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Actuator A small electric motor, or an electric solenoid, that moves a duct-mounted, air-flow damper in response to a signal from a programmable, zone-control thermostat.  
AFUE Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency is shown as a percentage and indicates the amount of energy a furnace converts into heat. For example, an AFUE rating of 90 means that 90% of the fuel used by the furnace warms your home, while the other 10% escapes with the exhausted combustion gases. Look for this label.
BEL A unit for comparing intensities of sound where 1 BEL equals 10 decibels. Many manufacturers use the newer, BEL sound rating, rather than decibels, in their AC product literature. 7.6 BELS has been established in some provinces as a standard for air conditioner sound performance. A rating of 7.2 or lower is very quiet and above 7.8 is usually unacceptable. Fan size, fan r.p.m., number of motor speeds and housing materials all affect the amount of sound emanating from the outdoor component of a split-system.  
BTU (Btuh) British Thermal Unit (British Thermal Unit per Hour) is a measure of energy used in rating both heating and cooling systems. For a furnace, the BTU rating is the amount of heat energy given off when fuel is burned. The BTU rating for an air conditioner indicates the amount of heat that the unit can extract from your home. One BTU is equal to the heat given off by a wooden match.  
CAD/CAM Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing is a widely used term describing the application of computer engineering workstations to the graphically represented design of products, parts and processes. Precise control of automated manufacturing then procedes using equipment receiving digital instructions from these workstations. Parameters can be adjusted without shutting down the manufacturing equipment.
Capacity The ability of a heating or cooling system to heat or cool a given amount of space. For heating, this is usually expressed in BTUs. For cooling, it is usually given in Tons although a BTU rating is also meaningful.  
Carbon Dioxide CO2 is a heavy gas and a by-product of both human respiration and hydrocarbon combustion. While not poisonous, if allowed to accumulate, CO2 will cause breathing impairment for the same reason it is used as a fire extinguishing agent - it displaces oxygen. Sophisticated ventilation systems monitor CO2 levels in recirculating air and increase the amount of air make-up if the levels exceed preset limits.
Carbon Monoxide CO is an odorless, poisonous, flammable gas produced when carbon burns with insufficient air. Since it is deadly to humans, proper and regular furnace maintenance is highly recommended.  
CFM Cubic feet per minute is a standard measure of ductwork airflow.  
Compressor The working fluid in an air conditioning system must be liquified and pumped from the condenser coil to the evaporator coil. This flow of refrigerant is accomplished with a compressor, found in the outdoor unit of a split-system air conditioner or within the case of a window-mounted air conditioner.  
Outdoor Coil
Located in the outdoor unit of a split-system air conditioner, this coil allows heat carried there by the gaseous refrigerant to radiate into the surroundings. The now-cooler refrigerant is liquified by the compressor and then sent back indoors to pick up more heat.  
CSA The Canadian Standards Association, International is a non-government, non-profit organization involved in setting quality and compatibility standards for many types of products.  
Damper A type of "valve" used in duct-work that can be opened or closed to control airflow. A damper can be manually operated or, when connected to an actuator, used with a zone-control system to automatically change the amount of warm or cool air entering certain areas of your home.  
db A db, or decibel, is a unit of sound intensity. A whisper is about 20 db while a jet aircraft at full throttle and a distance of 30 metres produces about 140 db.  
A downflow furnace takes cool air in at the top and blows warm air toward the bottom. This type of furnace is commonly used when it must be located in a second-floor closet or other confined area.  
Ductwork A network of sheet-metal channels that confine air as it is pulled from various parts of a house into a furnace for heating or into a condenser coil for cooling. Additional ductwork then controls the redistribution of the conditioned air back into living spaces.  
EAC An Electronic Air Cleaner is an electronic device, often located in ductwork near a furnace, that filters large particles and contaminants out of indoor air. Such cleaners then electrically charge smaller particles, such as viruses and bacteria, before drawing them to a collector plate for elimination.  
  EER Energy Efficiency Ratio  
Electronic Ignition A device for lighting the flame in a natural gas, propane or oil furnace. Electronic ignition eliminates the need for a pilot light and removes any worry that goes with one.  
Energy Star The authorized presence of the Energy Star logo on an item indicates that its maker has taken great care in design and manufacture to produce a product that uses as little energy as possible.  
Evaporator Coil As the indoor, heat-exchange component of a split-system air conditioner, the evaporator coil cools and dehumidifies the air by converting liquid refrigerant into a gas. This action absorbs heat from the air and, by lowering the air temperature, causes excess moisture to condense. The warmed refrigerant is then carried through tubing to the outdoor heat-exchange component (condenser coil) where it is cooled before re-entering the home.  
FFU A Fan Filter Unit combines filter(s) and fan(s) in one unit. Controls can be local or, in the case of a large-scale, ventilation network, FFUs can be remotely controlled to coordinate their operation.
  HCFC Hydrochlorofluorocarbon: the basic component of refrigerants.  
Heat Exchanger A system of metal channels, located in a furnace, that separates hot combustion gases on one side from moving house air on the other. Heat passes though the metal exchanger walls to warm the house air before it is distributed throughout the house by ductwork.  
HEPA Filter High Efficiency Particulate Arresting filtration technology was developed by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission to remove airborne radioactive particles. For a filter to satisfy the HEPA designation, it must remove 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns. HEPA filters are used in hospitals, manufacturing clean rooms and wherever else particle-free air is essential.
HVAC Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning.  
Horizontal Flow This type of furnace is installed on its side so that it draws in air from one side, heats it, then sends warm air out the other side. It is most often used for installations in attics or crawl spaces where space is limited.  
Humidifier A piece of equipment that adds water vapor to the air in a home. When attached to duct work, a humidifier is a low-maintenance device that greatly increases the comfort level in most homes. A proper amount of moisture is required to protect furniture and woodwork from drying out, to reduce static electricity and, most importantly, to ensure a healthy environment for occupants and pets.  
ISO 9000
ISO 9001
ISO 9002
The International Organization for Standardization has been working since 1947 to develop quality assurance standards that affect many areas of human activity. Manufacturing, forestry, electronics, steel, computing, financial services, aviation, food processing, consumer products, agriculture and education are a few of the product and service areas with which ISO is currently involved. Over one hundred countries endorse ISO 9000 and over ninety countries have representatives working with ISO to continue development of its guidelines. The international nature of its efforts provides global consumers with a measure of confidence in the quality of products bearing the ISO logo.  
Load Estimate An evaluation of the heating and/or cooling requirements of a house. An energy load analysis takes into account such information as the square footage, window and door areas, insulation quality and local climate to determine the heating and cooling capacity needed by a furnace or air conditioner.  
LPG Liquified Petroleum Gas, e.g. propane
Operating Cost Taking into account only the price and consumption of energy, operating cost is the day-to-day expense required to operate a given furnace or air conditioner.  
Payback Analysis By combining the purchase price and ongoing operating costs of a furnace or air conditioner, a payback analysis determines the number of years required before monthly energy savings offset the purchase price.  
R-22/HCFC-22 This is the refrigerant most commonly used by major manufacturers for their residential systems. It is one of the safest available, having little effect on earth's ozone layer, and was one of the few not recommended to be phased out of production and use by the 1987 Montreal Protocol. Not to be confused with R-12, or Freon 12, which is outlawed in most countries because of its devastating effects on the ozone layer.  
Reciprocating Compressor Used in air conditioners, a reciprocating compressor is a type of positive displacement compressor that relies on the back and forth motion of a piston in a cylinder to compress refrigerant.  
Refrigerant A fluid circulating through an air conditioning system. It must be non-toxic, absorb and release heat readily, be easily converted from a gas to a liquid and have certain lubricating qualities.  
Refrigerant Lines Copper lines that connect the outdoor air conditioner or heat pump to the indoor evaporator coil.  
Reclaiming Returning used refrigerant to the manufacturer for disposal or reuse.  
Recycling Removing, cleaning and reusing refrigerant.  
SEER The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio is an indication of the efficiency of an air conditioner. SEER numbers range from 10 to 14; the higher this number, the more efficient the system is at converting electricity into cooling power. Look for this label.
Scroll Compressor Employs a rotating, twisted-rod, or "screw", mechanism to increase the pressure in a refrigerant. It has fewer parts than a reciprocating compressor, is generally more reliable and usually found in systems rated over 2.5 Tons.  
Programmable Thermostat
This electronic thermostat has a memory that can be programmed to retain settings for different temperatures at different times of the day. The thermostat then controls furnace or air conditioning operations according to these settings.  
Split-System An air conditioner that has components in two locations. Usually, the evaporator coil is located inside the house and the condenser coil is located outside.  
Thermostat A control unit, usually mounted on an indoor wall of a home, that monitors ambient temperature conditions and adjusts furnace or air conditioning operation in order to keep the temperature within preset limits.  
Ton A unit of measure for cooling capacity. One Ton = 12 000 BTUs per hour. Roughly, a 1 500-2 000 sq.ft. (139-186 sq.m) home in Southern Ontario requires a 2 Ton system. Many variables, such as insulation quality and square footage of window area, affect this estimate so you must consult your trusted HVAC expert for an accurate recommendation.  
UL Underwriters Laboratories Inc.® is an independent, non-profit product safety testing and certification organization that has been in operation for over a century.  
Upflow An upflow furnace draws cool air into the bottom and blows warmed air out the top into heating ductwork. This type of furnace is usually installed in a basement, utility area or an out-of-the-way closet.  
Ventilator An air-to-air exchanger that provides much-needed, fresh air to well-sealed homes. During the heating season, a ventilator transfers heat from stale indoor air to fresh, incoming outdoor air. During the cooling season, the heat transfer operates naturally in the opposite direction. Ventilators provide fresh air without the heating or cooling expense associated with opening a window.  
Y2K (Year 2000) A great deal of modern equipment contains computerized, electronic controllers. Almost anything from toys, toasters and televisions to automobiles, traffic lights, jet aircraft and power stations rely on small digital devices for their correct operation. If older, many of these computer components are vulnerable to the millenial change because they are incapable of correctly switching to dates ending with the year 2000. In many of these cases, there will be no negative, operational effect. Some devices will, however, not function correctly. If you have doubts about the ability of your home comfort controls to operate properly in the next century, you should contact your local, trusted HVAC expert.  
Zoning Zone controls include a programmable thermostat acting on actuator-controlled dampers that are located at key points in ductwork. By varying the degree to which each damper is open, air flow to a given zone, and thereby the temperature, is adjusted independently of the others.
• zones can be adjusted to suit individual tastes
• seasonal savings can be realized by reducing the heating or
   cooling received by infrequently used zones
• existing ductwork can be retrofitted to take advantage of zoning
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