FAQs

Purchasing a Heating and Air Conditioning system for your home can be a sizable investment. Many of our customers have asked us over the years to explain the terminology that is so frequently used.

Some of the more commonly asked questions include:

What are BTU's?
What exactly is a SEER rating?
What does TON mean?
What is a COIL and do I really have to have one?
What is a Compressor?
What is the Condenser anyway?
What is Refrigerant?
What does Air Flow Volume Mean?


What are BTU's?

BTU (British Thermal Unit) - A BTU is, in fact, the amount of energy needed to change the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. The heat extracted from your home by an air conditioner is measured in BTUs.

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What exactly is a SEER rating?
SEER - Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. The higher a unit's SEER, the more efficient it uses electricity. All new central systems sold in the United States must be at least 13 SEER.

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What does TON mean?

Ton:  the unit of measure for an air conditioning system's capacity. One ton of air conditioning removes 12,000 BTUs of heat energy per hour from a home. Residential air conditioners usually range from one to five tons.

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What is a COIL and do I have to have one?
Coil - a network of tubes filled with refrigerant that looks a lot like the radiator in your car. A coil located inside the home takes heat and moisture out of the air as liquid refrigerant evaporates. Sometimes called the cooling or evaporator coil. (See also Condenser)  If you have or want Air Conditioning in your house, you must have a coil installed.

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What is a COMPRESSOR?

Compressor - the pump that circulates refrigerant from the indoor coil to the outdoor condensing unit and back again. It's called the heart of the system and it is located in the Condensing unit which usually sits outside.

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What is the CONDENSER anyway?
Condenser - a network of tubes located in your unit outside the home that removes the heat from the hot, gaseous refrigerant to make it liquid again. A fan discharges the heat to the outdoors. Sometimes this unit is called the condenser coil.

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What is REFRIGERANT?
Refrigerant - the real name for what you might call "freon," it's fluid that evaporates at relatively low temperature, sucking heat and humidity out of the air as it does.

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What does Air Flow Volume Mean?
Air flow volume - the amount of air the system circulates through your home, expressed in cubic feet per minute (cfm). Proper air flow depends on the outdoor unit, the indoor unit, the ductwork and even whether the filters are clean.

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