The Words You Should Know in Air Conditioning

If you’re shopping around for a new air conditioner, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by all the technical terms you see in websites and brochures.

Words like zoning, HVAC, ducting, inverter, indoor unit, and outdoor unit may sound like random words if you don’t know much about air conditioners.

But not to worry – we’re here to help you out if you’re having trouble.

We’ve compiled a glossary of the most common terms you need to be aware of to make your search easier.


Air Filter – Parts in air conditioners that filter dust, grease, smoke, and other air contaminants. These filters help improve the quality of the air inside your living space.


Central Air Conditioning – An air conditioning system where the air is cooled and treated in one area and then dispersed to other rooms by ductwork and fan systems.


Condenser – Also commonly referred to as an AC system’s ‘outdoor unit’. This radiator-like system is mainly responsible for turning refrigerants from a liquid into a gas (and vice versa), providing much of the heating and cooling functions in air conditioners.


Compressor – A key part of the condenser (and AC systems in general) that increases the pressure – and subsequently the temperature – of refrigerants.


COP (Coefficient of Performance) – A system’s rating for energy efficiency that measures its heating capacity compared to its power input.


ACOP – The same as the C.O.P. but with the standby power considered. This is often considered a more accurate measure of energy efficiency for heating.


Diffuser – Parts of ducted air conditioning systems that diffuses treated air into a living space. These are alternatives to grilles and vents and come in a variety of styles.


Ductwork – The system of ducts in ducted air conditioning systems and HVAC systems that connect indoor and outdoor units.


Ducted air conditioning – A type of air conditioning system that uses a system of ducts to provide treated air to different rooms and areas in your property.


EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) – A system’s rating for energy efficiency that measures its cooling capacity in relation to its power input.


A.E.E.R. (Annualised Energy Efficiency Ratio) – The same as the E.E.R but with the standby power considered. This is often considered a more accurate measure of energy efficiency for cooling.


Grille – Similar to diffusers, grilles are where air is extracted and diffused in a living space. Grilles come in different styles as well.


HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) – a broad and general term for different systems that move air between indoor and outdoor spaces, with the primary purpose of making living spaces more comfortable. People sometimes use HVAC and air conditioning (AC) interchangeably, even though AC is more specific.


Indoor Unit – The parts of an air conditioning system that are located (and often visible) inside your living space. In split systems, indoor units are typically box-type units that are responsible for cooling the air.


Kilowatt (kW) – The unit of energy used for measuring the output of air conditioning systems.


Outdoor Unit – The system of parts that are installed outside a property and are primarily responsible for transporting refrigerant to and from the indoor units. Often called the ‘condenser, the outdoor unit consists of parts likes the compressor, heat exchange coil, and propeller fan.


Refrigerant – The substance that absorbs heat and creates cool air when it’s run through the coils and other parts of an air conditioning system.


Reverse cycle – A type or feature of air conditioners that reverses the air conditioning cycle, and produces heat instead of cool air. With this feature, an air conditioner can provide both heating and cooling in a room.


Smart Air Conditioning – An air conditioning system that works with smartphones or smart devices to provide greater control of your air conditioning system.


Split system air conditioner – A type of air conditioning system whose parts are split between an indoor unit and an outdoor unit. Indoor units are often mounted on the wall or floor.


Zoning – A technique of dividing your entire living space into different zones or areas. This lets you control the temperature for each zone more easily.


Need More Help with Your Search?

If you want expert advice for buying the right air conditioner for your property, don’t hesitate to call 07 3245 7111 or send us a message. We’ll help you understand what you really need to know about ACs, and we’ll explain all the factors clearly so you can make the right decision.

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