Common HVAC/R Terms You May Not Know:

BTU (British Thermal Unit)- this is the amount of heat necessary to raise the temperature of 1 pound of water 1 degree Fahrenheit.

Condensor- a device in which vaporized refrigerant is condensed so that it may be reused in the evaporator. This is commonly referred to as the "outdoor" unit.

Cycle- the operation of a comfort system from the time it engages to heat/cool your home until the time it satisfies the thermostat.

Evaporator- a device in which liquid refrigerant is vaporized, cooling the device to provide cold air into your home. This is often referred to as the "indoor" unit.

SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio)- this describes how well your comforty system works during cooling season. A higher SEER rating means higher energy efficiency for your home and lower utility bills for you. Higher SEER is achieved by manufacturers using the latest technology to make their systems more efficient, which explains why these ratings have such a large impact on equipment costs.


Helpful Hints

As comfort consultants, one of our primary goals at WSC is educating our customers on the operation and maintenance of their comfort system(s).

Many times we have arrived at a customer's home only to find a minor problem that could have been fixed by the customer at little to no cost. Other times we find that the customer has done much of the troubleshooting for us, even though they may not realize it. This guidance can be very helpful for us and the customer because it often means the technician spends less time on the site, resulting in a lower cost for the homeowner.

These circumstances are why we decided to develop a "Helpful Hints" page for you, our customers.

Keep in mind there are many intricate parts in a modern HVAC system and this guide is designed to be a starting point, not a solution to every possible problem. If you have an issue that is not covered in this section, we encourage you to use our free "Ask a Tech" feature at the bottom of this page.

Things To Check Before You Call For Service

  1. Is your system not cooling/heating and there is no air blowing from the vents in the house? First, make sure your digital thermostat has a display. If not, you may have a problem with the electrical service to your unit. Check the breakers in your home's electrical panel and make sure they are not "tripped." Some digital thermostats are equipped with batteries, make sure they are charged and securely in place. If neither of these solve your problem, you should call a quality comfort consultant to inspect the system.
  2. Is the system just not cooling as well as it normally does? If not, check the copper lines attached to the indoor and outdoor units and make sure there is no ice present. If there is ice, DO NOT attempt to break it off. This could result in a very costly refrigerant leak! If there is no ice present, check the return air filter to make sure it is clean. If it is dirty, replace filter with a quality pleated return air filter available at most hardware stores. If these do not solve your problem, call a quality comfort consultant to inspect the system.
  3. Have you had this same problem with your system in the past? Having your system's service history at hand when calling a new comfort consultant is always very helpful. It will help the unfamiliar company by giving them insight about potential problems (ie: repeatedly charging system with refrigerant often means there are refrigerant leak(s) in the system).

If these topics do not help you, please feel free to "Ask a Tech." This free feature gives you direct contact with our in-house technical team who will try to answer all of your questions about your home comfort system.


                Ask a Tech