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Acronyms in the HVAC Industry: Defined

Posted by Michelle Eld on

From furnace filters to other aspects of your heating and cooling system, there are many acronyms that hold meaning within the industry but you may not be aware of what they stand for. Here at Filtration Montreal, we eliminate the confusion and lay it all out here for you. Check out these furnace filter definitions and HVAC terms that you may hear frequently:

MERV: This stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. It’s a rating system developed by the American Society of Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) engineers. MERV educates consumers on which environmental pollutants MERV-rated filters trap. For example, MERV 8-rated filters capture 70 to 85% of particles measuring 3 to 10 microns in size; MERV 11 air filters capture 65 to 70% of particles 1.0 to 3.0 microns in size and 85% or better for the same pollutants measuring 3 to 10 microns in size; the MERV 13 can collect particles as small as .3 microns but these are best for very clean environments, such as medical facilities. Another way to understand MERV is that it is a description of the size of the holes in the filter that allow air to pass through. If you have a high MERV rating, the holes are smaller with more efficiency.

AFUE: Stands for Annualized Fuel Utilization Efficiency. This measures furnace heating efficiency. A higher AFUE indicates a more energy efficient furnace.

BTU: Short for British Thermal Unit, this measures heat energy. For example, one BTU is equal to the amount of heat needed to raise one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. The higher the BTU rating, the better heating capacity of the system.

HSPF: Also known as Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, this refers to the heating efficiency rating for heat pumps. Basically, the higher the rating, the more efficient the heat pump is at generating the desired comfort level.

SEER: Known as the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, SEER is how air conditioners are rated for efficiency. The more efficient the unit is, the higher the SEER rating that will come with it.

FAI: Fresh Air Intake, or an opening through which outside air is drawn into a building.

CAE: Short for Combined Annual Efficiency, this is a measure of the amount of heat produced for every dollar of fuel used for home and water heating.

We hope you learned something today and found these definitions to be useful. Remember, Filtration Montreal offers FREE, fast shipping to anywhere in Canada. Just order today by 10 a.m. and get your filters tomorrow by Canada Post! We are the ONLY authorized residential reseller in Canada for Camfil brand filters.

  • furnace filter definitions
  • HVAC acronyms