If you don’t know the difference between an AC and HVAC, you’re not alone. Most people don’t know the difference between these terms if they aren’t professional technicians or contractors working in the HVAC industry. An important point to understand when it comes to these acronyms is that HVAC refers to the system that provides heating and cooling for your home or business. This blog will explain further the difference between HVACs and ACs.

What Is an HVAC?

The term HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. When you’re referring to air conditioning, it’s a part of an HVAC unit that can produce cool air. An HVAC also has a fan for ventilation and can have a furnace/heat pump for producing heat in the cooler months. The HVAC unit helps regulate the inside temperature and provides the components to control whether the unit is blowing cool or hot air, depending on your requirements. For preferred temperature settings, you can control the HVAC system through a thermostat. You can set the thermostat to turn your HVAC equipment on or off when you are at home or when you are away from home.

Not all AC units have the heating component, however. Some units only provide a cooling and ventilation option. It’s still an HVAC unit, but it doesn’t feature the heating portion. If you want the heating option, you need to make sure the HVAC your purchase comes with either a furnace or heat pump. There are also stand-alone heating options that allow people with a cooling-only HVAC system to have heat during the cold months.

To clarify, the HVAC unit controls the AC or the air conditioning inside a space. However, it can also control the fan and the heat component when used. You can usually toggle between the two as the seasons change without having to do anything to the system. However, it’s important to note that you must keep up with the maintenance of your HVAC unit if you expect the AC or the heat to work when you need it. Failure to properly maintain your HVAC unit will lead to its decreased lifespan and you will experience costly repairs.

How Does Your AC Work?

The air conditioning portion of the HVAC unit works to cool your space by way of using condensers and evaporators. The evaporators connect to the unit and the condensers assist with the cooling process by pulling air from outside. The air forced from the HVAC system is distributed through ducts to the various rooms throughout the home. Some HVAC units have ducts that run underneath the floor. Still, others can run through the walls and even from the ceiling.

Of course, modern technology is changing how the HVAC system of today works. The most modern systems can sense temperature and seasonal changes and make adjustments accordingly. The user can also set preferred temperatures through a thermostat.

Types of AC

When referring to HVAC units, typically this means referencing central AC systems that force air through the ducts located throughout a home or business. Although two of the most common types of ACs are central AC and window units, several types of air conditioners exist. The following are types of air conditioning units available on the market.

  • Window AC
  • Central AC
  • Ductless mini-split
  • Smart AC
  • Geothermal AC
  • Portable AC
  • Hybrid AC
  • Floor mounted AC

When dealing with the HVAC unit, as mentioned previously, the outdoor air is forced through a condenser, and the indoor air is run through evaporators connected by tubes to the unit and then forced out by a fan and to the ducts. This setup is ideal for larger spaces where there are many people in the space throughout the day and night. Anyone wanting to find the most effective option for cooling an entire home would likely want to purchase central AC powered by an HVAC unit.

Maintenance and Issues

If you have a central AC, you’ll need to have it serviced regularly to ensure it works properly when needed to help prevent any emergency repairs. It’s a good idea to set a reminder to call for professional services when the season changes or to schedule service twice per year. When the technician inspects the unit, they can clean it and examine any parts for wear and tear. They can also make replacements as needed. Older units tend to work harder, and the strain on the unit during extreme temperatures causes older parts to break. It is recommended to do business with a company that provides after-hours emergency services so that you’re not stranded without cool air when the hottest days arrive.

Shopping for an AC Unit

If you plan to purchase an AC that’s part of an HVAC unit, you’ll want to stick to well-known, reliable brands with a history of longevity. Although some HVAC contractors offer budget brands and models, it might not be the most economical route. It’s important to consider how frequent repairs can impact your wallet and leave you stranded without AC, especially if it hasn’t been properly serviced. Remember that an AC tends to go out when it works the hardest, usually on the hottest days of the year. A reliable unit will be able to handle the extra work required to keep your space at a constant cool temperature without struggling or even breaking down. To find out which brands perform the best and which offer the best solutions for your needs, ask your HVAC contractor for recommendations and details about the leading brands.

What to Do If You Want to Learn More

If you want more information about central AC or HVAC units, be sure to call At Your Service Heating & Cooling LLC. We proudly serve the residents in and around Baltimore, MD. Our professional team has the insight and equipment to provide the best HVAC solutions for your home or business. Services we currently offer include residential plumbing, sump pumps, heat pumps, water heaters, and tankless water heaters. This service helps ensure your hot water and other plumbing services work appropriately for your comfort.

We also offer commercial services, whether it’s routine or an emergency. Those who want top-quality backup generators can also find them available through our company. Potential customers interested in purchasing any of these products or obtaining financing for an HVAC purchase can reach out by using the contact information form provided on our website. One of our team members will provide additional details and support to complete the process. Don’t struggle to keep a home or a business comfortable throughout the year. Reach out today to At Your Service Heating & Cooling LLC to schedule service, get a quote, or receive more details about the various services currently offered to the residents of the Baltimore area.

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