Lost In Translation? Not With These HVAC TermsWith the warmer weather of spring and summer just ahead on the calendar, it’s time to start thinking about the cooling aspect of home comfort. Soon you’ll probably start hearing some of those HVAC terms again that you’ve always been a little fuzzy about. So you don’t get lost when the buzz starts up, here are some quick refreshers.


HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning, and it just might be the single most common acronym used in the whole profession because it covers practically all aspects of home comfort systems.

Central Air or Central Air Conditioning System

This refers to a system where interior air is cooled at one central location by a cooling unit, and transmitted by ducts to each room. One or more fans are needed to push this air throughout the home. Not all homes have the ductwork for central air, so they would need an alternate strategy such as a ductless mini split system.

Cooling Capacity

Cooling capacity is the rate at which a system can remove heat from an area under normal conditions. The cooling capacity of an air conditioner should be printed on the outside of the unit. If the cooling capacity of your system is underestimated, your home will be too warm; if it’s overestimated, your home might feel cold and clammy. Another important rating is the SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio), which should be at least 14 to earn the Energy Star label.


One of the common HVAC terms, this stands for British Thermal Units, which means the amount of energy needed to cool a pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. This is worth knowing because air conditioners are commonly rated in terms of their BTU capacity, with higher numbers indicating greater cooling capacity.


Refrigerants are chemicals that produce cooling as a by-product of their own transition between liquid and gaseous states. The principle of refrigeration is fundamental to the operation of your refrigerator, air conditioner and/or heat pump.

Contact Us

For expert advice on any home comfort concerns you might have, please contact us at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. For more than 40 years we’ve been helping families in the greater Indianapolis area, and we’d like you to join our growing family of satisfied customers.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

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