HVAC Acronyms

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Having an HVAC system in need of servicing or being in the market for having an HVAC system installed in your home or office exposes us to a great deal of HVAC acronyms. It’s easy to feel like you’re having to learn a completely different language all together . BTU? FPM? VAV? What? When trying to make informed decisions about HVAC all the acronyms can be confusing. Let’s break down some of the most common ones.

CFM. This acronym stands for cubic feet per minute. It’s a measure of air volume; specifically, how many cubic feet of air passes a specific point in the space of one minute. This measurement is one factor in determining how big an A/C unit you’ll need.

CAV. A constant air volume system puts out the same amount of air at all times but changes the air temperature up and down to keep the room temperature constant. This type of system is more often found in smaller commercial buildings.

BTU. This stands for British Thermal Unit. It’s a unit used to measure heat. From a technical standpoint, it’s the amount of heat needed to increase the temperature of a pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. From a practical perspective, it’s a way of measuring how much heat your A/C can remove from the air.

BTU/H. You also have British Thermal Units per hour, which measure the amount of heat your A/C removes in a single hour..

FPM. This is feet per minute and refers to the speed of airflow. CFM measures how much air gets moved in a minute, while FPM measures how fast the air is moving. FPM is also a factor in determining the size of your HVAC system.

VAV. A variable air volume system is a type of HVAC system that controls temperatures by adjusting air volume, or how much air it’s putting out. This is typically the type of system used in residential homes.

SEER.  Stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio.  It’s a measurement of an air conditioner’s cooling capacity to power input, or simply the ratio of cooling produced (in BTU’s) divided by the amount of electricity used (in watts). The higher the SEER rating means the greater the unit’s efficiency.

COIL.  Equipment that performs heat transfer to air when mounted inside an air handling unit or ductwork.  It is heated or cooled by electrical means or by circulating liquid or steam within it.

CONDENSER.   A component in the basic refrigeration cycle that ejects or removes heat from the system.

SPLIT SYSTEM.  Is the combination of an outdoor unit and an indoor unit.

Whether you’re looking to have an HVAC system installed in your home or office, or if you need your system serviced,  5 DIAMOND MECHANICAL is here to assist  you at your convenience. We proudly serve all of San Diego City and County. Please Be Safe.  Please Be Well.

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