10 Common HVAC Acronyms Explained

Common HVAC Acronyms

Master HVAC Acronyms with Clear Insights. Get a clear understanding of essential HVAC terms. Master climate control.

When shopping for a new commercial HVAC unit, you may encounter numerous acronyms specific to the HVAC industry. These acronyms can sometimes be confusing and overwhelming, making it challenging to make an informed decision. Below we will decode 10 common HVAC acronyms to assist you in making an informed choice. 


First up is ACH, or Air Changes Per Hour. This measurement quantifies the rate at which air enters and exits a room in one hour, calculated by dividing the air volume added or removed from a space by the space’s volume. Higher values indicate better ventilation. 


Next, we have BTU, or British Thermal Unit. This international measure of energy specifies the amount of heat required to raise one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. In the HVAC industry, BTUs refer to the amount of heat a unit can add or remove from the air in one hour. Understanding the BTU requirements of your facility is crucial to ensure the correct HVAC system is installed


CAV, or Constant Air Volume, is a type of HVAC system that is commonly found in small commercial properties. The supply airflow rate remains constant, while the supply air temperature varies, making it an effective option in commercial spaces with single zones that have less variation in air temperature. 


FCU, or Fan Coil Unit, is a simple device that uses a coil and fan to heat or cool a room without ductwork. It is available in ceiling, floor-mounted, and freestanding designs to control the temperature in the space. 


FAF, or Fresh Air Fraction, is a measure of economizer action and is the ratio of outdoor air intake to the total airflow supply rate. 


HSPF, or Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, describes the efficiency of a heat pump over a heating season. Higher HSPF ratings indicate greater energy efficiency. 


MAU, or Makeup Air Unit, is a large handler that provides a building with conditioned fresh air and produces both heated and cooled air. It is commonly used in applications that require high indoor air quality (IAQ). 


RTU, or Rooftop Unit, is a type of HVAC system that houses all the components necessary to condition air without taking up indoor space. It is commonly found in light and large commercial applications, such as restaurants, stores, warehouses, and shopping centers. 


SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, is a rating that describes the efficiency of an air conditioner. It takes the cooling output and divides it by the total electricity used during a typical cooling season. 


Finally, VAV, or Variable Air Volume, is a type of HVAC system that varies the airflow at a constant temperature, allowing for precise temperature control. It also helps reduce energy use and fan noise. 


Just Call Budget 

The multitude of HVAC acronyms can be overwhelming, and this is just scratching the surface. It goes without saying that seeking advice from professionals is the best course of action if you require a new HVAC system. At Budget Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, we provide comprehensive HVAC system installations. Our skilled HVAC experts can create a custom system that meets the specific requirements of your facility. Relax! Just Call Budget. 

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