More than Heat

Energy Star Solutions for Fine Homes

About Us
Where to Start??
Choosing a Contractor
What about Solar??
Contact Us
Strange Words?
Site Map

It helps to be able to understand the terms that will be discussed as you pursue your new mechanical system. We present this information to help clarify the mystery about what you contractor is trying to communicate to you. We can simplify the process of Picking the Proper Mechanical Systems for your project.

We Know Mechanical Systems,
Let us help you Evaluate your Options.

Heating Industry Glossary

BTU-(British Thermal Unit)-The amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. BTU is used to signify the heating and cooling capacity of a system and the heat losses and gains of buildings and homes.


BTUH-The number of BTUs produced in one hour.


Clean Energy-is the term describing what is thought to be environmentally friendly sources of power and energy. Typically, this refers to renewable and non-polluting energy sources.


Closed Loop System-A heat pump system that uses a loop of buried plastic pipe as a heat exchanger.  Loops can be horizontal or vertical.


COP-(Coefficient of Performance)-The ratio of heating or cooling provided by a heat pump (or other refrigeration machine) to the energy consumed by the system under designated operating conditions.  The higher the COP, the more efficient the system.


Compressor:  The central part of a heat pump system.  The compressor increases the pressure and temperature of the refrigerant and simultaneously reduces its volume while causing the refrigerant to move through the system.


Condenser:  A heat exchanger in which hot, pressurized (gaseous) refrigerant is condensed by transferring heat to cooler surrounding air, water or earth.


Cycling Losses-the efficiency of a heating or cooling system is reduced due to start-up and shut-down losses.  Over-sizing a heating or cooling system increases cycling losses.


Demand Response:  Within the electric industry, the mechanisms to manage the demand from customers in response to supply conditions. For example, having electricity customers reduce their consumption at critical times or in response to market prices.


Desuperheater:  A device for recovering superheat from the compressor discharge gas of a heat pump  or central air conditioner for use in  heating and preheating water.


Energy-Conservation:  -is the practice of decreasing the quantity of energy used while achieving a similar outcome. Practicing this may result in an increase of financial capital, environmental value, national security, personal security, and human comfort.


Energy-Efficient:  -Performing the same services but using less power.


Fossil Fuel:  Combustible fuels formed from the decomposition of organic matter.  Examples are natural gas, propane, fuel oil and coal.


Geothermal Heat Pump- A heat pump that uses the earth as a heat source and heat sink.


Green Energy Technology- Technologies that use natural or renewable resources, conserve energy, or are more sustainable from an environmental perspective by reducing pollution and overall energy consuption.


Heat exchanger:  A device designed to transfer heat between two physically separated

fluids or mediums of different temperatures.


Heat Pump-A mechanical device used for heating & cooling which operates by pumping

Heat from a cooler to a warmer location.  Heat pumps can extract heat from air, water, or

The earth.  They are classified as either air-source or geothermal units.


Heat Sink-The medium-air,water, or earth-which receives heat is extracted by a heat pump.


Heat Source:  The medium-air, water, or earth-from which heat is extracted by a heat pump.


Open Loop System:  A heat pump system that uses groundwater from a well or surface water from a lake, pond or river as a heat source.  The water is returned to the environment.


Payback: A method of calculating how long it will take to recover the difference in costs

Between two different heating & cooling systems by using the energy and operating cost

Savings from the more efficient system.


Smart Energy:  -is the use of computers, electronics, and advanced materials to make energy use more efficient.


Supplemental heating:  A heating system used during extremely cold weather when additional heat is needed to moderate indoor temperatures.  May be in the form of fossil fuel or electric resistance.


Conversion Table

U.S.          Equals    Canadian

1 gallon     =           .8 gallon (3.78 liters)

1 foot         =           .304 meter

1000 feet   =           304.8 meters

1BTU         =            252 calories (grams)

Fahrenheit =            Celsius=(f-32)x5/9

(Example: 40F)   =   (4.44C)