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What is the Difference Between HVAC and Air Conditioning (AC)?


HVAC refers to heating, ventilation and air conditioning, whereas AC simply refers to air conditioning. 

AC is generally used when referring to systems that are designed to cool the air in home or office. Window units and central AC are standard systems that are widely used. HVAC can include heat pumps and gas furnaces as well as air conditioning units. This means HVAC deals with both heating and cooling. HVAC also covers ventilation and ductwork.

What is HVAC?
HVAC is an abbreviation for heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning. And that is exactly what it stands for: an integrated system carrying out all these function and more often than not designed to be controllable through a single interface. Now that is exactly where the advantages of a complete HVAC system lie – just imagine that you do not have to turn to different controllers when you want to adjust any of these systems, and also that an integrated system will ensure that the different components do not work against each other.

The main parts of the HVAC system are a heating, a ventilation and an air-conditioning unit. Furthermore, modern systems include an air filtration and cleaning element as well.

Heating is most often done by a furnace or a boiler in residential buildings. It also includes a pipe system for the fluid delivering the heat, or a ductwork for forced air systems. The heating system could be connected to the water system of the house, and the warm water for bathing can be supplied from the same device that supplies the fluid for the radiators.

Ventilation can either be forced or natural. Forced ventilation systems are most often used for air cleaning purposes too. The application of natural ventilation is limited, especially in humid and warm months.

What is AC?
Air-conditioning is the reverse of heating. It removes heat from the interior of the house, and for obvious reasons, no furnaces will be capable of delivering this function.
Now, when one decides to install a whole HVAC system in one’s home, many of the latter functions can be integrated and at the end of the day one will have to purchase less machines and spare a lot of time on the installation procedure. One great idea is to combine the function of the furnace and the air-conditioner. Heat-pumps are capable of heating and cooling both, and with the right calibration they are able to function effectively without the need of a back-up system.

All in all, whether it comes to upgrade the old furnace or design the HVAC system for a newly-built house, thinking about an integrated solution can provide a lot more comfort and some spared money at the end of the process.

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