What’s the Difference Between HVAC and A/C?

If you’re like most homeowners, you find HVAC terms confusing, and since some seem interchangeable, it can be hard to know exactly what terminology like “HVAC” and “A/C” really means. Although they’re similar, these two terms aren’t synonymous, so it’s beneficial to know the differences between the two.

Definition of HVAC

The meaning of the term “HVAC” is heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Most often, this acronym is used about a home’s complete comfort system. A system may be comprised of various heating and cooling components, such as a gas furnace, electric central split air conditioner or heat pump, ductless mini-split units, or geothermal heat pump system. The system’s ventilation portion often refers to the air circulation/distribution components like the blower unit, ductwork, and air filter, but it can also include a whole-house ventilation unit or an air cleaner unit added to the HVAC system.

What A/C Means

The term “A/C” stands for “air conditioning,” but it’s frequently used to describe any type of home cooling equipment, such as a traditional split-system air conditioner or heat pump, mini-split unit, geothermal system, or even a window unit.

Different Types of Equipment Have Different Maintenance Needs

Routine preventive maintenance is the key to keeping any sort of comfort equipment running reliably and efficiently, so all the common components of your HVAC system should be inspected, cleaned, and tuned up by a skilled technician on a twice-yearly basis. Different portions in your home’s HVAC system also need specific maintenance tasks performed, such as:

  • Cooling equipment: Before cooling season begins, the evaporator and condenser coils should be cleaned, the condensate drain flushed and the refrigerant level checked.
  • Heating equipment: Every fall, the gas burner should be cleaned and tested, and the venting system and heat exchanger inspected.
  • Ventilation components: With every preventive maintenance visit, your technician should clean and lubricate the blower assembly, check for proper system airflow, and install a fresh air filter.

To learn more about the meaning of different HVAC terms and how they relate to the comfort system in your Broken Arrow home, contact us at Air Assurance.

This article originally appeared on airassurance.com and has been updated.

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