Important HVAC Terminology that Every Homeowner Should Know   The Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning system, commonly called the HVAC system, is one of the most important and valuable parts of any home or a commercial building. This is because an HVAC system keeps your house warm in the winter and cool and comfy in the summer, which makes the environment comfortable and healthy year-round. As a homeowner, you need to understand HVAC basics and common HVAC terms, such as condenser and dehumidifier. Understanding the HVAC glossary is important as it plays a crucial role in keeping your home or office comfortable and healthy while maintaining good indoor air quality. Not only that but getting familiar with HVAC terminology and terms will help you learn the basic mechanical engineering behind cooling and heating principles that apply to other appliances in your home. Knowing cooling and air conditioning terms will allow you to easily identify and diagnose issues and fix some simple problems on your own. It will also allow you to communicate with an HVAC company and professionals when needed. The team at Conejo Valley Home Services have compiled a list of HVAC terms that can be helpful to know as a homeowner.

Common HVAC Terms to Know

Understanding how your HVAC unit works will help ensure that you keep it operating smoothly and efficiently throughout the year. Whether you would like to brush up on your HVAC terminology or just want to learn more about the components of your home, you can definitely put the following terms to good use!


HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. Many people and professionals refer to an entire heating and cooling system (including the heater, AC, and ductwork) as an HVAC system. It is one of the best HVAC terms to know whether you are a homeowner or a commercial building owner.

» British Thermal Unit (BTU)

A British Thermal Unit, commonly known as BTU, is an important international measurement of energy. The BTU represents the amount of heat needed to increase or lower the temperature of one pound of water by one degree. When people use it in relation to air conditioning, this measurement is used to determine the number of BTUs per hour the HVAC system can add to the air.


The acronym “AFUE” is another HVAC terminology and stands for “American Fuel Utilization Efficiency.” Professionals use this measurement to determine the efficiency of a furnace by using a mathematical equation.

» Efficiency Ratings

Efficiency ratings help users make important decisions about their home appliances. For instance, the SEER rating on your HVAC unit rates the efficiency of AC units.

» Air Filter

An air filter purifies particles of soot, dust, toxins, and other allergens. You should replace the air filter every 3 to 12 months for optimum efficiency. However, this depends on the manufacturer’s recommendations.

» Chiller

This is an important device that helps remove heat from a liquid via absorption refrigeration or vapor-compression cycle. It is another HVAC terminology that every homeowner must know. There are two main types of designs: water-cooled and air-cooled.

» Load Calculations

You probably know that HVAC equipment is available in a wide range of capacities in order to suit homes and commercial properties of different sizes. The units are actually measured in “size,” usually expressed as “tons.” The most suitable size of AC unit required for your home depends on many factors, such as location. Given the importance of this HVAC terminology and its meaning, you’ll find online charts that offer the tonnage you will need for your home.

» Dehumidifier

This is a piece of equipment that lowers the humidity level of the air. A humidifier works by cooling air to the extent that it turns vapor into liquid.

» Diffuser

A diffuser is placed over ductwork and separates air with vanes traveling in different directions. The device evenly distributes airflow in all the desired directions. Understanding this HVAC terminology will help you make better decisions, especially those relating to maintenance and repairs of your equipment.

» Thermostat

You probably know that a thermostat is the primary control unit for your HVAC system. You will find many different types of thermostats on the market that can be used with cooling and heating systems, such as programmable, manual, and smart thermostats.

» Sensor

A sensor is used to measure the temperature in a room. Keep in mind that sensors send this temperature back to your HVAC system. This prompts the system to cool or heat the room depending on the thermostat setting.

» Heat Pump

A heat pump is used to transfer heat to heat up or cool down a home. It can be either air sourced or ground sourced with geothermal energy.

» Split System

Split systems or ductless air conditioning units are used when a home does not have a furnace or ductwork. You should know that the split system has an outdoor condenser as well as an indoor wall unit.

» Ductwork

Ductwork comprises specialized pipes and channels to regulate the airflow within a home. Make sure to get professional help when doing ductwork. An experienced and qualified HVAC professional or company should perform repairs and changes to a duct system.

» Evaporator Coil

Another important HVAC terminology, the evaporator coil, is the part of your HVAC unit where the refrigerant absorbs heat. The coil absorbs heat from the air or a liquid.

Final Thoughts

There are many scientific and industry-specific terms and words used by HVAC professionals and companies. The most common ones are listed above. Knowing these AC terms and HVAC terminology can help a lot when scheduling your next HVAC tune-up. If you’ve got any questions or concerns about your HVAC system, Conejo Valley Home Services would like to give you a hand and address your concerns. With several years in the HVAC industry, Conejo Valley Home Services has the knowledge and experience to get any job done! Schedule your next appointment by calling 805-499-0448! We proudly serve many parts of Southern California. The technicians at Conejo Valley Home Services are expertly trained and ready to tackle any problem or concern you may have.

Also Read: Top 8 HVAC Tips to Help Lower Your Monthly Utility Costs

Conejo Valley Home Services?
  • We Offer 24-hour Emergency Services
  • We Charge by the Job – Not by the Hour
  • We Offer Only the Most Dependable Customer Satisfaction With Each Job Completed