14 Heating and Cooling Terms You Should Know

14 Heating and Cooling Terms You Should KnowIn order to protect your investment and save money, you must understand how your furnace works. Your heating and cooling system plays a key role in maintaining the comfort of your home; therefore, it is important to understand the terms associated with its upkeep.

Here are 14 heating and cooling terms to consider:


If you want to understand a HVAC system, it is helpful to know what these letters refer to. HVAC simply stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.

2. Load Estimate

A load estimate or calculation compares an HVAC system’s capacity with the size, orientation, and levels of a home. In other words, it determines the amount of heat or A/C your home requires.

3. Zoning

Zoning refers to heating and cooling specific areas (zones) of your home, as opposed to maintaining a neutral temperature throughout the house.

4. EnergyStar

EnergyStar provides an energy certification for companies and HVAC systems with outstanding energy and performance rates.

5. Operating Cost

The operating cost is the daily expense of running your HVAC system. This does not include the initial purchase price.

6. Capacity

Every HVAC system possesses a capacity, which is essentially its ability to heat and cool your home. The capacity describes the force of the system.

7. Air Flow

Air flow refers to the amount of air your ductwork is capable of moving throughout the home. Typically, HVAC systems move air at 300 cfm per ton of the system’s capacity.

8. Payback Analysis

Your payback analysis refers to the overall cost and benefits of your heating and cooling system. In other words, it compares the price you pay upfront with the money it takes to keep the system running. This is how you know if you are getting the most from your system for the price.


The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency rating describes how much energy your heating and cooling system is putting to work and how much is being wasted in the process.

10. SEER

SEER refers to the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and tells you how much energy and electricity your HVAC system utilizes.

11. BTU

BTU refers to the British thermal unit. This measures the capacity of your heating and cooling system.

12. MERV

The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value rates the efficiency of a filter. A good filter plays a key role in the functionality of your HVAC system.

13. IAQ

These letters stand for indoor air quality. The air quality in your home is important to your health; therefore, it is vital that your HVAC is running properly and efficiently.

14. EER

The Energy Efficiency Ratio tells you how efficient your window A/C unit is. The higher the rating is, the better your unit is serving you.

Learning the ins and outs of your home can save you money long-term. Understanding how a system works allows you to analyze problems at the source, saving you from bigger issues down the road.

If you have questions regarding any of these terms, call us today. Northern Climate Control serves homeowners in the Denver Metro Area and wants to help you improve your home while saving money.