed outside the building and a non-compressor - containing air handling unit installed within the building. This is the most common type of system installed in a home.

❅ Supplementary Heat:
The auxiliary or emergency heat, usually electrical resistance heat, provided at temperatures below a heat pump's balance point.

❅ Switchover:
A device in a heat pump that reverses the flow of refrigerant as the system is switched from cooling to heating.

❅ Temperature:
The measure of the intensity of heat that a substance possesses.

❅ Thermostat:
A temperature control device, typically found on a wall inside that consists of a series of sensors and relays that monitor and control the functions of a heating and cooling system.

❅ Tonnage:
The unit of measure used in air conditioning to describe the cooling capacity of a system. One ton of cooling is based on the amount of heat needed to melt one ton (2000 lb.) of ice in a 24-hour period. One ton of cooling is equal to 12,000 Btu/hr.

❅ Vacuum Pump:
A pump used to remove air and moisture from a refrigeration system at a pressure below atmospheric pressure.

❅ Vapor Barrier:
A moisture-impervious layer applied to the surfaces enclosing a humid space to prevent moisture travel to a point where it may condense due to lower temperature.

❅ Ventilation:
The process of supplying or removing air, by natural or mechanical means, to or from any space. Such air may or may not have been conditioned.

❅ Zone System:
A method of dividing a home into zones and enabling you to control the amount of comfort provided to each.

Life is an educational experience. When it comes time to perform maintenance or replace a part of your HVAC system, feel free to ask questions. Our trained technicians will be glad to explain every step of the process, giving you a deeper insight into how the systems you depend on to stay comfortable in your home work.

Need more air conditioning terms or definitions? Don't hesitate to contact us at 941-485-3238 or at, we will be glad to help.