Glossary

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Glossary

 

These are the most common terms in Refrigeration and Appliance Repair

AFUE

Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, a rating that reflects the efficiency of a gas furnace in converting fuel to energy. A rating of 90 means that approximately 90% of the fuel is utilized to provide warmth to your home, while the remaining 10% escapes as exhaust.

AGITATOR

A device that is used to stir or shake up a mixture. Typically used to move clothing through water containing detergent. Sometimes called a GYRATOR

BTU

British Thermal Unit. In scientific terms, it represents the amount of energy required to raise one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. One BTU is the equivalent of the heat given off by a single wooden kitchen match. For your home, it represents the measure of heat given off when fuel is burned for heating or the measure of heat extracted from your home for cooling.

Capacity

The output or producing ability of a piece of cooling or heating equipment. Cooling and heating capacity are normally referred to in BTUs.

CMF

A standard of airflow measurement. Cubic Feet per Minute. A typical system produces 400 CFM per ton of air conditioning.
Stands for cubic feet per minute. This is the amount of airflow that flows through your system. When using air conditioning the rule of thumb is 400 CFM per ton of air. For example a 4 ton system has to have a duct system capable of delivering 1600 CFM of airflow.conditioning

Cold Control

A switch that controls an electric current in response to changing temperature. More properly called a THERMOSTAT

Compressor

The heart of an air conditioning or heat pump system. It is part of the outdoor unit that pumps refrigerant. The compressor maintains adequate pressure to cause refrigerant to flow in sufficient quantities to meet the cooling requirements of the system
An electro-mechanical device used to circulate refrigerant through a refrigeration system for the purpose of transferring heat

Condenser Coil or Outdoor Coil

Located in the outdoor unit, the coil dissipates heat from the refrigerant, changing the refrigerant from vapor to liquid.

Damper

Found in duct work, this movable plate opens and closes to control airflow. Dampers are used effectively in zoning to regulate airflow to certain room

Defrost Termination Thermostat

A bimetal switch used to open the electric circuit to the defrost heater once a set temperature is reached. The defrost cycle will continue until the timer advances into the cooling cycle, however the heater will no longer be energized. This thermostat will reset to a closed position once a set colder temperature is again reached. May also be called a DEFROST LIMIT SWITCH.

Defrost Timer

An electro-mechanical clock device that periodically switches from cooling to defrost to remove the buildup of frost from the evaporator. A possible compressor run time of 6 - 12 hrs. with defrost duration time of 20 - 30 minutes is common

Door Seal

A resilient or flexible material used between mating surfaces to provide a leak-proof seal. May also be called a DOOR GASKET.

Down flow Furnace

A furnace that pulls in return air from the top and expels warm air at the bottom.

Drain Pan

A pan-shaped panel used to collect condensate from the evaporator during a defrost cycle. It is usually located above a condenser coil or atop the compressor. May also be called CONDENSATE PAN.

Drip Pan/Tray

A pan-shaped panel used to collect drips, spillage or condensate

Ductwork

Pipes or channels that carry air throughout your home.

EnergyStar

Is a program of the U.S. Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency. It is designed with the purpose of helping consumers identify energy efficient products. We are proud to be part of the energy star program and offer many products that meet their standards.

Evaporator

That part of the refrigeration system in which the refrigerant evaporates, absorbing heat from the surrounding area. Sometime mistakenly thought to be that point where the drain pan evaporates the condensate water.

Evaporator Coil

The coil that is inside your house in a split system. In the evaporator, refrigerant evaporates and absorbs heat from air passed over the coil.

Fill Valve

An electro-mechanical device that opens a valve to allow water to flow. The electric current causes a magnetic field to develop in the solenoid coil which in turn then moves a metallic plunger. The plunger is attached to a diaphragm which opens the valve. May also be called a WATER VALVE or WATER FILL VALVE.

Filter

A device containing a porous material or a material itself, through which a liquid or gas is passed in order to separate suspended particulate matter. Common filter materials are activated charcoal, polypropylene and HEPA (high efficiency particulate air [filter])

Filter Dryer

A device containing screens and absorbent material through which refrigerant gas is passed in order to remove moisture that would be detrimental to other components and the functioning of a refrigeration syst

Freon

Trade name for a family of synthetic chemical refrigerants manufactured by DuPont. Sometime mistakenly called FreeZone

Fuse

A safety device that protects an electric circuit from excessive current. It consists of or contains a metal filament that melts when current exceeds a specific amperage, thereby opening the circuit.

Gasket

A resilient or flexible material used between mating surfaces to provide a leak-proof seal. May also be called a SEAL

Heat Exchanger

A device for the transfer of heat energy from the source to the conveying mediu

Horizontal Furnace (Cross space or Attic)

A furnace that lies on its side, pulling in return air from one side and expelling warm air from the other.

HSPF

Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, a rating used in measuring the heating efficiency of a heat pump. The higher the number, the more efficient the unit.

Humidifier

A device that injects water vapor into heated air as the air is expelled from the furnace

Humidity

The amount of moisture in the air. Air conditioners remove moisture for added comfort

HVAC

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning

Ignator

A solid state semiconductor, usually made of Carborundum that produces heat when a current is applied. Typically used to ignite natural gas or propane in heating appliances such as ranges, dryers and water heaters

Infinite Heat Switch

A switch that controls the amount of heat generated by an electric range surface burner. It accomplishes this by quickly cycling the voltage on and off to achieve an intermediate range (e.g. at medium it may supply 100% voltage for only 50% of the time it is switched on). It does not act like a rheostat and reduce the voltage, to lessen the heat generated, as sometime mistakenly thought.

Moulding

A piece of plastic used to cover the joint between the inner and outer cabinet of a refrigerator or freezer. May also be called a BREAKER STRIP.

Package System

A piece of air conditioning and heating equipment where all components are located in one cabinet. Used occasionally in residential applications, the package unit is installed either beside or on top of the home.

Pressure Switch

An electric switch activated by air pressure. This device detects air pressure exerted on it through a flexible tube connecting it to part of a water tub. When activated, this switch then opens an electrical circuit stopping further filling of the machine. May also be called a WATER PRESSURE SWITCH, WATER LEVEL CONTROL

Pump

A machine or device for moving or compressing fluids or gases.

Refrigerant

 
A substance that produces a refrigerating effect while expanding or vaporizing

Refrigerant Lines

 
Set of two copper lines connecting the outdoor unit and the indoor unit

Relay

An electro-mechanical switch that diverts the current when the flow is changed or when an external current is applied
 

Seer

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, a rating that measures the cooling efficiency of a heat pump or air conditioner. The higher the number, the more efficient the u
 

Single Stage / Single Speed -

This means that the unit is designed to perform at its highest heat mode. Furnaces are always designed to be able to heat your home on the coldest day. The problem with this is that you only need this heating capability a few days of the year. Single speed furnaces do not have the capability to adjust to milder conditions, this causing high temperature swings, a less comfortable living environment and increased energy usage.
 

Solenoid

 
An electro-mechanical device that produces a magnetic field, to move an internal metallic plunger, when power is supplied. When power to the electromagnet is discontinued, the plunger is free again to move by other forces. This plunger can be attached to other devices (levers, seals, etc.) to do mechanical work.

Split System

Refers to a comfort system configuration consisting of components in two locations. Common examples include an outside unit, such as an air conditioner and an indoor unit, such as a furnace and coil
 

Switchover Valve

 
A device in a heat pump that reverses the flow of refrigerant as the system is switched from cooling to heating. Also called a reversing valve or four-way valve.

Temperature Zoning

Zoning systems allow you to control your heating and cooling comfort where and when you want it. When using zoning you no longer have the problem of over heating and cooling rooms you are not occupying, in order to be comfortable in another. Each zone is equipped with its' own thermostat and air volume damper that opens and closes as needed, based on that zones' thermostat setting. This allows for maximum efficiency with your heating and cooling system. You do not have to buy a new heating or cooling unit to do this; you simply add air volume dampers and controls to your existing duct work. Think of it like controlling the lights inside your house; you only use it where you need it.
 

Thermostat

A switch that controls an electric current or the flow of a liquid or gas in response to changing temperature
 
A temperature control device, typically found on a wall inside the home, that consists of a series of sensors and relays that monitor and control the functions of a heating and cooling system. Programmable thermostats allow you to program different levels of comfort for different times of the day

Timer

A mechanism used to control the on and off times of an electric circuit. Also see DEFROST TIMER.
 

Ton

A unit of measurement used for determining cooling capacity. One ton is the equivalent of 12,000 BTUs per hour.
 

Two-Speed / Two-Stage

The unit is capable of performing at two heating stages. This greatly improves on indoor air circulation, overall comfort and also reduces operating noise. It operates on the lower speed over 90% of the time, which saves the consumer money on fuel and electricity. It only performs at high heat mode when there is a big demand for heat. This creates an overall more comfortable home with less temperature swings that are often associated with single speed furnaces.
 

Up flow Furnace

A furnace that pulls return air in from the bottom and expels warm air from the top.
 

UV Treatment

U.V. air treatment systems can kill up to 87% of known airborne bacteria that passes through your heating and cooling system. This greatly reduces the amount of harmful agents such as mold, pollen, and dust that your family breathes. The lamps are similar to those used in hospitals and laboratories zapping the airborne particles that pass through the light and prevent them from being re-circulated back into the air. The U.V. bulbs are easily added to your existing heating and cooling system and are easy to replace when needed. The treatment comes with a five year warranty and meets the American Lung Association guideline.
 

Variable-Speed

 
Variable speed furnaces offer the quietest most efficient technology on the market today. The blower motor uses only 1/8 of the power of a standard furnace and has the ability to ramp airflow up and down based on temperature demand resulting in maximized home comfort. This furnace is especially effective for those who suffer from high-energy bills or for those with air filtration needs; such as allergy sufferers, pet owners, and those with dust problems. Using this furnace also increases air conditioning efficiency 10%

Water Level Control

An electric switch activated by air pressure. This device detects air pressure exerted on it through a flexible tube connecting it to part of a water tub. When activated, this switch then opens an electrical circuit stopping further filling of the machine. May also be called a PRESSURE SWITCH.
 

Water Level

 
An electro-mechanical device that opens a valve to allow water to flow. The electric current causes a magnetic field to develop, in the solenoid coil, which then move

Zoning

 
A method of dividing a home into zones and enabling you to control the amount of comfort provided to each place.

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