Heating and Cooling Acronym Basics - Part 3

School is back in session in most of the country, so are you ready for your own short lesson of the day? The folks here at GAMA Air are back with Part 3 of our series on acronyms for the curious among here in the Beverly Hills, Culver City, Mar Vista, Miracle Mile, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Los Angeles, West Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Marina Del Rey, Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Bel Air, Westwood, Downtown Los Angeles, Vernon, Huntington Park, Sherman Oaks, Encino area and how it relates to your central heating and air conditioning system. If you want to catch up on where we left off, here are links to Part 1 and Part 2 of Heating and Cooling Acronym Basics. Now let’s get back to the definition of some of the common acronyms in the HVAC industry.


An Air Handler Unit (AHU) is a key part of most central AC systems. It might also be called a Fan Coil Unit. The key aspect of this is that it has a blower fan used to circulate air from your central heating and AC system throughout your home. They almost always are connected to ductwork for distributing air. It is possible that the air filter for your home will be found at the AHU.


This is the acronym for the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. (ASHRAE is pronounced as a single word: “ash-ray”.) According to their website it was founded in 1894 and is “a global society advancing human well-being through sustainable technology for the built environment. The Society and its members focus on building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, refrigeration and sustainability within the industry.” ASHRAE standards are the basis of the standards used by manufacturers to build the heating and cooling equipment in your home.


The Fan Coil Unit (FCU) is sometimes synonymous with the Air Handler Unit. This is because both have a blower fan to circulate conditioned air around your house. However, the difference is that a FCU not only has a blower fan, which is the “F” of FCU, but it always has a coil that is connected to the outdoor unit of the central heating and cooling system. That would be the “C” of FCU. Some systems have separate coil units and blower unit that are connected together but FCUs are a single unit with both. They can also be used without ductwork, circulating air directly from a room right back into that room.


The Home Energy Rating System is method used to test the energy efficiency of a house. (HERS is pronounced as a single word just like “hers” as in: “This heater is not mine, it’s hers.”) With the increasing use of energy efficiency standards in building quality, there had to be a standard way of measuring whether a home meets an acceptable standard. As of this writing a HERS certification test is required in most new construction and re-models in California and Massachusetts. Other states are also adopting the standard.


The importance of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) over recent years has increased awareness of the acronym IAQ. This refers to the quality of the air inside your home as it relates to the health and comfort of you and your family. Maintaining a healthy IAQ has benefits to your health. Indoor air pollutants that result in a poor IAQ may cause adverse health effects soon after exposure or, possibly, years later.

If you’re ready to get prices on the installation of a high-efficiency gas furnace system, either by itself, or along with an air conditioner, then give GAMA Air a call at (310) 651-6936. You can also use our online form to schedule a visit at a time convenient to you for a no-obligation quote. We guarantee your satisfaction 100%.

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