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AC Installation Terms Explained

If you have ever researched or shopped for AC systems, you know how complicated some of the terminology can be. All the acronyms and technical terms can easily get overwhelming. If you don’t have a reliable HVAC contractor to help you make sense of things, you could make a choice or an investment that you regret. 

CCAC wants all of our customers to be as informed as possible when it comes to understanding their AC purpose and function. That’s why we strive to answer as many questions as we can and provide as much information as is needed. If you have always wondered about some of the most common AC terms, keep reading! 

Difficult Air Conditioning Terms


The heat load of your AC unit refers to the amount of heat that must be pulled from your air to achieve the desired cooling process.


British Thermal Units (BTUs) are a unit of measuring energy input and output for your AC system. Basically, this unit measures how much heat your AC is able to pull from your air per hour. This measurement determines the cooling load the unit can handle and is important if you want to invest in a system that can properly cool the spaces in your home.


Even though it sounds like weight, tons refer to the size of your air conditioner. Tones work hand in hand with BTUs to determine what size AC will be able to cool the amount of air in your home effectively. HVAC contractors use formulas to calculate your BTU load which can then be transferred to how many tons you need in an AC. 

For example, 12,000 BTUs = 1 ton. So if your BTU calculation was 30,000 BTUs, an AC specialist would recommend a 2.5 ton unit for your home.


Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is a rating that each AC unit is given that determines how much energy it uses to cool your air. The higher the SEER rating is, the less energy that unit uses to cool your air. 


Minimum Efficiency Rating Value (MERV) refers to the efficiency rating of your AC’s air filters. Air filters are designed to remove a wide range of contaminants from your air, but different MERV ratings can signify what kind of particles that filter can remove. While lower MERV filters can remove the common contaminants like dust, pollen and dander, higher MERV rated filters can remove bacteria, mold spores, smoke and even some virus carriers.

Inverter Technology

Regular AC technology has only two speeds it runs at: high and low. This means that the system runs on either maximum or minimum power at all times to provide the cooling you desire. Inverter technology basically controls the flow of power to the system so that there are speeds in between high and low that better regulate the temperature without using such extreme jumps in energy.

Split System

This term just refers to an AC system that has an indoor unit and an outdoor unit. Most traditional HVAC systems are in this form as well as ductless units. You’ll recognize it by the AC cube outside by your home and the air handler either on the wall or in the attic attached to all your air ducts.

Multi-Split System

Multi-Splits are just like split systems (mentioned above) but the outdoor unit is connected to more than one indoor unit. For example, a ductless system can connect multiple air handlers to one outdoor unit so that more than one room is able to be cooled in the home.

Questions About AC Terms?

Mathews CCAC is always happy to answer any questions our customers have. We want what’s best for you and your home, and we want our communication to be crystal clear when we help you out. If you have more questions about your Corpus Christi AC installation, give us a call!

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What Our Customers Are Saying

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I’ve had a system purchased and installed by them for several years with the maintenance contract the whole time. I’ve been very satisfied with the service. You can’t go wrong selecting them for your business.

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Mathews CCAC conducted the semi-annual inspection of the A/C, heating system for the fall check-up, Technician was on time, courteous and went quickly about the inspection and observed all COVID-19 protocols for his and our safety a pleasure to work with this company

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Great company. Contacted my current AC company to check on my warranty before charging me anything. Saved me a bunch of money and headache if dealing with anything. Would definitely recommend them and use them again.

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