Most homeowners know the importance of heating and cooling in their home but knowing the difference between HVAC and AC can be quite complicated. However, learning to differentiate and maintain these systems is vital.

Let’s look at the name

The Difference Between HVAC and AC?

HVAC is an acronym which stands for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning. AC is an abbreviation for Air Conditioning. The names break down a critical component of each system’s job and give us a simple difference. HVAC includes heating and air conditioning, whereas AC is only responsible for cooling. HVAC also covers ventilation and ductwork. The HVAC’s job is to heat, cool and ventilate your home.

Types of Air Conditioning

Window Units and Central Air Conditioning

Air Conditioning works by removing the heat and controlling the humidity in the air in a specific space to give it a more comfortable temperature. There are generally two different main types of air conditioning available. One is a window unit used to cool a single room or small area, while the other is central air conditioning, which cools throughout the home. The size of a central air conditioning system is also an important choice to make sure a home can be effectively cooled based upon its square footage and how many levels are in the house.

Ductless Air Conditioning

An additional air conditioning option becoming more popular is ductless air conditioning. These systems, which are called mini split systems, include one or more wall units inside the home, which are powered by a smaller sized outside compressor. Besides being a more economical choice than a full HVAC system to run air conditioning, these ductless air conditioners don’t have all the requirements for ductwork and venting as their central air counterparts.

They can offer heat and air conditioning, which can focus temperature control in each room where it is installed, allowing a homeowner to have a more used room temperature-controlled, without having to heat or cool the entire house. Without ductwork, they’re less complicated to install which brings the cost down to save you money.

The Difference Between HVAC and AC?


Types of HVAC Systems

An HVAC system will include central heat with the most common central heating being a heat pump. The heat pump can both heat and cool a home.

Heat Pumps: packaged and split systems

There are two different types of heat pumps: packaged and split systems. Packaged systems contain the entire heat pump which is contained in a metal cabinet kept outside. If the unit is a split system, it will include an evaporator coil that remains inside while the heat pump is outside.


In colder climates, many HVAC systems use natural gas furnaces to burn fuel to heat homes. Gas furnaces can be placed outside the home or under it, in a basement or crawlspace. Electric furnaces are often inside the garage or a closet in the home.

The Importance of HVAC and AC Service and Inspections

Whether you’re looking for winter heating, summer cooling, better ventilation, or all of the above, it is best to have your HVAC system or AC inspected annually to make sure it’s running safely and efficiently. Regular service, maintenance and inspection can prevent mid-winter unit freezes causing your heat pump to seize and heat to go out. Technicians can also change your filter to keep your air clean and reduce allergens.

Making sure your HVAC system is in good working order will give you confidence knowing your system is functioning properly to keep your family warm all winter long. Contact us below at any time for service to your HVAC and AC units.

More on HVAC Systems

How Smart Home Technology Is Working For HVAC In Homes

Is RunTru A Good Brand?

What SEER Rating Should I Buy?

5 Ways to Save Energy in Your Home

What Does an HVAC Contractor Do?

More on HVAC