Homeowners don't need to know everything about HVAC, but it does help to familiarize yourself with some of the most frequently used HVAC abbreviations to better understand product reviews, service estimates, and your friendly A+ technician the next time they stop by to help.
We've collected the most important abbreviations to remember before your next service appointment!
The Most Common HVAC Acronyms and Abbreviations
Here are the most common questions we've received from customers over the years. Did you already know what they stand for?
What does BTU stand for in HVAC?
BTU stands for British Thermal Unit. BTU is a measurement of the amount of energy used by HVAC equipment. BTUs are used globally to measure the amount of heat required to increase or decrease the temperature of 1 pound of water 1 degree Fahrenheit.
So what does BTUH stand for?
BTUH stands for British Thermal Units per Hour. This time-based metric measures how much heat (measured in BTUs) an AC unit can remove from a room in one hour.
BTUs and BTUHs are both used to determine the right size AC unit for a home based on its square footage.
What does HEPA stand for?
HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air. To earn a HEPA rating, filters must remove at least 99.7% of dust, pollen, bacteria, or other airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns. To maintain this high air filtering efficiency, HEPA filters must be cleaned or replaced regularly. Using the right filter for your home is essential in improving indoor air quality.
What is a MERV rating?
MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Valuesand reflects an air filter's ability to capture airborne particles between 0.3 and 10 microns. The top MERV ratings qualify as HEPA filters and receive a MERV rating of 16. The lowest MERV rating category is 1-4, which captures less than 20% of particles 3-10 microns in size.
What is a SEER rating?
SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. SEER is used as the universal rating system for air conditioning units. SEER provides an average efficiency rating, but actual performance can be influenced by your home's insulation, type of windows, the size of your home, and other factors.
SEER vs. EER
SEER is used to rate window air conditioning units. EER, or Energy Efficiency Ratio, is used to rate heat pumps and all central air conditioning units. It's worth noting that dozens of states have established minimum SEER and EER ratings, an effort that began with the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975.