AFUE
Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. A measure of a gas furnace’s efficiency in converting fuel to energy the higher the rating, the more efficient the unit. For example: A rating of 90 means that approximately 90 percent of the fuel is used to provide warmth to your home, while the remaining 10 percent escapes as exhaust.
BTU
British thermal unit; the amount of heat required to raise or lower the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. The heat extracted from your home by an air conditioner is measured in BTUs.
Capacity
The output or producing ability of a piece of cooling or heating equipment. Cooling and heating capacities are referred to as BTUs.
CFM
Abbreviation for cubic feet per minute, a standard measurement of airflow. A typical system requires 400 cfm per ton of air conditioning.
Compressor
This is the heart of an air conditioning or heat pump system. It is part of the outdoor unit and pumps refrigerant in order to meet the cooling requirements of the system.
Condenser Coil / Outdoor Coil
In an air conditioner, the coil dissipates heat from the refrigerant, changing the refrigerant from vapor to liquid. In a heat pump system, the coil absorbs heat from the outdoors.
Damper
Found in ductwork, this movable plate opens and closes to control airflow. Dampers can be used to balance airflow in a duct system. They are also used in zoning to regulate airflow to certain rooms.
Ductwork
A pipe or conduit through which air is delivered. Ducts are typically made of metal, fiberboard or a flexible material. In a home comfort system, the size and application of ductwork is critical to performance and is as important as the equipment.
Evaporator Coil or Indoor Coil
Part of an indoor air unit, by drawing out heat and moisture, it functions with the air conditioner or heat pump outdoors to cool and condition the indoor air that flows over it.
Gas Furnace Heat Exchanger
Located in the furnace, the heat exchanger transfers heat to the surrounding air, which is then pumped throughout your home.
HSPF
Heating Seasonal Performance Factor. This rating is used in measuring the heating efficiency of a heat pump. The higher the number, the more efficient the heat pump system.
Packaged Unit
A heating and cooling system contained in the outdoor unit. A package unit is typically installed either beside or on top of the home, or placed in the attic.
Refrigerant
A chemical that produces a refrigerating effect while expanding and vaporizing. Most residential air conditioning systems contain R-22 refrigerant. R-22 is regulated under the Montreal Protocol and in the United States by the Environmental Protection Agency. R-22 is scheduled to be in production until the year 2020.
SEER
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio; a measure of cooling efficiency for air conditioners and heat pumps. The higher the SEER, the more energy efficient the unit.
Split System
The combination of an outdoor unit (air conditioner or heat pump) with an indoor unit (furnace or air handler). Split systems must be matched for optimum efficiency.
Thermostat
A thermostat consists of a series of sensors and relays that monitor and control the functions of a heating and cooling system.
Ton
A unit of measurement used for determining cooling capacity. One ton is the equivalent of 12,000 BTUs per hour.
Zoning
A method of dividing a home into different comfort zones so each zone can be independently controlled depending on use and need; an air conditioning system capable of maintaining varying conditions for various rooms or zones.

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