Common Air Conditioning Terms

Air Conditioning Terms

It’s not necessary to become an expert in the operation and repair of an air conditioning system. However, basic knowledge of common HVAC lingo, air conditioning terms, and the components and machinery used in the air conditioning business will help if and when the time comes when you must contact an AC company.

6 of the Most Common Air Conditioning Terms

Air conditioning is our best friend during the hot summer months in Tampa Bay so get to know it a little better with these common terms. Some of the important terms used include:

1. British Thermal Unit (BTU)

A popular method for cooling before air conditioners existed was to use giant blocks of ice. The rate at which those blocks melted was measured in a “ton” of cooling. Today, this same amount of cooling is measured in British Thermal Units. The number of BTUs an air conditioner provides is a measure of how large of a space the unit will be able to cool.

BTU- British Thermal Units

2. Refrigerant

A common problem when an air conditioner no longer seems to work is a refrigerant leak. The system cycles coolant through the system by turning it into a gas in the evaporator and returning it to a liquid through the condenser. A lack of refrigerant or coolant means the system won’t cool anything. Refrigerant cycle

3. Air Filter

Homeowners are commonly advised to change out their air conditioner’s filter on a regular basis. The air filter makes sure that tiny particles aren’t cycled through the machinery and aren’t allowed to return to the cool air in the home. A clogged filter reduces AC efficiency and increases electricity use.

Air Conditioning Air Filter

4. Evaporator Coil

The evaporator coil forces the coolant to turn into a gaseous state by allowing the refrigerant to absorb heat and swiftly vaporize. The evaporator is part of the continuous system of coolant transfer that also includes the condenser and the compressor. Air Conditioning Evaporator Coil

5. Condenser

The condenser is the outdoor unit to your air conditioning system. When the coolant from the evaporator has been turned into a gas, it will return to the condenser to be turned back into a liquid. A condenser will use a compressor to increase the pressure of the refrigerant to force it to turn back into a liquid. 

6. Compressor

The compressor is part of the condenser assembly, and as the name would suggest, increases the pressure around the coolant by reducing its volume. The compressor is part of the refrigerant cycle that repeats itself over and over again within the AC machinery.

AC Condenser Compressor

Contact Climate Design for AC Service

Were you already familiar with these air conditioning terms? Gaining an understanding of common terms used by AC professionals will make it easier to get the system serviced and figure out what needs to be done to update or improve cooling capacity in the home.

Contact us now if you are having trouble with or to schedule maintenance for your air conditioner, or if you would like to discuss indoor air quality solutions, need to install a new AC or have a plumbing issue. We are the air conditioning experts in Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Tampa, and Bradenton.

Call (888) 572-7245 to Schedule Your Appointment