HVAC Glossary- Heating & Cooling System Terms

Some terms used in reference to air conditioning and heating may be less familiar to you.
Here is a short list to help you in your research.
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The BTU or btu is the British thermal unit. It is the amount of energy needed to cool or heat one pound of water for every 1 °F. Btu/h is the unit of power used in HVAC. It corresponds to approximately 0.29 watts.


COP stands for Coefficient of Performance. It is the ratio of the cooling or heating provided compared to the electrical consumption.


This is a measure of the amount of air passing through the device per unit time. It is measured either in CFM (cubic feet per minute) or in m3/h (cubic metres per hour).


A measure of the amount of water that the machine is able to remove from the ambient air per unit time. It is measured in L/H (litres per hour).


EER stands for Energy Efficiency Rating. It measures the ratio of power output to power input.


HSPF stands for Heating Season Performance Factor. It is the ratio of seasonal heating output versus the amount of electricity used.


Sound pressure is the force of a sound on a surface perpendicular to its direction. It is measured in Pa (pascals). The lowest sound pressure that can be heard is 2×10 Pa. The sound pressure level is the comparison of the measured sound to the lowest sound pressure that can be heard. The units are expressed in dB (decibels) which are non-linear, meaning that if the pressure is doubled, the sound pressure level increases by 6 dB. For example, the lowest audible sound is 0 dB while a quiet room is 40 dB.


Refrigerant is the substance used to “send” heat out of (or into) the room where the device is located. We use the R-410A refrigerant because it is environmentally friendly and allows for smaller, more efficient systems than, for example, the R-22 refrigerant.


SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It is a ratio between the seasonal cooling output and the electricity used.