If you’re like most homeowners in Indiana, you probably just let your HVAC technician in the door, offer some water and then go sit on the couch until he’s finished. This year make a little bit more of an effort. Learn a few furnace terms so you can have an informed conversation with your technician and truly understand what’s going on with your system.
A few furnace terms to help you get started:
- AFUE – The annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating is the percentage of fuel that’s converted into heat by the furnace. High-efficiency furnaces start at 90 percent AFUE.
- Airflow – The amount of air moving through your equipment and ducts. If you hear this term, it will most likely be because there’s a problem that’s inhibiting airflow.
- Btu (British thermal units) – The amount of energy it takes to heat a pound of water by one degree.
- Carbon monoxide (CO) – The gas that furnaces put off. It’s odorless and colorless but can be dangerous if it accumulates in your air. A properly operating furnace will safely vent CO out of your home.
- Dual fuel – A system that combines an electric heat pump with a gas furnace for maximum efficiency.
- Heat exchanger – The component of the furnace that is responsible for transferring heat to the surrounding air so it can be distributed throughout your home. This is key component, and if it’s not working properly, can create a CO hazard.
- MERV – The minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) is used to rate air filters. Ratings range from 1-20, with one being the lowest and 20 being hospital-grade. For residential use without special air-quality concerns, a rating between 6 and 12 provides a good balance between maintaining air quality and airflow.
- Variable-speed fan – A fan that can adjust speeds, rather than running at 100 percent capacity at all times. These models are good for improving efficiency, providing more even heating and cooling and reduced energy costs.
If you want your furnace service done completely and correctly, please contact us at Mowery Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing. For over 40 years, we’ve helped Indianapolis area homeowners enjoy comfort and peace of mind all winter long.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
Image courtesy of Shutterstock