In your quest to perfect your home air quality system, you’ll encounter a large volume of extra features and technical specifications. The following glossary provides definitions and descriptions of all the air quality related jargon you need to know:
The air-cooling unit that is typically located outside the home, and provides dehumidification, ventilation, and temperature regulation.
The part of an air conditioning system that regulates and directs air through ductwork, distributing air throughout the home.
The measurement of an air conditioner’s air output, typically in cubic feet per minute. This should be sized appropriate to the area of your home.
A naturally occurring mineral that was prevalent in insulation in many homes built before the 1970s. Asbestos is found around steam pipes, boilers, furnace ducts, and can also be used in vinyl flooring, roofing, and siding.
When air is drawn into a depressurized environment, for instance, a home or gas burning appliance, leading to potentially dangerous concentrations of gases.
The part of an heating system that circulates heated air throughout the home.
Also known as: furnace blower
A deadly, colorless, odorless, poisonous gas produced by burning of coal, wood, charcoal, and natural gas.
Also known as: CO, CO gas.
CFM (cubic feet per minute)
The amount of air that flows through an air conditioning system.
The part of an air conditioner that pumps refrigerant into the system.
The equipment or feature that extracts water content from the air by cooling air until water vapor turns to liquid condensation, which is then removed.
dry bulb temperature
A measurement of heat independent of humidity. A measurement of the raw heat content of air.
ducts (ductwork, air ducts)
The system of pipes that transports air of the desired temperature from the heating or air conditioning system to the rest of the house.
The transfer of energy from one source to another without loss.
Environmental Protection Agency, a U.S. Federal government agency that promotes energy efficient, environmentally friendly equipment.
A pipe andandor fan system that expels or exhausts gases, directing them outside or away from a combustion environment such as those present in HVAC systems.
A system that removes airborne particles of varying size from the air by trapping them in layers of various filtration materials.
Also known as: filter
The part of an HVAC system or fireplace that vents out exhaust gases.
Also known as: flue pipe
A heating system that burns fuel to produce heat which is then distributed by air throughout a home.
A device that adds water vapor or moisture to the air. Typically used in dry environments.
Stands for “Heating, Ventilation, & Air Conditioning.” Most HVAC contractors perform air quality related work.
The part of a heating system that starts the combustion process by lighting a gaseous mixture.
A device created by the U.S. Department of Energy to test air tightness and identify air leaks. It is set up in an outside doorway and creates a 15 MPH wind on all sides of your home, using sensors to determine the precise locations of any internal air leaks
Material that blocks the transfer of heat, used in homes to surround hot water pipes and prevent heat from escaping the interior home environment.
A device that purifies air on a microscopic level by using high voltage to electrically charge and “magnetize” airborne particles, causing them to attract to grounded surfaces like walls, floor, and ceilings, or surfaces housed within the purification device.
Also known as: ionic air purifiers, air ionizers.
A state in which neighboring air environments are not equal in pressure, causing air to flow from an area of higher pressure into one of lower pressure.
A system that cleans the air either chemically (usually through ozone) or electrically (through ionization), rather than simply trapping airborne particles in a filter.
recessed can lighting
A light fixture recessed into a hollow opening in the ceiling, in which a light bulb is housed in a cylindrical “can” that directs light downward.
The part of an air conditioning system that prevents a pressure buildup within an enclosed area by providing an “outlet” for air to counteract the supply vents which blow air into a room.
Also known as: air return
A water based or putty like material that provides air tightness within a home environment by sealing of ducts, garages, and other porous areas, and preventing infiltration and loss of heated or cooled air.
Also known as: fiber-reinforced elastomeric sealant, duct sealant
The part of an HVAC system that blows heated or cooled air into an area of the house.
Refers to the uniformity of the temperature in different regions of a home. Even distribution occurs when all areas of the home are heated and cooled equally, while uneven distribution occurs when some areas of the home are warmer or cooler than others.
An area within exterior walls of the home in which there is no insulation, allowing heat to escape.
A device that allows users to monitor and regulate the temperature and settings of an HVAC system.
ultraviolet purification system
A purification system that disinfects and purifies air using ultraviolet light, eliminating mold, bacteria, and other harmful airborne substances.
Also known as : UV purification, UV air purification
A system that facilitates the circulation of air into and out of a room or building.
Also known as: ventilation return, ventilation supply
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