A flexible, polymer based elastomeric material installed wet and used in the assembly of the building enclosure to seal gaps, seams, or joints and to provide a clean finish, or waterproof, or airtighten the joint.


Cooling Efficiency. "SEER" is a measure of cooling efficiency for air conditioning products. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The higher the SEER rating number, the more energy efficient the unit. The government's established minimum rating typical residential split air conditioning system is 13. SEER is calculated by the amount of heat removed, divided by the electrical input power.

Sensible heat

Energy removed from air due to cooling (as opposed to Latent Heat). OR- Heat that can be measured or felt. Sensible heat always causes a temperature rise.


abbr. Specific Leakage Area.

Smoke pencil

A smoke pencil is typically a hand-held device that emits a chemical smoke when squeezed. Smoke pencils can be used to quickly and accurately determine the air pressure relationship between two spaces--for example, between the indoors and outdoors or between a bedroom and the space inside the wall separating the bedroom from the hallway. If smoke gets sucked into a crack or opening, the smoke pencil is located in a region of positive air pressure with respect to the crack.

Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)

The ratio of solar heat gain through a window to incident solar heat. Includes both transmitted heat and absorbed and reradiated heat.

Solar reflectance or Albedo

of an object is the extent to which if diffusely reflect light from the sun. It is therefore a more specific form of the term reflectivity. The percent of total solar energy reflected by a material. This is associated with many products toady as an SRI on a scale of 0 to 1. (zero absorbing all visible light and 1 reflecting all)


Measures the loudness of appliances like range hoods. One sone is about equal to a refrigerator running, while four is equivalent to normal conversation. This is a subjective unit of loudness, as perceived by a person with normal hearing, equal to the loudness of a pure tone having a frequency of 1,000 hertz at 40 decibels.

Specific Heat Capacity

The amount of heat necessary to change the temperature of one pound of a substance 1 F.

Stack Effect

air movement caused by warmer air rising and cold air falling. This generates small but steady pressures in direct relation to the size of the temperature difference and the height of the column of air. The resulting pressure differences can lead to air leakage and generate unplanned air flows within buildings that result in indoor air quality problems.

State Change

Matter exists in 3 states: solid, liquid, and gas; a state change is a transition from one state to another. Examples include boiling/evaporation and condensation (liquid/gas); freezing and melting (soild/liquid); and sublimation/frost (solid/gas). Energy must be absorbed and released into the material for a state change to occur.

Static pressure

The normal force per unit area at a small hole in the wall of a duct (in respect to HVAC).


A potentially harmful accumulation of water-soluble salts that re-crystalize just beneath the masonry, stucco, or concrete surface as moisture in the wall evaporates leaving the salts behind.


The ductwork that carries conditioned air from the air handler to the rooms in the house.


An agent (e.g. detergent) that when mixed with water, breaks the surface of water drops, thus enabling easier absorption of water through a material. Without surfactants, water would have a great tendency to remain as drops on the surface of a given material.