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HVAC Classifications

and Questions
PURPOSE: To help CSAs identify and select the correct air conditioning unit by asking the customers
probing questions when placing air conditioning claims. This will help capture correct claim information
and ensure we are dispatching to the proper service company. It will also help Authorization associates
when dealing with non technical callers from service companies.

System: Definition: Probing Question:


Does your system supply only
cooling (Straight Cool) or does it also
supply heat?
A heat pump system on its own will only work in tem-
peratures down to approximately 40 degrees and If the system supplies both cooling &
requires another source of heat in heating ask:
lower temperatures, usually electric but could have any
Does your thermostat have a se-
Heat pump vs. other type of heating (gas & oil furnaces or a boiler).
lection for auxiliary or emergency heat
Straight Cool in addition to heat & cool selections?
Straight cool systems may have
electric heating elements in the air handler or any other (See Figure One below.)
type of system for heating if needed in the customers
If the answer is yes, Then it is likely to
geographic area. be a heat pump and the emergency or
auxiliary heat is for electric heating el-
ements or some other form of heating.

Do you have an outdoor condens-


er (A/C or Heat Pump) with an indoor
air handler or furnace?
Split system simply means that the 2 components (con-
Spilt Systems denser & evaporator/blower assembly) are in separate Does the indoor air handler
cabinets. (forced air/blower assembly) pass hot
or cold air through the ducting to a
vent, grill or register for hot or cold air
distribution through out the home?

A Wall Unit doesnt have a louvered or vented cover like


a window unit and will not have adjustable slides on the
sides to allow installation in different sized windows. If
a wall unit is pulled out of the sleeve you will see all the
components (compressor, coils and blower, and con-
denser fan motor). The outside of a wall unit sleeve will
have a louvered or vented cover or box that protrudes Does youre A/C unit fit into a
Wall vs.
from the side of the outside wall of the home and it will sleeved (lined) opening through the
Window not be a part of the unit. This would be considered struc- wall?
tural and may need modification if the size of a replace-
ment is different than the original.
A Window Unit should not be installed into a wall unit
sleeve because of inhibited airflow through both the
sleeve and window unit cover vents or louvers. This can
cause overheating and shorten the life of the unit.

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HVAC Classifications
and Questions
System: Definition: Probing Question:

Are all the parts & components of


Package These systems will be through the wall or the roof & the either a straight cool, heat pump, gas
Systems condenser & evaporator/blower assembly are not split. furnace A/C combo (gaspack) located
in 1 cabinet?

Package Terminal Air Conditioner (Often referred to as hotel/motel units) See Package Systems.
PTAC Smaller through the wall package systems either A/C or H/P & may have electric heating ele-
ments as auxiliary, emergency back up heating. (Figure Five)
These types of systems use the consistent ground temperature to cool or warm the refrigerant*
Geothermal & moving through lines to a coil that is underground. The other A/C & Heat Pump systems use air
Geothermal to either cool or warm the refrigerant*.
Heat Pumps
NOTE: The term Freon may be used as a generic name for refrigerant. *
These systems, like the Geothermal systems do not use air to change temperature of the refrig-
erant. The refrigerant* moves through a small tube inside a larger tube that has water flowing
Water Source
through it to absorb the heat from the refrigerant*.
systems
NOTE: The term Freon may be used as a generic name for refrigerant. *

How to Determine the Customers A/C Unit


First you determine the category, Heat Pump or Straight Cool:

Heat Pump - provides heating as well as cooling. The


Straight Cool- Only provides cooling
thermostat will have an auxiliary heat setting

Next determine what kind of Heat Pump or Straight Cool the customer has:
Variables of Straight Cool & Heat Pumps: Example: Customer has AC that does provide heating and
cooling and it has components both inside and outside of the
Central AC that has components both inside home then they would have a Heat Pump Split System.
and outside = Split System
Central AC that has all components together = Example: Customer has an AC unit that only provides cooling
package system and it has components both inside and outside of the home.
AC that sits in the window sill = window unit The customer has a Straight Cool Split System.
AC built into the wall = wall unit
PTAC = Hotel type AC unit that sits under a To search in Timx search htp for heat pumps and stc for
window most of the time straight cools

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HVAC Classifications
and Questions
How to Determine the Homes Heating System
Ask the customer one of the following:
Does the heat come through air vents, radiators, Do you pay a local gas/utility bill or is your fuel delivered?
or electric or radiator baseboards?
If the fuel is delivered, then ask Is the delivered fuel,
If the answer is no, then ask Does your home oil, or liquid propane?
have radiant heating panels/tubing that run
underneath the floor or the wall?
Basically, if the customers home is heated through vents then it is most likely either a heat pump or a furnace.

If the home is heated by circulating a liquid through tubing in the home (radiators) then they have a boiler.

Boilers and furnaces are not common in the south.

If the customer has a furnace or a boiler please be sure to select the source of fuel as electric, natural gas or liquid
propane.

The equipment for all these systems are in the Authorization Training

Figure 1 Heat Pump Split System


Heat Pump (this is the most common)
This is a central AC Unit
Split System that also provides heating.
It has components both
inside and outside of the
home.

Straight Cool Split


System
This is also a central AC
unit, but it typically only
provides cooling and not
heating. It is also split in
that it has components
inside and outside of the
home

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HVAC Classifications
and Questions
Figure 2
Heat Pump Pack-
age and/ or Straight
Cool Package

Both are central AC units


and all components are
located together and are
usually outside of the
home.

Figure 3
Window Unit

Mounted in the window. If


it provided heat as well as
cooling it would be a heat
pump window unit. If it only
provided cooling it would
be a straight cool window
unit. It is easily installed
and removed if necessary.

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HVAC Classifications
and Questions
Figure 4
Wall Unit

Like a window unit but it is a


permanent AC mounted in
the wall. Again, if it provided
heat as well as cooling it
would be a heat pump wall
unit. If it did not provide heat
it would be a straight cool
wall unit

Figure 5
PTAC AC Unit

Like a wall unit but is most


commonly found in hotels or
dormitories

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HVAC Classifications
and Questions
Figure 6
Boiler

Heats the home by circu-


lating a hot liquid (usually
water) throughout the home.
The heating elements are
commonly radiators.

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HVAC Classifications
and Questions
Figure 7
Furnace

It is provided through air


vents.

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