Glossary of Terms
An explanation of some of the commonly used Air Conditioning Terms
Ducted Air Conditioning
Ducted Air Conditioning is the most comprehensive method of home air conditioning. Cooled or heated air is moved through ducts running in the ceiling or under the floor to all parts of your house. Ducted Air Conditioning has a single compressor unit outside the house and the internal fan coil units are concealed in the ceiling or under the floor.
Reverse Cycle describes how some air conditioning systems provide both cooling and heating using the same equipment. The heating process is literally the reverse of the cooling process. A 'heat pump' is a reverse cycle air conditioner.
A split system strictly speaking, describes any air conditioning system where the compressor unit and the fan coil unit are separated. It is mostly used to describe a hi-wall, room air conditioner, where the fan coil unit is mounted on the internal wall of the room and the compressor unit is mounted outside.
Multi-zone / Multi-Split System
Multi-zone / Multi-Split Systems are like a cross between wall mounted split systems and a ducted system. In most domestic applications a single outdoor unit powers up to 3 indoor wall mounted split systems indoor units. In other applications the indoor units can also be a mixture of wall mounted, ducted or cassette units. The result is a ductless system ideal for town houses villa units or apartments where ducting is not possible.
Zoning is the way in a ducted air conditioning system that parts of a house are split into segments or zones with separate air supply ducts for each zone. This allows for flexibility in which zones are receiving air at any time. So you can turn the air conditioning off in parts of the house you are not using. Zoning allows maximum flexibility and helps manage running costs.
COP/EER COP stands for Coefficient Of Performance and EER stands for Energy Efficiency Rating. Both of these numbers indicate how energy efficient the air conditioner is. COP refers to the efficiency of the system in heating mode and EER relates to efficiency in cooling mode. With both ratings, the higher the number for a given size unit, the higher the energy efficiency. The higher the efficiency for a given rating the lower the running costs.
Star Rating is a simple method for identifying the energy efficiency of a given air conditioning unit. The more stars the more efficient the unit.
Refrigerant is the gas used in air conditioners.
R410A is the refrigerant used in all Temperzone domestic air conditioning systems. R410A is the most energy efficient refrigerant and also has the lowest Ozone Depletion Potential.
Inverter is a type of air conditioning technology that allows the system to vary its power output as the need in the house changes. Inverters are best used on small to medium installations.
Digital Scroll is another variable output air conditioning technology that is best suited to medium to large installations.
Controller is the wall mounted units in a ducted air conditioning system that allow you to vary the air temperature, fan speed, switch the system from heating to cooling, turn zones on or off and set the time clock.
Heating Capacity is the heating rating (power) of an air conditioning system expressed in kilowatts. The higher the number the bigger the area the system will heat.
Cooling Capacity is the cooling rating (power) of an air conditioning system expressed in kilowatts. The higher the number the bigger the area the system will cool.
Compressor is the outside unit in split system air conditioning. It compresses refrigerant and pumps it to the inside unit (fan coil) through insulated pipes
Fan Coil Unit
Fan Coil Unit is the inside unit in a split system air conditioner. Refrigerant passing through the coil causes it to cool. Air blown over the coil by the fan is chilled.
Vents are the opening in the rooms of a ducted air conditioning system through which conditioned air flows. Vents are usually mounted in the floor or ceiling.
Ducts are the flexible tubes through which cooled or heated air is moved through a house in a ducted system. Ducts are usually mounted in the ceiling or under the floor.
Cassette Units are a specialised type of indoor units that do not require ducts. The outdoor unit is connected to the cassette unit which is ceiling mounted by refrigerant lines. No ductwork is required. Cassettes are typically used in commercial installations where ductwork is not possible.
Ductless air conditioning strictly speaking refers to any system not using ducts; wall mounted split systems, cassette systems and multi zone / multi split systems. The term ductless commonly refers to a system that gives ducted like outcomes without the ducts.