Today it’s a good day to spend a little time getting familiar with some AC keywords. This blog is for anyone of you, from beginners to experienced AC users. Whether you are looking for a new unit or talking to your tradie about repairs, here is a “cheat list” of the most common technical terms in the industry. We speak your language, the air conditioning language.

 

 1. ARC 

First of all, ARC or Australian Refrigeration Council is the peak body responsible for the refrigeration and AC industry in Australia. ARC is in charge of authorizing and licensing all the businesses and tradespeople who work with ozone-depleting substances or synthetic greenhouse gases, offering them the ARC “tick”

Additionally, ARC “smart card” is a soon-to-be-implemented solution to recognize a licensed technician with the help of a phone app. Pretty smart, isn’t it?

 

2. AIRAH 

AIRAH or Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating is an independent organization aiming to provide leadership in the air conditioning field through professional development. Therefore, it encompasses a wide range of technical resources like educational materials, courses or conferences related to the AC industry.

 

3. Refrigerants

Technically, a refrigerant represents the medium used for heat transfer in a refrigerating system. It absorbs heat by evaporating at a low temperature, then rejects it on condensing at a higher temperature.

Amongst the most common refrigerants, we can mention R410A – a non-ozone depleting refrigerant which was previously used to transfer heat energy between the indoor and outdoor units of the AC systems and its successor, R-32. This replaced R410A due to its global warming potential (GWP) factor which is 66% lower than the other one.

 

4. Split and multi-split systems

Considered one of the most popular home air conditioning solutions, the split system consists of two different parts: the indoor and the outdoor unit. Ideally, you can use it to cool up to 4 rooms, considering its relatively low purchase price and installation cost.

Similarly, the multi-split system  acts as an alternative to several split systems or a ducted system.

 

5. Ducted systems

Unlike a split system, ducted systems feature a central location. Here, an internal fan coil (usually installed in the roof of your house) connects to multiple rooms via a series of ducts, allowing you to heat and cool different areas of the home effortlessly and efficiently.

 

6. Inverter technology

Just like the accelerator of a car, an inverter  works by gently increasing or decreasing the speed of the compressor motor to reach and maintain the desired temperature. This efficient control leads to many hours of interrupted comfort, as well as cost and energy savings.

 

7. VRF

The Variable Refrigerant Flow, also known as Variable Refrigerant Volume system uses refrigerant as the cooling and heating medium. Ideal for commercial environments, this system features a single outdoor unit that can circulate the conditioned air to multiple indoor units throughout the building.

 

8. Zoning

Zoning represents an efficient solution to heat or cool multiple areas within a house independently. Typically, you can achieve it by using separate controls or by opening and closing dampers within ducts in each zone.

In other words, the air is distributed where and when is needed, increasing everyone’s comfort and decreasing cost and energy usage.

 

9. Commissioning

If you haven’t heard of this before, you should know that commissioning is the final step in installing an air con system. A qualified technician work is required, who will check and test every component in the system and make sure it all complies with technical codes and manufacturers standards. Once this phase is successfully completed, the system is officially up and running.

 

10. MEPS

choose an air con with a high energy star ratingResidential air conditioners were first required to carry an energy label back in 1987 and have been subject to MEPS or Minimum Energy Performance Standards since 2004.

Now, the Energy Star Label displays a star rating from 1 to 6 stars, or in particular cases, 10 stars.  For a better understanding, the higher the star rating, the more cost and energy efficient the air conditioner is.

 

In conclusion, we hope that this glossary has refreshed your AC knowledge and also brighten you up a bit. Cheers for successfully learning another foreign language…the air conditioning language!

 

Until next time, stay comfortable and hungry for knowledge!

Your friend and AC expert,

John Ricca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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