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Equipment that conditions air by cleaning, cooling, heating, humidifying, or dehumidifying it. A term often applied to comfort cooling equipment.

Air Handler

The device that moves the air across the heat exchanger in a forced-air system – normally considered to be the fan and its housing.

Air Heat Exchanger

A device used to exchange heat between air and another medium at different temperature levels, such as air-to-air, air-to-water, or air-to-refrigerant.

Air Vent

A fitting used to vent air manually or automatically from a system.
A venting system for gas stoves or other gas appliances using approved piping through the roof or into a chimney.


A device that surrounds a rotating shaft and provides a low-friction contact surface to reduce wear from the rotating shaft

Bleed valve

A valve with a small port usually used to bleed pressure from a vessel to the atmosphere.


Allowing pressure to move from one pressure level to another very slowly.


Heat-activated electrical device used to open an electrical circuit to protect it from excessive current flow.


Abbreviation for British thermal unit: the amount (quantity) of heat required to raise the temperature of 1lb of water 1 degree F.
An electrical storage device used to start motors (start capacitor) and to improve the efficiency of motors (run capacitor).

Charge refrigerant

The quantity of refrigerant in a system.

Charging scale

A scale used to weigh refrigerant when charging a refrigeration or air conditioning system.

Check valve

A device that permits fluid flow in one direction only.


An electron or fluid-flow path that makes a complete loop.

Circuit breaker

A device that opens an electric circuit when an overload occurs.


A vapor pump that pumps vapor (refrigerant or air) from one pressure level to a higher pressure level.

Condensing unit

A complete unit that includes the compressor and the condensing coil.


A larger version of the relay. It can be repaired or rebuilt and has moveable and stationary contacts.
The portion of the refrigeration cycle that melts the ice off the evaporator.


The difference in the cut-in and cut-out points of a control, pressure, time, temperature or level.


A device used in a refrigerant line to remove moisture.

Drip pan

A pan shaped to collect moisture condensing on an evaporator coil in an air conditioning or refrigeration system.


A sealed channel used to convey air from the system to and from the point of utilization.
An instrument used to detect gases in very small portions by using electronic sensors and circuits.


Abbreviation for the Environmental Protection Agency.


The component in a refrigeration system that absorbs heat into the system and evaporates the liquid refrigerant.
The use of a pressure control to turn a condenser fan on and off to maintain a correct pressure within the system.

Freeze Up

Excess ice or frost accumulation on a evaporator to the point that airflow may be affected.


The name for refrigerants manufactured.


Equipment used to convert heating energy such as fuel oil, gas or electricity to usable heat. It usually contains a heat exchanger, a blower, and controls to operate the system.


A safety device used in electrical circuits for the protection of the circuit conductor and components.
An instrument used to indicate pressure.

Gas valve

A value used to stop, start, or modulate the flow of natural gas.
Energy that causes molecules to be in motion and to raise the temperature of a substance.

Heat Coil

A device made of tubing or pipe designed to transfer heat to a cooler substance by using fluids.

Heat Pump

A refrigeration system used to supply heat or cooling using valves to reverse the refrigerant gas flow.

Hot Gas Line

The tubing between the compressor and condenser.

Hot Surface Ignition

A silicon carbide or similar substance is placed in gas stream of a gas furnace and allowed to get very hot. When the gas impinges on this surface, immediate ignition should occur.


Usually refers to a hot water heating system.
Provides a high-voltage current, usually to produce a spark to ignite a furnace fuel, either gas or oil.
A service valve at the liquid receiver's outlet in a refrigeration system.
Any device used to detect leaks in a pressurized system.

Limit Control

A control used to make a change in a system, usually to stop it when predetermined limits of pressure or temperature are reached.

Liquid Line

A term applied in the industry to refer to the tubing or piping from the condenser to the expansion device.

Reference: Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technology, 4th Edition, Whitman/Johnson/Tomczyk