Five Commercial HVAC Terms You Need To Know

Talking to a maintenance technician can be just like talking to your mechanic. You only understand half of what they say, and you never really know if you’re getting your money’s worth on repairs and services that they say you need. This can lead to quite a bit of frustration, especially when you’re working with several management positions and a tight corporate budget. While it’s typically best to listen to exactly what your technician recommends, it can be difficult to explain why you need expensive repairs if you don’t know the terminology that goes with them. 


In order to facilitate HVAC services and better understand your system as a whole, learn about the different terms HVAC technicians use every day. These five are a great start to beginning a dialogue with your HVAC technician that is productive and can speed up your service requests:


Load Calculation

Load calculation refers to the calculation of heat gain and loss of a building. This is affected by insulation, sunlight, weather and climate, and building usage among other things. The load calculation is used to properly size your HVAC units and is therefore important for you to understand when upgrading equipment. 



When your HVAC technician mentions airflow, they’re not talking about how fast your HVAC system can cool or how well it ventilated. They’re referring to the amount of air your system is capable of moving through the ducts, measured in cubic feet per minute. The larger the facility, the more important this measurement is. 



Energy Efficiency Ration (EER) is the efficiency calculation used to rate your heat pump and A/C unit. Typically, the EErR is calculated in BTUs and is important when upgrading your system. The higher the rating, the more efficient and therefore cost-saving the system. 


Zoning System

Zoning HVAC systems are incredibly beneficial for large-scale building installations. They allow the temperature to be controlled by zones rather than setting one temperature for the entire unit. This can make your system more efficient and practical for buildings that require different temperatures for different operations. 


MERV Rating

The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) helps to rate the efficiency of your air filter. This rating is more important in medical facilities, where trapping small microbial and viral particles is of the utmost importance. However, a higher rating can help improve indoor air quality for all types of commercial buildings. 


The more you understand your HVAC technician, the better you can plan maintenance now and in the future. To learn more about HVAC maintenance for commercial facilities, visit the MaintenX resource center.

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