Glossary of Air Conditioning terms.
Listed here are commonly used terms for Air Conditioners. These may come handy while doing product research, when dealing with sales staff in a retail store or service contractors. Most terms have been referred to in our articles on ACs (Air Conditioners).
Air Conditioner: An appliance that conditions air within a confined space in order to make it cooler than the outside temperature. In addition, Air Conditioners or ACs make the indoor air breathable, reduce humidity, and make air hygienic by getting rid of germs and microbes. (To know more on how to choose the Right AC read: Air Conditioner: Buying Guide)
Air Filter: A device used to remove dust pollen, pet dander, pollutants from and other particles from air for the purposes of reducing the load on the respiratory system. To know more about Air Filters read: Pollution level [Indoors] >5 times Outdoors!
Air flow: Air flow indicates the flow of air from the room to the outside. The extent of air flow depends on the difference between air pressures – the greater the difference the faster the air flow. A higher rate of air flow indicates the possibility of a lower tonnage of AC being needed for cooling. Air flow if measured in CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute)
Air Purifier: Air purifiers essentially improve Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) by remove pollutants, and contaminants from the room. To enable this they deploy several technologies such as UV rays, Photo catalytic converters, and ozone generators. Improved Indoor Air Quality benefits allergy sufferers and asthmatics. To know more about Air Purifiers read: Pollution level [Indoors] > 5 times Outdoors!
BEE: The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) – a statutory body under the Ministry of Power, under the Energy Conservation Act 2001. They assist in developing policies and strategies with the primary objective to encourage efficient use of energy and promote its conservation. Specifically for Air Conditioners, they have initiated a Power Savings label program that indicates power saved in the form of a STAR rating system. To know more about Power Savings and STAR ratings read: Interpreting Power Savings Labels on ACs!
BTU (British Thermal Unit): BTU is the standard of measurement used for measuring the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree (Fahrenheit).
BTU/hr: This is the abbreviation for British thermal units per hour. The amount of heat required to raise one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit per hour.
CFC (Chlorofluorohydrocarbons): CFC is a fluorocarbon with chlorine which was used extensively in AC units earlier. However, with time and an understanding of its adverse environmental effects it has now been discontinued in favour of Purons.
CFM: The abbreviation for Cubic Feet per Minute commonly used to measure the rate of air flow in an air conditioning system. A measurement of airflow that indicates how many cubic feet of air pass by a stationary point in one minute. The higher the number, the more air is being forced through the system.
Charge: The Charge in an Air Conditioner indicates the amount of refrigerant gas present in the AC unit. The charge in an AC tends to reduce over time with usage and would need to be replenished.
Compressor: The Compressor that sucks the low pressure refrigerant from the indoor evaporator to the condenser. The compressor essentially circulates the refrigerant through the entire cycle of air conditioning.
Condensation: The process by which a gas (refrigerant) is changed into a liquid state at constant temperature by removing the heat.
Condenser: The Condenser unit in an Air Conditioner transfers unwanted heat out of the refrigeration system and disposes it to the outside. This is part of the Outdoor unit (ODU)
Condenser Coil: A series or network of tubes filled with refrigerant, normally located outside the home that removes heat from the hot, gaseous refrigerant so that the refrigerant becomes liquid again.
Cooling Capacity: The ability of an AC to cool down the amount of heat inside the room is referred to as its cooling capacity. Cooling capacity is measured in TONs.
COP: The COP (Coefficient of Performance) is the ratio of Output Power to Input Power in Watts and is unit less. COP's are rated at 47 F & 17 F. This indicates the efficiency with which energy in an AC unit is managed. A higher COP means a more efficient system
db: A decibel (db) is a unit used to measure the intensity of sound that is emitted by the regular operation of the Air Conditioner. Generally, anything less than 50 db is considered to be non-intrusive.
DC Inverter Technology: The DC Inverter technology in air conditioners alters the speed of the compressor as per the changing heat levels within the room. Most air conditioners earlier had compressors that worked at peak capacity continually and that which would be switched of periodically to control the level of coolness.
Electronic Air Cleaner: An electronic device in an Air Conditioner that filters out large particles and contaminants in indoor air and mostly through the process of ionization destroys specific viruses and bacteria, which is then either collected in a box or dispensed on the outside.
Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER): EER in an AC, indicates the ratio of the unit's cooling power output (BTU/hr) to that of its Power consumption (Watts) & is a measure of Air Conditioner's efficiency at maximum load. EER is generally calculated using a 95 F outside temp and an inside temp of 80 F with 50% relative humidity. The AC unit with a higher EER is costlier but more energy efficient, which means it, will incur low electricity bills in the years to come.
Evaporator: The Evaporator is part of the Indoor Unit (IDU) that absorbs heat from the surrounding air and pushes it outside the room by means of a refrigerant.
Heat Loss: The amount of heat lost, measured in BTU's from a space to be air conditioned, at the local winter outdoor design temperature and a specified indoor design condition.
HVAC: HVAC is an acronym for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning
Humidity: Humidity indicates the amount of moisture in the air. Air conditioners remove moisture for added comfort.
Indoor Air Quality: Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) refers to the cleanliness and health of the air in a home.
Indoor Unit: This is usually located inside the house and contains the indoor coil, fan, motor, and filtering device, sometimes called the air handler.
Input Power: The input power is the amount of power in Watts (W) or kW that is required for the AC to cool the indoor area of the room.
Ionization: Ionization is the process of purifying the air by generating negative ions that help remove pollutants and microscopic particles within the room. They enable collection of the particulates after decomposing them into finer particles in a box or expel them to the outside.
Kilowatt (kW): kW is the unit of electrical consumption and is equal to 1,000 watts.
Kilowatt-hour (kWh): A unit of electrical consumption measured by the total energy created by one kilowatt in one hour.
LCD: An abbreviation for a screen type - Liquid Crystal Display.
Load Calculation: Load calculation uses information such as the area of the room in square feet, extent of insulation, no. of electrical appliances etc. These and several other variables along with the local climate help determine the ideal cooling capacity of AC required for cooling the room.
Moisture Removal: An AC unit’s ability to remove moisture from the air (also called Latent Cooling capacity) I measured in L/hr (Litres/hour)