Learning Center


Glossary of Terms

DC

Direct current electricity. This type of electricity (as opposed to Alternating Current, or AC) flows in one direction only, without reversing polarity.

DEFROST

To melt frost; as in from an air conditioner or heat pump coil.

DEGREEDAY

A computation that gauges the amount of heating or cooling needed for a building. A degreeday is equal to 65 degrees Fahrenheit minus the mean outdoor temperature.

DEHUMIDIFIER

An air cooler that removes moisture from the air.

DIFFUSER

A grille over an air supply duct having vanes to distribute the discharging air in a specific pattern or direction.

DOE

Department of Energy

DOWNFLOW FURNACE

A furnace that intakes air at its top and discharges air at its bottom.

DRAIN PAN

Also referred to as a condensate pan. This is a pan used to catch and collect condensate (in residential systems vapor is liquefied on the indoor coil, collected in the drain pan and removed through a drain line).

DUCTWORK

A pipe or conduit through which air is delivered. Ducts are typically made of metal, fiberboard or a flexible material. In a home comfort system, the size and application of ductwork is critical to performance and is as important as the equipment.

DX

Direct expansion. A system in which heat is transferred by the direct expansion of refrigerant.

EER

Energy Efficiency Ratio (steady state)

EPA

Environmental Protection Agency

EVAPORATOR COIL (OR INDOOR COIL)

The other half of an air conditioning system, located inside your home in the indoor unit. This is a tubing coil in which a volatile liquid evaporates and absorbs heat. This is where the refrigerant evaporates as it absorbs heat from the indoor air that passes over the coil.

EXPANSION VALVE

A refrigerant metering valve with a pressure or temperature controlled orifice.

FAHRENHEIT

The temperature scale on which water freezes at 32 degrees and boils at 212 degrees; designated by the letter F. To convert Fahrenheit to Celsius, subtract 32 from the Fahrenheit number, multiply by 5 and divide by 9 (77 32 equals 45, times 5 equals 225, divided by 9 equals 25 degrees Celsius).

FAN

Any device that creates air currents.

FILTER

Any device that removes impurities through a straining process.

FLUE

Any vent or passageway that carries the products of combustion from a furnace.

FURNACE

That part of the heating system in which the combustion of fossil fuel and transfer of heat occurs.

FUSE

A metal strip in an electrical circuit that melts and breaks the circuit when excessive current flows through it. The fuse is designed to break in order to save more expensive electrical components.

GAMA

Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association.

GAS FURNACE HEAT EXCHANGER

Located in the furnace, the heat exchanger transfers heat to the surrounding air, which is then pumped throughout your home.

HEAT EXCHANGER

An area, box or coil where heat flows from the warmer to the colder fluid or surface.

HEAT GAIN

Heat added to the conditioned space by infiltration, solar radiation, occupant respiration and lighting.

HEAT LOSS

The rate of heat transfer from a heated space to the outdoors.

HEAT PUMP

A mechanical compression cycle refrigeration system that can be reversed to either heat or cool the controlled space.

HEAT TRANSFER

The movement of heat energy from one point to another. The means for such movement are conduction, convection, and radiation.

 
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