Your HVAC system is important for maintaining the comfort of your Bath, Pennsylvania, home. To help make sure your system is running at peak performance, you should understand the basics of how your HVAC system operates and when it needs to be repaired or maintained. Understand your HVAC system better by becoming familiar with these 12 common terms.


When HVAC technicians discuss your system’s airflow, they’re referring to how much air your duct system can move through your home. Your system is rated to push a certain number of cubic feet per minute throughout your home.


The furnace coil, sometimes called the "A coil," is a critical part of the furnace’s operation and may be installed either inside the furnace or as a portion of the air handler. The coil acts as the heat exchanger in your furnace and is responsible for warming the air.


Dampers are parts of the system that are found in certain areas of the ductwork. They’re sheet metal plates that open and close to control the flow of air in your home.


EER stands for Energy Efficiency Ratio, which is the formula that’s used to calculate how efficient either your heat pump or window AC unit is. This ratio is often calculated in British thermal units, or Btu, per hour. The higher the rating, the more efficient the system.

Heat Exchanger

The heat exchanger in your furnace is a section of tubes or coils that are repeatedly looped within the furnace for heating air. The size and shape of the heat exchanger vary, based on the model of your furnace and the type of fuel it uses.

Heat Pump

A heat pump is an HVAC system that transfers thermal energy by moving it in the opposite direction of heat flow. During hot weather, the heat is absorbed from the inside air of your home and released to the outside. During the winter months, the heat is transferred from the outside air into your home. This is an ideal solution for climates where temperatures rarely reach or stay around freezing.

Load Calculation

The load calculation is a determination of the heat gain and loss in a building to properly size air conditioning and heating equipment. It takes into account the sun that shines on the house and through the windows, insulation, the number of windows and more.

MERV Rating

The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating is used to rate the air filter’s efficiency. Higher-rated filters will trap the smallest particles in the air. MERV ratings as high as 16 are used for hospitals, and those closer to 10 to 13 are typically used for homes.


Your system’s registers are located throughout your home as covers for the in-take and outlets of ductwork. Louvers are used to open and close the air registers to allow you to control the airflow into a particular room.

Static Pressure

Static pressure refers to the resistance of airflow that occurs in either the ductwork or the various components of the HVAC system. Although this pressure is often overlooked, it can have a major effect on the efficiency and the effectiveness of your system.

Terminal Unit

This is the section of the HVAC system that contains many of the parts that are vital to the unit’s functioning, such as the heating coil, automatic damper, and cooling coil. These components work together to control the temperature in your home.

Zoning System

If your system is zoned, this will be the area in which the air is separated into the zones that can be controlled independently from each other. Each zone will respond to its individual thermostat or temperature control.

If you want to learn more about how your HVAC system operates or want to schedule a service visit, contact Sullivan Oil & Propane at (610) 810-3992 today.

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