Category Archives: HVAC Terms

Who Invented the Gas Furnace?

Answer: Alice H. Parker In the dead of winter, 1919, in Morristown, New Jersey, Alice H. Parker dreamed up the idea for the very first gas furnace. Until then, no central heating mechanism had ever been considered, much less designed.

Who Gets the Credit for Inventing Air Conditioning?

Conventional wisdom tells us that American engineer Willis Carrier invented modern air conditioning in 1902. But, according to Elizabeth Palermo’s fascinating LiveScience article, “Who Invented Air Conditioning?”, the concept of cooling an indoor space goes as far back as the

The Guru Explains: Combustion

Generally speaking, combustion is the process of burning a fuel or material for energy. In the HVAC world, we use the term “combustion” in reference to the types of heating appliances that burn a specific fuel as a method of

The Guru Explains: Thermal Load

A thermal load describes the amount of energy that needs to be removed or added to a space in order to keep that space around room temperature. HVAC specialists calculate the thermal load of a building in order to determine

The Guru Explains: Thermal Zone

Thermal zone refers to a singular space or collective group of spaces within a building that has a common thermal load. Thermal zones are often defined by building codes in order to determine the most energy-efficient way to configure HVAC

The Guru Explains: Damper

A damper is any valve or plate whose function is to control airflow. In the context of HVAC systems, dampers are often found inside ducts, chimneys, and air handlers as a way of regulating airflow in various settings. For example,

The Guru Explains: Entrainment

Entrainment is an engineering term that refers to the capture of ambient air by an air stream. In the context of HVAC systems, particularly air conditioning, entrainment has unpleasant connotations as it usually is the culprit in cases of serious

The Guru Explains: Heat Exchanger

A heat exchanger is the component of a furnace that’s responsible for transferring heat to the air, which is then circulated throughout the building. While heat exchangers are commonplace in lots of different capacities, including power plants, sewage treatment facilities,

The Guru Explains: Fresh Air Intake (FAI)

The fresh air intake is yet another integral component of any HVAC system. It’s a structural opening in the form of a vent, hose, or fan—normally found on an exterior wall—that brings fresh, outdoor air into a building. The fresh

The Guru Explains: Air Handling Unit (AHU)

An air handling unit (AHU), otherwise known as an air handler, is an integral part of any HVAC system. A large, metal box with several different components, it’s responsible for conditioning and circulating the air. Air handling units are typically