HVAC 101: Know These Cooling Season Terms
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HVAC 101: Know These Cooling Season Terms


When you are trying to communicate with a service professional, whether your auto mechanic or HVAC technician, it can be confusing if you get lost in trade jargon. If you’re in need of HVAC service, repair or possible installation of a new cooling system, keep these HVAC terms in mind to help you make decisions that best serve your needs.

Air Handler

The indoor part of a split-system air conditioner or heat pump is the air handler. The air handler pulls airflow through return ducts, cools the airflow and then pushes the cooled air back to your home via supply ducts.


The compressor is the component that prepares refrigerant to release the heat that was collected from your home. Older compressors are generally piston types that tend to be noisier and less efficient than modern scroll compressors.

Energy Star

The federal Energy Star program was developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). HVAC systems must meet stringent guidelines for energy efficiency and offer advanced features compared to conventional systems to brandish the Energy Star logo.

Evaporator and Condenser Coils

Your central air system contains two coils. The coil that absorbs heat energy from your home is the evaporator. The condenser coil releases the heat energy to the air outside your home.


HVAC is an acronym for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. So, when you or your HVAC professional speak of your Portland home’s HVAC system, you may be discussing a central A/C system, a heat pump, a furnace, ductwork, a heat-recovery ventilator or add-on systems, such as a zoning system or a whole-home dehumidifier.

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is an energy-efficiency rating for A/Cs and heat pumps. SEER numbers of cooling systems are determined by factoring cooling output to energy input during the course of the cooling months. The higher the SEER number, the greater cooling efficiency a system provides.

Don’t be confused by HVAC terms and jargon. Work with a Portland HVAC contractor that truly cares about customer service. Contact the experts at Roth Heating & Cooling today to learn more.

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