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Diving into the world of HVAC can be a daunting task for anyone in Columbia, Maryland, especially when the person discovers the HVAC world is complete with its own foreign lexicon. Decoding the mysterious acronyms used in the HVAC industry will help you better comprehend your own system, as well as the HVAC world. Here are some of the HVAC acronyms demystified.


For starters, let’s address the most common acronym that relates to the entire industry. Just in case you didn’t already know, HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. This acronym covers just about everything used to keep your home comfortable.


You’ll often see British thermal units (Btu) used as a measurement of efficiency. Btus specifically measure the energy used to power both heating and cooling equipment.


EER stands for Energy Efficiency Ratio. This ratio measures how efficiently an air conditioner or other cooling system operates during a given period. The higher the EER, the more efficiently your system is running. In the same family as this acronym is SEER or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. This measures the cooling efficiency across an entire cooling season rather than just based on a single temperature. Again, a higher SEER means higher efficiency.


Just like the previous acronyms, these two are similar. HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) specifically measures the heating efficiency of a heat pump. This ratio is obtained by dividing the seasonal heating output by the power consumption. On the other hand, AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) measures the efficiency of heat output pertaining to conventional furnaces. Similar to the HSPF, this ratio can be reached by dividing the delivered heat by the amount of fuel consumed. Again, the higher the HSPF or AFUE is, the more efficient the system.

If you have more questions about the mysterious language of the HVAC world or would like any of these ratios measured, give us a call at 888-474-3391.

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