Top 6 Most Important HVAC Terminologies

If you own anĀ HVAC system, it is very important to understand the terminologies related to it. This will help you to know what needs to be done if the system malfunctions and also how the system operates. The following are the top 6 most important HVAC terminologies that you should know.


The condenser is the basic component in the refrigeration cycle of the HVAC system and it is used for ejecting heat from the system. It is the hot side of the heat pump or air conditioner. It is a heat exchanger and it can be used for transferring heat to an intermediate fluid or air to carry heat to a distant sink, for instance a ground sink, a body of water or air as it is with cooling towers.


Chiller refers to a device that extracts heat from a liquid via absorption regeneration cycle or vapor compensation. After the liquid has been cooled, it flows through pipes in a building and then goes through coils in fan coil units, air handlers and other systems while at the same time cooling and dehumidifying air in the building. There are two types of chillers. There is the air cooled chiller which is usually outside and it is comprised of condenser coils that are cooled by fan driven air. Another type is the water cooled chiller which is usually inside the house and water from it is carried by recirculating water to a sink.


The compressor is the heart of the HVAC system. It compresses gas by diminishing its volume. When the gas is compressed, its temperature naturally increases. It is usually located on the outside portion of the HVAC system.


The coil in an HVAC system is an equipment that performs heat transfer to air when it is mounted inside a ductwork or an air handling unit. It is usually heated or cooled using electrical means or by circulating either steam or liquid within it.


This is a device that controls the operation of part or all of the system. It may be simply used for turning the HVAC system on and off, or it may be more subtly used for modulating the set point of the components of the device. Many controllers are usually automatic, but they usually have user input such as temperature set points, for instance a thermostat. The controls may be either digital or analog.


This is a component found in the basic refrigeration cycle and it is used for absorbing or adding heat to the system. It can also be used to absorb heat from a liquid or air. It is the cold side of the HVAC system.

These are just but a few of the important devices that make up the HVAC system. There are many others that you also need to understand in order to make diagnosis on the system an easy process when it malfunctions.