Furnace on the Fritz
When was the last time you dealt with a furnace on the fritz, a malfunction in your heating system? If you don’t happen to be a heating system expert, it is likely that the experience was a frustrating one. Not only do you have to contend with the fact that your house is cold when your heating system stops functioning, but you also have to figure out how to communicate with a technician effectively. Many technicians show up to get the job done, but they do not know how to explain the problem in layman’s term to someone who isn’t a technician. Here is a brief glossary of common heating system terms to help you understand and communicate better with an on-site technician.
Common Heating System Terms
Although heating systems vary as far as their individual components, some things will be relatively constant. If you can grasp and retain the following terms, you will be in good shape when it comes to understanding what has to be done to get your system functioning again.
AFUE – This abbreviation stands for Annualized Fuel Utilization Efficiency. A higher AFUE number means that your system is working more efficiently.
BTU – This is the abbreviation for British Thermal Unit. The term encompasses how much heat it would take to raise a pound of water by one degree. Therefore, higher heating capacity is indicated by a higher BTU number.
CAE – This abbreviation means Combined Annual Efficiency. It is an indication of how much heat is produced through each dollar you spend to raise the temperature of the water and air in your home.
Cubic Feet Per Minute – This term encompasses an indicator of volume of airflow. It is measured by figuring out how many cubic feet of air pass a predetermined spot over the course of one minute.
Ductwork – It is a system of metal or synthetic tubing that runs throughout a home to transport cool or heated air from room to room. This tubing is an integral part of a heating system, and if something goes wrong with it, these problems can cause major issues.
Now You Know
Although this glossary is by no means a comprehensive collection of heating terms, it is a starting point to understanding your technician and heating system functionality better. If you have at least an elementary understanding of the components that make up one of your home’s most essential functioning systems, you will be able to communicate better with anyone who comes to your house to work on it. Not only will you be able to see your heating system back up and running sooner, but you will likely feel better about writing a check to a professional with whom you can converse fluently. So, here’s hoping for a problem-free winter. However, if you do experience issues with your system, you now know enough to see the repair process through. You can also educate yourself on heating system lingo on Cox Air’s website.
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