Glossary of 31 Terms that Your Montana Commercial HVAC Contractor Might Be Using

If you are having a problem with your heating system and need to call in a professional, it is absolutely vital to be able to communicate with your HVAC Contractor in order to resolve the problem. Let’s go through some common lingo to help you ensure that your issues get dealt with. For ease of use, we’ll go in alphabetical order.

AHRI (Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute) – This company sets the standards for production and performance of heating and cooling equipment across North America and the World.

Air handling unit – The indoor part of a heat pump or Air conditioning system that pumps air around the space to achieve the desired ambient temperature.

Boiler – Boilers heat water in a heat exchanger. Either the hot water or the steam from the hot water is pumped through radiators or in-floor systems to heat a space. 

BTU (British Thermal Unit) – The amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water through 1 degree Fahrenheit. One BTU is the equivalent of 1.055 x 103 Joules.

Carbon monoxide – This colorless, odorless gas is the byproduct of the incomplete combustion of fuel. When breathed in, it replaces the oxygen in the blood stream and can cause serious damage to the human body, including potential death. Fuel-burning HVAC appliances include boilers, furnaces and fireplaces.

Coil – Also called an Evaporator Coil, part of a heat pumps is typically in the air handling unit and absorbs the heat from inside the home.

Compressor – The part of an outdoor heat pump or air conditioning unit that compresses and pumps refrigerant. 

Condenser – Within the outdoor portion of a heat pump or air conditioning unit. This part collects heat from the outside in the winter (to send inside) and releases heat to the outdoors in the summer.

Damper – An adjustable gate or plate installed inside a duct to restrict or open air flow internally.

DOE (Department of Energy) – A government agency regulating many aspects of energy, including many aspects of HVAC systems.

Dual fuel – An HVAC system that incorporates two different systems to maximize efficiency.

Ductless Heating – Also called Mini-Split Heat systems, this system is common for a space that is not included in a central HVAC system. For example, these are often used in a garage or storage spaces, as well as an addition built after the current central HVAC system was installed.

Ductwork – A series of tubes used to transport air from HVAC equipment to the used space in the facility. This is used in forced air systems, like furnaces and heat pumps, and is not part of boiler or in-floor systems.

Furnace (Electric) – Electric Furnaces use heat exchangers to heat air, which is circulated through a structure through ductwork. 

Furnace (Gas) – Oil Furnaces burn oil to heat air. The hot air is then circulated around a structure, typically through ductwork to heat the space. 

Geothermal Heating – Not to be confused with ground source heat pumps, this method uses heat from the core of the Earth to heat your space.

Heat exchanger – This is the heating component in a furnace. This heats the air that will be sent through the ductwork to the rest of the structure.

Heat pump – Heat pumps take heat out of the outside air or from the ground to heat an indoor space. This system works in reverse to cool an indoor space by sending the heat from the indoor space.   

Horizontal flow – This refers to a furnace that is installed on its side, with the air coming in through one end and flowing out through the other end. These are typically installed in an attic or a crawlspace.

HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning) – This acronym is used to describe the entire system heating and/or cooling a space. This includes any outdoor unit, indoor air handling unit, ductwork, radiator units, in-floor setups, etc. 

iComfort – Software specific to Lennox Heating and Cooling products that enable use of a programmable thermostat and connection through an application on your mobile device. Check with your Montana Commercial HVAC Contractor if this is available with the unit installed in your facility.

ISO (International Organization for Standardization) – This organization sets the bar for businesses to produce effective products and service their clients.

Lennox Heating & Cooling – Not to be confused with the fine dining company, this company produces has you covered for all of your heating, cooling, and air quality needs. Having a wide range of products from boilers and furnaces to heat pumps air conditioners, your commercial property will be sure to benefit. 

MERV Rating – The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value let you know what size particles an air filter can clear out of the air that passes through it.

Mitsubishi Electric – A company that manufactures electronics and electric components, including ductless and mini-spit air conditioners as well as heat pumps for Commercial HVAC projects

Packaged Unit – A single unit containing both heating and cooling systems, installed outside.

Programmable Thermostat – A thermostat that can be preset to adjust the HVAC system to a different temperature depending on the time of the day.

Radiant In-Floor Heat – This heating system can use oil or electric as its heat supply.  It is installed in the floor and heats the floor, which then radiates heat up into the space.

Refrigerant – A chemical that cools air or objects when it is expanding or vaporizing. Carried in refrigerant lines that connect the outdoor unit to the indoor evaporator coil.

RTU (Rooftop Unit) – An air handling unit installed on the rooftop.

Up-flow Furnace – This refers to a furnace that is installed upright, with the air coming in through the bottom or side and out through the top. These are typically installed in an attic, a basement or outdoor space.

We’re Your Montana HVAC Pros!

Whether your business is a standalone facility or a unit in a larger complex, Garden City has the knowledge and experience to be your Montana Commercial HVAC Contractor.  Give us a call today whether you are having a problem with your current system or looking to install a whole new system!