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The initials
:
HVAC stand for Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning
and are often used to describe the industry that produces the
equipment that brings comfort to your home
or business. .

AFUE - This is a percentage measurement of a furnace's heating efficiency. The U.S. Government's minimum efficiency level is 78%. The higher the AFUE, the more efficient the furnace. The initials stand for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency.

Energy Star - A voluntary partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, product manufacturers, local utilities and retailers. Partners help promote energy-efficient products by labeling products with the Energy Star logo and educating consumers about the unique benefits of energy-efficient products. In addition to labeled products, Energy Star offers voluntary partnerships, which promote energy efficiency, reduce air pollution, and save money for businesses large and small. Each year, these partnerships save over $1 billion in energy costs while also cutting air pollution. When properly installed, Energy Star-labeled products can save consumers 10-40% on heating and cooling bills each year.

SEER - This is a measurement of the efficiency of cooling products. The U.S. Government's minimum efficiency level is 10 SEER for split systems and 9.7 for packaged units. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the cooling product. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating.

HSPF - This is a measurement of a heat pump's heating efficiency. There is no governmental minimum rating. The higher the HSPF, the more efficient the heat pump's heating performance. HSPF stands for Heating Seasonal Performance Factor.

A Note About Efficiencies: When you're getting ready to replace an older heating or cooling system, it's very important for you to get a Load Calculation done by your dealer/contractor. The greater the difference between the efficiency of your old system to the new system, the more likelihood that the dealer will recommend a smaller sized unit. This should not cause alarm, as the dealer, by running a Load Calculation, will be able to accurately size the system to the load in your home. It can be quite detrimental to equipment if the units are too large for the load in your home - they can start to "short cycle" (they run often but for very short periods of time, because they are pumping out too much heat/cooling and reach the thermostat's setting too quickly), which can shorten the life of the unit dramatically.

BTU - British thermal unit. This is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. You'll see this measurement when you look at heating and cooling capacities - for example, your dealer may recommend a 75,000 Btu furnace and a 24,000 Btu air conditioner for your home.

Equipment Sizing: A good rule of thumb to size your home for the proper air conditioning tonnage is 500 sg feet per tone. A home with 1500 sg feet would need a 3-Ton system, 2000 sg feet a 4-Ton system, 2500 sg feet a 5-Ton system. If your home is designed differently than most and have more windows and more heat gain than most homes you will need to get you home sized by a professional for the correct tonnage.

A Note About Capacities: Gas furnaces are generally rated by "input" in Btu's per hour (Btuh). A furnace rated at 100,000 Btuh that is 80% efficient (80% AFUE) will have an output of 80,000 Btuh. In other words, 80% of the total heat produced by burning the gas will be in the form of usable heat to warm your home. The other 20% is exhausted from your house along with the flue products.
By the same token, a 100,000 Btuh furnace that is 90% efficient only sends 10% of the total heat out the chimney - thus burning less gas to get the same results and reducing your gas heating costs.

GPH - Gallons Per Hour. You might see this rating if you are looking at an oil furnace. In addition to input and output, an oil furnace also has a rating of gallons per hour, the volume of oil a furnace is capable of burning in 60 minutes.

A Note About Oil Furnaces: Many oil furnaces are dual rated. That is, they are listed with two different heating capacities. For example, your oil furnace might be rated as:

Input 140,000 Btuh Input 154,000 Btuh
Output 113,000 Btuh Output 125,000 Btuh
.85 gph 1.00 gph

This means that at the lower rating, the furnace is capable of producing 113,000 Btu's of usable heat per hour to heat your home. And, if it ran constantly for one hour, it would consume .85 gallons of oil. If, however, your dealer sets up your oil furnace to operate at the higher rating, it would produce 125,000 Btu's of usable heat per hour, and use 1.00 gallons of oil. Whether your oil furnace is set up by your dealer to operate at the higher or lower rating depends on that all-important Load Calculation. By properly sizing the furnace to your home, you will be assured of maximum comfort, energy savings and extended equipment life.

COP - Coefficient Of Performance. A ratio that compares a heat pump system's heating efficiency to that of electric resistance heat. For example, a heat pump system with a COP of 3.0 provides heat at 3 times the efficiency of electric resistance heat. A heat pump's system COP will decrease as outdoor temperatures drop, eventually providing little or no efficiency advantage over electric resistance heat - and that's when your auxiliary heat strips start to heat your home.

Ton - You'll often see this as a measurement of the capacity of an air conditioning system. Don't panic, it doesn't measure weight! Just like gas and oil furnaces, air conditioners and heat pumps are rated in Btu's. One ton of air conditioning is 12,000 Btu's per hour. This means that a "one ton" air conditioning system has the capability of removing 12,000 Btu's of heat per hour from your home.

A Note About Air Conditioning:
You've heard the saying "It's not the heat, it's the humidity." Air conditioning systems do more that just cool your home - they remove moisture. The more humid it is outside, the harder an air conditioner has to work. But does that mean that if you get a bigger unit, it will work better? NO. An air conditioning system that is too large will neither cool nor dehumidify properly, and the result will be an uncomfortable, clammy home.

Ambient Temperature
- this is the air temperature (usually the outdoor air temperature) surrounding the equipment.

Split System - This describes an air conditioning or heat pump system that is split into two sections - an outdoor section and an indoor section. It won't work without the outdoor section plus an indoor section to move the air.
Condensing Unit - This is the outdoor section of a split system air conditioning system. You'll know it best as the air conditioner that sits outside your home.

Air Handler - This is the indoor section of a split system. It can be a dedicated air handler, or could be your furnace. Also known as a fan-coil.

Indoor/Evaporator Coil - If your furnace is the air handler section of your split system, then you'll need an indoor coil added to your furnace to complete the system. The coil transfers heat to give you cool air and also aids in dehumidification.

Heat Pump - A unit that both cools and heats your home. A heat pump system can be either a split system or a packaged system. A heat pump can be used in conjunction with a gas/oil/LP furnace (using the furnace instead of electric resistance heat when temperatures fall below about 35 F) with the addition of a fossil fuel kit.

Packaged System
- Packaged units provide both heating and cooling from one unit that is placed outside the home - on the ground, on the roof, or sometimes mounted through the walls of the building. Packaged units come in several combinations of fuel sources - gas heat/electric cooling; heat pump; electric heat/electric cooling; oil heat/electric cooling.

 
1. Air Cleaners - http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/airclean.html
2. Compressors - http://www.copeland-corp.com/cp_ac/cp_ac_5.htm
3. Air Filtration furnace filters
Air filtration is the first step in improving your indoor air. In today's indoor environments, pollution levels often exceed those in outdoor air.  Medical studies report that your respiratory system may have to eliminate up to two heaping tablespoons of particulate every day.  Dust, pollens, mold spores, animal dander, carpet lint, bacteria, rubber, and dust mite feces are some of the pollutants we inhale.  This results in sinus congestion, sore throats, asthma, allergies and many other symptoms.  We offer several pleated disposable filters and permanent electrostatic filters. Visit our Air Filtration department to choose from the many high efficiency pleated filters. If you need any help at all please e-mail or call us today.
Higher Efficiency Pleated Air Filter Lasts Up To 3 Months
  • High Performance Disposable Air Filter
  • Traps "Allergy Triggers" Such As Pollen, Plant Spores, Pet Dander, Lint and Household Dust
  • 6 Times More Efficient Than Standard Disposable Types
  • Up To 95% Arrestance Of Independent Laboratory Test Dust
  • Pleated Material Provides More Than Twice The Effective Filtration Surface Area Of Most Other Filters
Disposable pleated air filters
Pleated Air Conditioning Filters outperform ordinary Air Conditioning and furnace filters and allow air-handling systems to stay cleaner and operate more efficiently.  These pleated filters are made with a cotton/poly blended media. These allergy filters are 6 times more effective at capturing micro particles than ordinary fiberglass filters.  Our 1", 2" & 4" deep pleated panel filters are made using 24-point beverage board. Each filter lasts up to 3 months
WE CAN MAKE ANY SIZE!  Call
Toll Free: (888) 539-9372. Filters will ship between 7 and 10 business days.
 
4. http://www.residential.carrier.com/products/aircleaners/eac.htm
5.Changing Your Filter
A very useful routine to establish is to check your heating system before the start of the heating season. If it hasn't been serviced recently, begin the cold season by paying a pro to clean and tune the system. Most of the manuals that accompany furnaces, however, include a table of recommended maintenance chores and replacements to make as well as a schedule for when and how often they should be done. This is very useful information for a homeowner to have; maintaining your heating system on a regular basis can increase its efficiency and life. These manuals will also have schematics that will help you locate the parts to be serviced.

Some of the maintenance chores, such as replacing a dust filter as shown below, are relatively simple to do. This is one chore you'll probably remember to do if you have a forced-air heating system. If you don't, you'll eventually notice a reduction of airflow because a thick mat of collected dust is blocking it. You might not be aware of other filters, however. Some hot-air systems may have a filter on the return air grille, the oversized, centrally located, usually wall-mounted grille that returns cool air to the furnace for reheating. If an electronic air cleaner is added to the system, it's likely to have two filters - a wire-mesh grille for trapping larger particles of airborne debris, and electrostatic dust-collecting canisters. On most systems, the canisters are removable; you can pull them out of the cleaner and fit them in a dishwasher.

Oil-fired systems also have filters to replace. Just like a car engine, the furnace has a filter in the oil line designed to trap sludge and other impurities that can clog the spray nozzle. They are very helpful if the furnace kicks in soon after an oil delivery, which stirs up sludge from the bottom of the tank. A typical oil filter looks like a small canister attached to the oil feed line. The body of the canister unscrews to provide access to the removable filter cartridge inside. Because oil spills are smelly and difficult to clean up, put a pan beneath the filter (and wear rubber gloves) to make the change. Since systems vary from one to another, consult your service manual for help in locating and replacing this filter.

Before you work on any furnace make sure that the system is turned off and its power supply is interrupted. Remember that any furnace, even a gas-operated system, can appear to be off but can then be suddenly triggered into operation by the thermostat. If you do not feel comfortable working on a furnace, hire a professional.

 Safety Tips: Turn off electrical power to the furnace before changing the filter

Fig. 2

 


<-(Fig.1)


1) Remove the Grille

Most furnaces have air-intake grilles that are easily removed. First, turn off the power supply to the furnace and then remove the grille, following the manufacturer's instructions. (Fig. 2)


Fig.3

 

2) Replace the Dust Filter
The most basic job, and one of the easiest, is to replace the dust filter. (Fig. 3) You may need to do this several times a year. Be sure to replace the old filter with a new one of the same size and type. While you're there you might want to gently vacuum out any dust that has collected around the filter area. Refer to the owner's manual for specific information. Always Install the furnace door before operating furnace.

 
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