When you’re replacing your air conditioner or having it serviced, you may run into some unfamiliar terms. Here’s an explanation of some air conditioning basics and the terms that may puzzle you at first encounter.
Air handler: This is the central part of your system. It houses many of the essential components of your cooling system, including the blower, the blower motor and the controls. It does not include the ductwork through which your conditioned air travels to keep your home cool.
Charge: The amount of refrigerant in your air conditioning system.
Coil: The tubing or pipes through which the refrigerant flows and where heat transfer takes place.
Condenser/Compressor: These components are housed in the metal casing that’s outside your home. This part of your system compresses refrigerant gas and sends it through the condenser coils, where it’s returned to a liquid form. This process removes the heat from the refrigerant and disperses it into the outdoor air.
Ductwork: The large metal distribution system that carries cooled air from the air handler to the various rooms in your home.
Evaporator: A coil in which the refrigerant absorbs heat and transforms it to into a gas.
MERV: The minimum efficiency reporting value. It is a numerical rating of a filter’s ability to capture airborne particles that are 0.3 to 10 microns in size. Higher MERV ratings mean better filter performance.
Refrigerant: The liquid flowing through the air conditioning system that facilitates heat transfer. As the refrigerant changes from a liquid to a gas and back again, it either absorbs or gives off heat.
Register: The metal covering over the supply vents in the various rooms of your home. Registers usually have louvers or dampers for controlling the amount of air coming out.
SEER: The seasonal energy efficiency ratio. This ratio indicates the cooling efficiency of an air conditioner. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the air conditioner. Air conditioners manufactured after January 2006 should have a SEER of 13 or higher.
Rheem Pro Partner is the Denver area’s trusted source of home comfort and equipment sales and service. Contact us for expert help when you’re buying HVAC equipment or if you have questions about a system you plan to keep for many years.
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