Speak the Language of HVAC Heating Season

Speak the Language of HVAC Heating Season

Without some basic knowledge of HVAC lingo, you'll be under-equipped to deal with furnace or heat pump troubleshooting this heating season, and may struggle when it comes to system maintenance and saving energy in your Silicon Valley home. Following are a few basic but useful HVAC terms to keep in mind this heating season:

  • Energy efficiency.When it comes to residential heating and cooling, an efficiently operating system will provide maximum output (whether heating or cooling) while consuming the least possible energy. For household heating, you can't get optimum energy efficiency without 1) well-maintained, high-efficiency (Energy Star-qualified) HVAC equipment; 2) responsible energy conservation habits helped along by technology; and 3) a tightly built or maintained home (with proper air sealing and insulation).
  • Thermostat.A programmable thermostat allows you to devise a schedule of temperature changes (also called setbacks) that matches your household's daily and weekly schedule. In the winter, the thermostat dials back the heating when nobody's home during the day and at night when everybody goes to bed. You don't need full-go heat during these periods.
  • Air filter.This modest component of any forced-air HVAC system makes sure airborne grit and dust doesn't contaminate sensitive equipment and keeps much of that dust and dirt out of household air. The more efficient the air filter, the more unwanted particulates it will remove from the air. During high-use seasons, inspect the filter monthly and replace it when it gets clogged with dust.
  • Weatherization.Effective weatherization of a house or other building requires a combination of tight construction and the correct type and amount of insulation in the right places. In an older house, it means finding and sealing air leaks. Weatherized homes retain heat longer in the winter and resist heat infiltration longer in the summer. This saves energy, increases comfort, and preserves HVAC equipment from stress.
  • HVAC maintenance.Heating and cooling equipment will last longer if it receives at least annual professional maintenance, with regular homeowner maintenance as well.

For more information about keeping your home comfortable and energy efficient, please contact us at Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical.


Our goal is to help educate our customers in the South Bay Peninsula and Santa Cruz areas of California about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).