Common HVAC Terms for Troubleshooting and Repairs

The installation and repair standards of HVAC products have changed substantially due to federal energy regulations. Property owners purchasing new cooling or heating equipment typically want to know how energy efficient they are, while contractors want assurance that the systems they are selling will perform as advertised.

If you are like most property owners, cost savings and energy efficiency are at the top of your wish list when shopping for a new heating and cooling system. The experts at Ultimate Heating and Air will help you find the ideal comfort solution for your home. As you research your options, you will stumble upon a number of industry-standard¬† HVAC terms that may sound intimidating; however, all you need to remember is that the higher the number, the better the efficiency and the lower the long–term power costs.

Common HVAC Terms:


SEER means Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It is an energy-efficiency and performance rating that measures the effectiveness of heat pumps and air conditioners. The values of the SEER rating range from 6 to 23, and a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio indicates greater efficiency and higher energy savings. Currently, federal regulatory bodies require a minimum rating of 13.0 for new A/C system installations. Consequently, our line of Bryant air conditioning units has SEER ratios of 13.0 to 21.0.


If you are in the market for a boiler or a gas–fired furnace, the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency is a useful statistic to understand. Displayed in percentages, it measures the amount of fuel energy used to warm up your property, and the amount wasted. A higher value indicates higher efficiency. The minimum industry AFUE requirement is 78%, which means that 78% of the fuel becomes heat and the remaining 22% goes up the vent or elsewhere. At Ultimate Heating and Air, we offer a wide range of high–efficiency furnaces and boilers with AFUE ratings of more than 96%.


Let us help you determine how long it will take you to recover the additional cost of a high HSPF heat pump in energy savings. The Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, HSPF, is the most common efficiency rating used to determine the heating efficiency of heat pumps. The values of this rating system range from 1 to 10, and as with the other rating systems, a higher value indicates higher efficiency. Currently, federal regulatory bodies require minimum HSPF ratings of 6.8. Our heat pumps have ratings as high as 9.5.

In addition, your indoor coil and blower motor may have an effect on the effectiveness of your A/C unit or heat pump system; therefore, your evaporator coil must go with your outdoor condensing unit to achieve the declared SEER and HSPF ratings. For more information about HVAC resources and efficiency ratings, call Ultimate Heating and Air.

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