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Learn Important Terms for HVAC Cooling Season

Learn Important Terms for HVAC Cooling Season | SherlockIf you experience cooling system troubles this season, you’ll have an easier time describing the problem and understanding the diagnosis and remedy your technician recommends if you know some relevant HVAC terminology. We’ve put together a list of frequently-used cooling-specific HVAC terms that can help.

  • SEER — This is an acronym for the efficiency rating given to cooling equipment, and it stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio. It gives you the ratio of the equipment’s cooling output divided by its energy usage over one season. Numerical SEER ratings increase as efficiency improves, so higher-rated equipment is more efficient.
  • Capacity — Also referred to as cooling capacity, this tells you how much heat the equipment moves in one hour’s time. The common capacity measurement is a “ton,” which is 12,000 Btu of heat.
  • Refrigerant — This is the chemical compound used as a heat transfer mechanism in a cooling system. It gets pumped through the refrigerant lines and coils in a closed, continuous loop and transforms from liquid to gas form to absorb and release heat.
  • Air handler — The indoor portion of a split-system A/C or heat pump, the air handler houses several key cooling components including the evaporator, air filter, blower and condensate drain system.
  • Evaporator — Also called the cooling coil, this is where heat absorption occurs. Refrigerant enters the coil as a chilled liquid, then converts into a gas as it pulls heat energy from the indoor air.
  • Blower — This fan pulls stale indoor air in from the return ductwork, draws it over the coil for cooling, then circulates freshly-cooled air out through your home via the supply ducts.
  • Compressor — Your outdoor unit houses this vital component that pressurizes and pumps refrigerant through the system’s loop of copper lines and coils.
  • Condenser — Also situated in the outdoor unit is the condenser coil that’s responsible for expelling captured heat into the outdoor air. Refrigerant enters the coil as a hot gas and releases the heat it contains as it transforms back into a liquid.

To learn more cooling season HVAC terms, contact the San Diego home comfort pros at Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater
area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “YuryImaging/Shutterstock”

California Air Conditioning: What Is a SEER?

What is a SEER? The answer to this question depends on who you ask.

If you walk into Madame Marie’s fortune-telling shop and you ask the question, she’s going to say “You’re looking at one.”

On the other hand, if you ask the same question to a Sherlock California Air Conditioning technician you’re going to get an entirely different answer.

SEER Rating

In the world of air conditioning the acronym SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. This is something to look for when you are shopping for a central air conditioning system.

Energy efficiency is very important when you are using your air conditioner. Many people here in southern California and around the world are very much interested in protecting the environment.

It is important to act intelligently for the well-being of our children and grandchildren so that they can have the natural resources that they need to thrive.

Aside from environmental concerns, the efficiency of your air conditioning system is going to determine how large your monthly electric bill will be.

When you are running your air conditioner around-the-clock during certain parts of the year the bills can really be astronomical if you don’t have an efficient system installed in a home that is well insulated.

The way that the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio is calculated involves measuring the cooling output during a given season by the unit in question in comparison to the total energy input that was required to provide this output of air conditioning.

This calculation is reduced to a numerical value. According to the United States Department of Energy website the minimum SEER rating that is allowable today for central air conditioners is 13. Back in the day there were systems routinely utilized that had Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratios of 6 or lower.

One very easy way to see if the central air conditioning system that you are considering meets the standard is to look for the ENERGY STAR® symbol.

While a 13 SEER rating is the minimum allowable by law for units manufactured after January 26th of 2006 there is no reason why you cannot look for a system that is considerably more efficient than those with ratings that are just meeting the standard.

Remember, while you may pay more in the first place you’re going to be running the air conditioner for years, and month after month you will realize savings if you go with a system that has a higher SEER rating. For example, the Lennox XC21 boasts a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio of up to 21.20.

If you’d like to learn more about energy-efficient central air conditioning units and explore your options with the benefit of expert guidance simply give us a call at (760) 295-5014 or request an appointment through our website.

Your Heat Pump Will Do Its Job If You Do the Right Prepping

Your Heat Pump Will Do Its Job If You Do the Right PreppingOur climate is one of the best places to use a heat pump to cool and heat your home. Preparing your home beforehand assures that you’ll get the most from this remarkable conditioning appliance. How you size it, choose its energy efficiency and place it on your property will make a difference in your satisfaction with it. Continue reading “Your Heat Pump Will Do Its Job If You Do the Right Prepping” »