Skip navigation

Call Natal’s Any Time—Day or Night!


Serving Greater New Orleans for Over 50 Years


Natal's Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical Blog

A Handy Air Conditioning Term Glossary

AC condenser unit

We’ve all been there—searching for help with your air conditioning issue while you’ve got 18 different tabs open on your browser looking up HVAC industry terms. When you’re not well-acquainted with this technology and this industry, it’s really hard to know just what we’re talking about. BTUs? SEER and AFUE? Short-cycling and refrigerant recharges? What do all of these words mean?

Don’t worry, we’ve got a blog post for everything and that’s the topic we’re going to cover today. In order for you to be an informed consumer when looking for AC repair in Mandeville, LA, you’ll need to be able to identify these terms and know what they mean. They’re everywhere and the more you understand about them, the more likely you are to save on energy bills, repair costs, or the cost of an early system replacement.

Let’s get started! And don’t forget to call our pros if you have any questions, or if you run into a lesser-known term that you’d like some knowledge about.

Our Glossary of Terms

Some of these terms might be familiar to you, and others might seem completely new or unnecessary. The problem is that every new term you learn might seem unnecessary until you’re faced with it in a panicked moment where you wish you understood it.

Let’s think ahead today by investigating some important terms that will be used at some point in your HVAC system’s life. We’ll describe each one, what they mean, and how they relate to you.


BTU stands for British Thermal Units, and they’re a universal way of measuring temperature. You’ll often see BTUs used when measuring the ability of your air conditioner to cool air to a certain level over time. The more BTUs an AC can cool, the more powerful it is.


These are all terms that are used to measure the efficiency of air conditioners, heat pumps, and furnaces.

  • SEER. Stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio, and it’s used to describe the efficiency of an AC unit. The higher the number is, the more efficient your AC model is.
  • HSPF. Stands for heating season performance factor, and it’s the measurement we use to know the efficiency of a heat pump since it must be able to warm you during the winter as well.
  • AFUE. This stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency, and it’s a measurement that describes the amount of furnace fuel that gets turned into heat. This is important because the closer this number is to 100, the more heat you’re getting from the fuel of your furnace, and the more efficient it is!


Recharge is a term used to describe when a professional needs to add refrigerant to your air conditioner.


Short-cycling is an industry-specific term used to show when an air conditioner is running in short, frequent bursts. This is generally bad and the cause can come from many different problems.

Evaporator and Condenser Coils

An air conditioner or heat pump relies on the evaporation and condensation of refrigerant to cool the air of your home. Thus, each process requires its own coil that the refrigerant runs through while it draws heat from the air or expels it into the air.

Call Natal’s HVAC, Plumbing & Electrical for comprehensive AC services you can count on. Service Honoring the Golden Rule!

Comments are closed.