Glossary Letter A

A/C

An abbreviation for air conditioner or air conditioning.

A/C Condenser

The outside fan unit of the Air Conditioning system. It removes the heat from the freon gas and "turns" the gas back into a liquid and pumps the liquid back to the coil in the furnace.

A/C Disconnect

The main electrical ON-OFF switch near the A/C Condenser.

Aerator

The round screened screw-on tip of a sink spout. It mixes water and air for a smooth flow.

Aggregate

A mixture of sand and stone and a major component of concrete.

Air space

The area between insulation facing and interior of exterior wall coverings. Normally a 1" air gap.

Allowance(s)

A sum of money set aside in the construction contract for items which have not been selected and specified in the construction contract. For example, selection of tile as a flooring may require an allowance for an underlayment material, or an electrical allowance which sets aside an amount of money to be spent on electrical fixtures.

Amortization

A payment plan by which a loan is reduced through monthly payments of principal and interest.

Anchor bolts

Bolts to secure a wooden sill plate to concrete , or masonry floor or wall.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

Annual cost of credit over the life of a loan, including interest, service charges, points, loan fees, mortgage insurance, and other items.

Appraisal

An expert valuation of property.

Apron

A trim board that is installed beneath a window sill

Architect

One who has completed a course of study in building and design, and is licensed by the state as an architect. One who draws up plans.

Area walls

Corrugated metal or concrete barrier walls installed around a basement window to hold back the earth

Assessment

A tax levied on a property, or a value placed on the worth of a property.

Assumption

Allows a buyer to assume responsibility for an existing loan instead of getting a new loan.

Astragal

A molding, attached to one of a pair of swinging double doors, against which the other door strikes.

Attic access

An opening that is placed in the drywalled ceiling of a home providing access to the attic.

Attic Ventilators

In houses, screened openings provided to ventilate an attic space.