HVAC Vs Air Conditioning: What’s The Difference?

Posted on: December 4th, 2017 by Joan Martin

Is An AC Unit The Same As A HVAC System?

When looking for year round comfort in your home, there are three things you need to consider: heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, (HVAC). When you have a system that offers all three, it means that you can heat up the space when it’s too cold, ventilate your interior space to improve air quality, and cool down the interior when it is too warm.

If you are looking for a system that can handle any weather and climate conditions, and give you acceptable comfort levels, it seems like a HVAC system is the obvious choice. So why would anyone choose an AC system?

No difference between HVAC and AC

While the acronyms don’t reflect it, the terms AC and HVAC are used interchangeably to describe different types of temperature and humidity control devices used for interior spaces. That said, AC systems are mostly used in areas where heating is not necessary.

There are different types of AC systems, including:

1. Central air conditioners

These units are mostly used to cool large spaces – offices, restaurants, hotels – using a split system that connects to an indoor coil and outdoor ‘compressor unit’. The compressor pumps a refrigerant through the AC system to dissipate heat from inside the building while simultaneously pumping cooler air back into the building.

Central ACs are different from other types of air conditioning systems because they use air duct systems to convey cooled air from the compressor to each section of the building. During winter, the same system can be used to convey warm air throughout the building.

Central AC units are highly effective in keeping the indoor environment comfortable: they provide cooling during the hottest months, provide heating during the coldest months, and improve air quality by filtering out dust and other airborne particles before they get into your home.

However, these units are quite expensive compared to other AC systems.

2. Window AC Units

These units are used for cooling single rooms or small spaces. They comprise a single unit that is fitted to an external wall to regulate the temperature of air getting into the room. They are much cheaper compared to central AC units, but are also much louder because the cooling mechanism is essentially in the same room – unlike a compressor that is kept outside.

Finding the right air conditioning system

There are many different types of AC systems with different capabilities. To find the right unit for your unique needs and lifestyle, you should consult a professional technician. Their expertise will also help to determine the size of unit required to heat, cool, or ventilate your home’s size and structure.

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