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HVAC Heating Season Lingo

HVAC Heating Season LingoThe more you know about the basics of your home’s heating system, the better equipped you’ll be to plan proper maintenance and troubleshooting of the equipment during the heating season. Knowledge of key HVAC terms also will enable you to save energy while heating your home. Following are some important terms to know this heating season:

Energy efficiency/AFUE

An energy-efficient heating system will save money on utility bills, while efficiently operating equipment tends to perform better and last longer without breakdowns. Annualized Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) measures how much fuel gets turned into usable heat during combustion furnace operation. It’s shown as a percentage, as in AFUE 90, which means that 90 percent of the fuel (usually natural gas) will convert into heat. In northern climates such as Canada, the higher the AFUE the better.

Air filter

This small, inexpensive component is essential to the proper performance of forced-air heating and cooling systems. The filter protects sensitive components of your furnace or heat pump from dust and debris, and also helps clean indoor air (as long as the filter is of adequate quality). Check the filter every month, changing it when it gets dirty.


Proper operation of the thermostat can save quite a bit of energy during the heating season. This means adjusting the temperature (or using a programmable thermostat to do it) so that your HVAC system isn’t fully heating an empty house while everybody’s at work. Turn down the heat while the household is asleep as well.

Insulation and air sealing

A properly insulated, tightly constructed (or air sealed) house will retain heat on cold days longer than one that’s not. This makes for a more comfortable home that’s cheaper to heat, and also puts less stress on heating equipment.


Your ducts deliver warm air (and cold air in the summer) to rooms in your home. The ducts should be properly sealed to make sure you’re not losing conditioned air before it arrives at its intended destination.

For service or repairs in your Calgary-area home this heating season, please contact us at Arpi’s Industries.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about TOPIC and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide.

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