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Babo’s law
addition of a nonvolatile solid to a liquid in which it is soluble lowers the vapor pressure of the solvent in proportion to the amount of substance dissolved.
back pressure
the static pressure existing at the outlet of an operating pressure relief device due to pressure in the discharge line.
back pressure valve (evaporator pressure regulator)
an automatic valve located between the evaporator outlet and the compressor inlet that responds to its own inlet pressure to prevent the evaporator pressure from falling below a selected value.
back siphonage
reverse flow in a water system caused by negative pressure in an incoming pipe when the point of use is at atmospheric pressure. Note: back siphonage generally is more evident in an open water system.
backdraft damper
device which, when mounted in a duct or opening, permits the flow of air in one direction only. Can be gravity (counter weighted) or power operated.
reverse flow in a water system from the normal or intended direction. Note: backflow generally is more evident in an open water system.
backflow preventer
device designed to prevent reverse flow in a water system. Note: term normally used where back-pressure-type backflow is implied.
backflow prevention
program, ordinance, or code designed to prevent backflow into a potable water system and to discover, eliminate, and prevent all uncontrolled cross connections, existing or potential.
background irradiance
irradiance at the entrance aperture of the infrared sensing system that is not radiated directly from the object being investigated.
background noise
total noise from all sources other than a particular sound that is of interest. Compare to ambient noise.
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About ASHRAE Terminology

ASHRAE Terminology, a free resource, is a comprehensive online glossary of more than 3700 terms and definitions related to the built environment, with a focus on heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC), as well as refrigeration, building envelope, electrical, lighting, water and energy use, and measurement terms.

This searchable glossary was designed for use by engineering professionals but is also useful for architects, building owners and operators, educators, public officials, and homeowners.

The terms in ASHRAE Terminology have been assembled and defined and are updated on an ongoing basis by ASHRAE Technical Committee (TC) 1.6, Terminology. TC 1.6 is concerned with terminology, nomenclature, definitions, abbreviations, symbols, and the International System (SI) and Inch-Pound (I-P) units used in the fields of heating, ventilating, air conditioning, water heating, and refrigeration.

To request a free electronic file of the complete list of terms and definitions, email ashraetermseditor@ashrae.org.