7 Heating Terms To Know

HVAC Field

As an HVAC professional, we work everyday with ductwork, piping, and furnaces, so we’re pretty well versed in what everything does, what everything means, and all the nuances that go with it.

The following are seven terms you should know, and understand, to best make the choice you need to make with regards to your furnace needs.


British Thermal Unit. One BTU is equal to one unit of heat energy; specifically, it takes one BTU to raise one pound of water one degree. When a heating unit has a high BTU, this means it has a high heating capacity.

Carbon Monoxide

When carbon burns inside your home without sufficient amounts of air, an odorless and poisonous gas known as carbon monoxide will be released. It is advised that every home have a carbon monoxide detector to warn against a potential poisonous gas build up.


An EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) designation attached to HVAC products that meet or exceed EPA guidelines for high-efficiency performance above the standard government minimums.

Geothermal Heat Pump

A geothermal heat pump or ground source heat pump is a central heating system that transfers heat to or from the ground. This can be a very efficient way to heat your home however can require the most amount of money to retrofit into an existing home.

Heat Exchanger

Located in the furnace, the heat exchanger transfers heat to the surrounding air, which is then pumped throughout the home.

Programmable Thermostat

A thermostat with the ability to record different temperature/time settings for your heating and/or cooling equipment.

Watt – Wattage

The amount of energy that an HVAC system uses. The higher the wattage, the more energy the unit is using. A typical utility bill shows up with this measurement, referenced in kilowatts.

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