HVAC components

As a homeowner, you should learn basic HVAC terminology to easily communicate any problems or needs you may have regarding your home’s heating and cooling systems. Better yet, understanding what each component does will help you make more informed decisions when it comes to optimizing your home’s comfort. 

Learn essential HVAC terminology by reading this glossary of common terms and acronyms you should know.  


We can’t start this list without the most important HVAC acronym! Short for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning, HVAC is a term that encompasses all aspects of your home’s heating, cooling, moisture control and air quality systems. 


Air conditioning, or AC for short, refers to the devices that blast your home with cool air on a hot summer’s day.  


BTU stands for British Thermal Unit, a measurement of heat energy. One BTU is defined as the amount of energy needed to increase the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. BTUs are one of the vital HVAC measurements you should know since your AC’s BTU rating will tell you how much heat it can remove from your home in a specific time frame. In turn, this measurement can help you determine the best-sized unit for your space.

Condenser Coil 

One of the main components of an AC unit, the condenser coil is where heat is emitted from the system. This type of coil is typically located outside of the building. 


Ducts are the pipes and tubing used for airflow throughout your home. When it comes to central AC terminology, you must understand what these are since there are AC systems that operate both with and without ducts.  

Another word to know from HVAC duct terminology is ductwork, which refers to a system of ducts.  

Evaporator Coil  

Yet another component in the AC’s refrigeration cycle, evaporator coils absorb heat in a system. Therefore, these are located inside the home to draw the heat towards them and then transfer it through the system to the condenser coil. Evaporator coils are always kept at a frigid temperature to facilitate this process.  

Furnace Coil  

As the name suggests, this coil is one of the main components of a home heating system. It conducts heat within a furnace so that it can warm the air that is blown throughout your home.  


This HVAC acronym stands for Outside Air Temperature, i.e., the temperature outside a building.  

Our HVAC professionals are happy to help you learn essential HVAC terminology so that you can make informed decisions about optimizing your home’s comfort. Contact us today, we would be happy to help!

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Split System 

This is a type of HVAC system that lets you control the temperature/climate of different rooms using different thermostats and settings.  


SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and is a measure of your AC unit’s energy efficiency. Specifically, it’s the ratio of the BTUs of heat removed by the AC conditioner over a cooling season divided by the energy required to remove the heat.  


VAV is short for Variable Air Volume and typically refers to a type of HVAC system that operates using variable airflow rather than constant airflow. VAVs are most commonly used in large centres such as schools, shopping malls and hotels.  

If you require home heating and cooling assistance, or if you have any questions about the different components and terminology of HVAC systems, feel free to call Guelph ClimateCare. We’re always here to help! 

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