Being an HVAC contractor means dealing with different types of refrigeration systems on a daily basis. You have to be familiar with the various refrigerant varieties, the inner workings of various systems, as well as the adequate installation procedures for all the systems you offer to your residential and commercial HVAC customer base.

However, you also have to know the terminology. On the one hand, even the most experienced contractors have to consult a manual from time to time, if only when keeping up with the most modern advancements in the industry. This involves you knowing all the necessary terms and expressions about refrigeration.

On the other hand, your customers are bound to have questions when you start using various industry-specific terminology they are not familiar with. Having a better understanding of these terms will allow you to explain them to your clients more easily. Take a look at the most common terms in the refrigeration industry and their precise definitions.

What Are The Most Important Terms In The Refrigeration Industry?

There are many terms in the refrigeration industry that are known to many contractors, but also completely unknown to their customers. Let’s take a look at what they mean and how you can best explain them in case your clients would like to know more about them:

  • Accumulator: This is a shell housed within the suction line that separates liquid refrigerant.
  • Air changes: Sometimes, air leakages are computed by approximating a number of air fluctuations for a room per hour, which is reflected in the air change index.
  • Ambient air: This refers to all the air that surrounds a certain object, while it refers to the air temperature that’s passing through the condenser in commercial and domestic refrigeration systems.
  • Back pressure: This refers to the suction pressure exhibited by the system’s refrigeration vapor.
  • Change of air: This is the introduction of either new or recirculated air into air conditioned spaces, and it is a measurement of completed changes per a single unit of time.
  • Comfort air conditioning: This refers to the simultaneous control of several of all factors that affect the chemical and physical properties of a space. The factors that can be controlled are ionization, toxic gasses, odors, bacteria, dust, distribution, motion, humidity, and temperature.
  • Defrosting cycle: This is the portion of the refrigeration cycle during which the cooling unit can defrost.
  • Dehumidification: Dehumidification is the conservation of the vapor present in the air through cooling the space below its dew point or by removing the vapor from the air by physical or chemical methods.
  • Dew point: This is the temperature of the start of condensation if the air is cooled under a constant amount of pressure without any gain or loss of moisture in the process.
  • Dry bulb temperature: Ordinary thermometers are able to measure this temperature.
  • Evaporator: This is the part of the cooling system where refrigerant liquid vaporizes to create refrigerant.
  • External equalizer: This is a device that compensates for excessive pressure drops along the coil.
  • Flash gas: This gas appears as a result of refrigerant’s immediate evaporation.
  • Flooded system: This refers to a cooling system where only a portion of all the refrigerant is evaporated, while the other portion is recirculated after being split from the vapor.
  • Head pressure: This is the operating pressure as measured within the compressor’s discharge line.
  • Liquid line: A pipe or tube that carries the refrigerant from the receiver or condenser to a device that reduces the pressure.
  • Standard air: This is air that weighs approximately 0.075 lb. per cubic feet at a dry bulb temperature of 68℉ and with an approximate humidity of 50% at the 29.92 in of pressure.
  • Suction line: This is a pipe or tube that carries refrigerant vapor into the compressor inlet from the evaporator.
  • Thermal valve: This is a valve that is under control from a thermally-responsive part, such as a thermostatic expansion valve.
  • Wet bulb temperature: The equilibrium water temperature as it evaporates into air when its latent heat is supplied through the air’s sensible temperature.