September 19, 2020

In the Maplewood, NJ, area, Primary Service Group are the professionals you can trust to take care of your heating and cooling systems. Our technicians have trained in the art of climate control technology known as HVAC. Like many professions, HVAC specialists use terminology that homeowners may not understand. By learning a few common HVAC terms, you will be better equipped to find the right climate control solutions for your home.

HVAC

You may see the HVAC acronym on trucks and vans around town. Most people know that HVAC has to do with climate control systems. The H and AC stand for heating and air conditioning. If one of our professionals has come to your home for an emergency repair call, it involved one of these systems.

You may not be as familiar with the V in this acronym. It stands for ventilation. Maintaining an exchange of fresh, outdoor air and stale, indoor air is critical for keeping a comfortable climate. It used to be that ventilation was a concern for commercial spaces with windows and doors that rarely opened. These days, better materials and building techniques give new homes a tighter construction that is hard to ventilate. An HVAC technician can install solutions to resolve this problem.

AFUE

The annual fuel utilization efficiency rating is a measurement of how well a furnace turns its fuel into heat. Units with higher ratings are more efficient. When you contact Primary Service Group for heating installation, the AFUE is one of the factors we use in helping you choose equipment. Keep in mind that there is a price for higher efficiency. Units with high ratings are often more expensive.

It is also important to remember that AFUE is not the only factor in determining the cost of operating your furnace. The type of fuel your furnace uses has a big impact on your monthly expenses. For example, heating with electricity is a very efficient process. Baseboard electric heaters have an AFUE rating of close to 100%. However, it is usually much more expensive to heat with electricity than with natural gas.

HSPF

As new technology comes on the market, new terminology comes with it. Heat pumps are becoming more popular as a way to control the temperature in homes. Because these units work differently from traditional furnaces, they have their own efficiency measurement, HSPF.

The heating seasonal performance factor is determined by dividing the amount of heat produced over a season by the amount of electricity used by the unit. Once again, heat pumps with a higher HSPF rating are more efficient and will also be more expensive. However, the extra cost may be worth it especially if you are generating electricity with solar power.

BTU

The British thermal unit is an older measurement of heat that is still in use today. One BTU is the amount of heat necessary to increase the temperature of one gallon of water by one degree Fahrenheit.

For HVAC professionals, the BTU rating of a piece of equipment is the amount of heat it can add or remove in an hour. In general, the size of a building determines the number of BTUs it needs to adequately control the climate.

When you are looking for new heating or air conditioning equipment, we will examine your space to determine how many BTUs you require. If you install equipment with a BTU rating that is too low, you may find that the equipment cannot keep up with temperature demands. If the BTU rating is higher than necessary, you may be spending more money than you need to.

SEER

The seasonal energy efficiency ratio is a number we use to measure the cost of operation of air conditioners. It is derived through a similar calculation to the HSPF for heat pumps. You divide the amount of cooling by the amount of electricity used by the unit. As with other efficiency ratings, a higher number means a more efficient unit, but it may also mean a higher cost. For the best return on your investment, look for a unit in your budget with the highest SEER possible.

ACH

Air changes per hour is a way that we measure the effectiveness of ventilation solutions. This measurement helps technicians determine whether the area needs more ventilation or other indoor air quality interventions.

When the level of ventilation is inadequate, irritants can build up in the indoor air supply. These can include large impurities such as dust particles and pollen grains. They can also include volatile organic compounds. There are many sources of VOCs in a household or business. Cleaning and beauty products release chemicals into the air. Paints and plastics constantly release small amounts as they break down over time.

Poor air quality can lead to poor work or home environment. High levels of VOCs can cause headaches and fatigue. Many people have a general sense of feeling unwell if they spend the day in an unclean atmosphere. Advanced ventilation solutions can make a big difference in the health and well-being of family members or employees.

MERV

In a traditional HVAC setup, air travels through the heating or cooling equipment. Then, it is pushed through ductwork and out the vents into your home. To help maintain the performance of your equipment, the air passes through a filter to remove large impurities like dust and hair that could damage the system.

MERV is a measurement of the strength of that filter. It stands for minimum efficiency reporting value. Filters with high MERV ratings can filter out smaller impurities. Low-MERV filters are less expensive, but they also do a minimal job of removing irritants from your air. They are mostly designed to protect your equipment.

When you move from a MERV 1 to a MERV 8, you have a filter that will take smaller impurities like mold spores out of your air supply. If you jump up to the MERV 16 range, you are using a filter that can remove particles of cigarette smoke and bacteria from your home air. A MERV of 16 or above is what a hospital uses to keep operating rooms clean.

You may think that you want the highest possible MERV rating. However, not all systems can handle the strain of pulling air through a heavy-duty filter. If the system has to work too hard, you may end up burning out your equipment. When our technicians come for an annual maintenance appointment, ask them about the filter options that are best for your home.

Your Complete HVAC Partner

Primary Service Group is the crew you can trust for all your heating and cooling needs in Maplewood, NJ. We can handle the installation, repair and maintenance of any system including heat pumps. Our team is also ready to handle your home plumbing services. We can clear your drains, install a tankless water heater or simply take care of a leaky faucet. Contact us today to set up an appointment.

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