You’re well aware of what an air conditioner is. However, despite how many times you’ve heard the word, you’re not quite sure what an HVAC is. Is an HVAC the same thing as an air conditioner?

The confusion here is common. So, to help you out, we’re going to discuss the specifics of both terms below. Here are the differences between HVAC and air conditioning.

What Is HVAC?

HVAC is a term that’s used in a number of different ways. It stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. As such, it’s commonly used to refer to things like air conditioners, furnaces, and the like.

In fact, people often call their air conditioners their HVAC systems. It’s important to note, however, that HVAC doesn’t consist of just air conditioning alone. It also includes the home’s heating system as well as its duct system.

In some cases, you might also hear the word HVAC in a way that refers to the person who services an HVAC system. These individuals are more officially known as HVAC technicians. However, many people shorten that title and instead just refer to these individuals as HVACs.

For instance, you might hear someone say something like “my HVAC repaired it last week.” In such a sentence, the word HVAC refers to the repairer of the HVAC system.

There’s also, of course, HVAC as an idea. For instance, someone might say the word HVAC when they’re referring to the study of heating, ventilation, and cooling systems.

In short, “HVAC” is a word that’s used in many ways. This is why you’ll commonly hear an air conditioner referred to as an HVAC.

What Is Air Conditioning?

As was noted above, air conditioning is sometimes referred to as HVAC. However, in truth, it only comprises one portion of HVAC, that being the cooling part.

There are several different types of air conditioning that could be included in an HVAC system. Perhaps the most common type is the central air conditioner. This works in tandem with the duct system throughout the house, delivering cold air to every room from a single unit.

There’s also the ductless mini-split air conditioner. This unit provides cold air to individual rooms. So, if you only have one ductless mini-split unit, you’re only going to cool one room.

That said, you can use as many ductless mini-split units as you want. So, if you wanted to cool all of the rooms in your home, you could install, say, 6 individual units.

The final air conditioner option we’re going to discuss is the heat pump. This unit converts geothermal energy into heat and cold, thus allowing it to both heat and cool a home. Generally speaking, it runs through a series of ducts.

How Does the Air Conditioner Work With the Rest of the HVAC System?

Now, you might be wondering: how does the air conditioner work with the rest of the HVAC system? Well, if it’s a ductless mini-split air conditioner, it doesn’t work with the other components at all.

However, if it’s a central air conditioner or heat pump, it does, indeed, collaborate with the rest of the HVAC system. Both of these are connected to the ventilation component of the HVAC, or, as you might instead call it, the ducts.

They create cold air on their own, and then send it through the ducts from a single point. The ducts, which are connected to different rooms throughout the house and which empty through vents, carry the created air and deliver it to these rooms.

We must also mention the function of the thermostat. This is connected to both the air conditioner and the furnace. Depending on whether the thermostat is set to heat or cold, it will either work with the furnace or the air conditioner.

The thermostat is essentially the brain of the HVAC system. It sets temperatures and corresponds with the heating and cooling units so that they can produce those temperatures.

How to Tell if Your Air Conditioning or HVAC Needs Repair

Now that we’ve discussed the differences between air conditioning and HVAC, you might be wondering how to tell if you need HVAC or air conditioner repair or maintenance. There are a few indications that you do.

Does your system take a while to make changes after the thermostat is changed? If so, there’s almost certainly a problem.

Has it been over a year since your system had a professional tune-up? If so, you should schedule one. Annual tune-ups are vital for optimizing your system’s efficiency and lifespan.

Maybe your ducts are dirty? You should have them cleaned every 3 to 5 years. If you don’t, your system will lose efficiency and your home will suffer air quality issues. Your system’s lifespan might even become reduced.

Contact Milano Mechanical for HVAC Installation Service in Petaluma, CA

Maybe there’s something wrong with your HVAC or air conditioning unit? Perhaps you are looking to install a new HVAC or air conditioning unit? In any case, if you need help with your air conditioner or HVAC system in Rocklin CA, we here at Milano Mechanical are the people to see.

Sporting a team of skilled and seasoned HVAC technicians, we’re the top air conditioning service in the Rocklin area.

Contact us now to schedule an appointment!

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