Your HVAC system is the collective appliances, ducts, registers, radiators, etc. that are involved with heating and cooling your home, as well as circulating the air through it. Shopping around for a furnace or air condition can feel like reading a book in a foreign language if you're not familiar with all of the acronyms used. ACH? ECO? What do all the letters mean? Here's a look at some of the more common abbreviations you'll come across.
ACH: Stands for "air changes per hour." This term is used to indicate how many times an HVAC system fully replaces the air in a home in an hour. For instance, if the ACH is 2, that means the air in a home is exchanged completely twice within 60 minutes.
ECO: Stands for "energy conservation opportunity." Your HVAC technician may use this term to refer to any option which you can take to reduce your home's energy use. For instance, updating your insulation might be an ECO. Changing your air filter more often may be another ECO.
BTU: Stands for "British thermal units." One British thermal unit is the amount of energy it takes to warm a pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. The higher the BTU, the more "powerful" the furnace or AC unit. You'll want a unit with a higher BTU for a larger home, and one with a smaller BTU for a smaller home.
LAT: Stands for "leaving air temperature." This term is often used to compare forced air furnace systems. It's the temperature of the air when it comes out of the blower unit and is pushed into your home. A higher LAT usually transfers to faster heating.
SE: Stands for "smoke exhaust." You may see this term used to describe how your furnace will be fitted with a pipe or chimney to direct exhaust out of your home.
TSTAT: Stands for "thermostat." This one is straightforward.
RTU: Stands for "roof top unit." If you see this abbreviation used to describe a furnace or air conditioner, it's probably one intended for industrial or commercial use since home HVAC systems are not typically placed on the roof.
If you come across any abbreviations that you cannot figure out when reading about furnaces and air conditioners, don't hesitate to ask your HVAC technician. They will not only tell you what the term means, but also how it applies to what you're looking for in an HVAC system. For assistance, talk to a professional like A Bailey Plumbing.
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