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There are several terms and acronyms in the HVAC industry that mean nothing to the average person but after a while of exposure become commonplace. These terms act as gatekeepers to the uninitiated but are easy to learn.

The most important acronym to learn is “HVAC,” which means heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Here are some common acronyms and terms used frequently in this industry.

AC: Alternating current. For AC motors, the motor is driven by an alternating current.

AHRI: The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Insititute (AHRI) is a trade association of manufacturers of air conditioning, heating, and commercial refrigeration equipment. Mainstream’s coils are AHRI certified!

AHU: Air handling unit. Refers to the devices used to regulate and circulate air in part of HVAC systems. 

Air Handler: Indoor part of an air conditioning system, including the circulating fan, evaporator, and condenser coil.

Backdraft Dampers: Ensures air does not flow back through the system if a fan fails or if the system is intentionally turned off.

Blank Off Plates: Used to seal off a failed fan to avoid backdraft. Should a fan fail, blank off plates can be manually installed.

Chilled Water Coils: Chilled water coils are one of the most common mediums for cooling air. They are typically used to cool or remove moisture from air streams.

Coilboxes: Coilboxes are often applied to provide additional cooling to an existing HVAC system.

Condenser Coils: Condenser coils are used in a wide variety of HVAC heat recovery and condensing applications. These coils typically consist of between 1-4 rows of tubes.

DC: Direct current. For DC motors, the motor converts the direct current electrical energy into mechanical energy.

ECM: Electronically commutated motor

Evaporator (DX Coils): Evaporator coils (also referred to as direct expansion/DX) are used to cool or remove moisture from air streams.

Hot Water Coils: Hot water coils use hot water from a boiler to heat or remove moisture from the air.

Industrial Coils: Industrial coils are designed to withstand the environment of industrial applications. 

N+1 Redundancy: Ensures system availability in the event of a component failure. Mainstream’s IntelliCUBE EC fan arrays are equipped with N+1 redundancy.

PMEC: Permanent magnet electronically commutated motor. These motors combine synchronous reluctance and permanent magnet technologies for a wirelessly connected, sustainable solution.

Split Core Coils: Split core coils contain multiple sections that are easily transportable in limited space applications.

Static Pressure: The resistance to airflow within the components and ductwork of a heating and cooling system

Steam Coils: Steam coils are a common heat source in an air handler and provide heating for commercial and industrial buildings.

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