Are HVAC and A/C the Same Thing?

"Are HVAC and A/C the Same Thing? "There are many terms and acronyms people use to describe the mechanical systems that control indoor environmental temperatures and air quality. Many times the acronyms HVAC and A/C are used interchangeably. There is nothing wrong with that, but when it comes time to select a new cooling or heating system or you need professional service, knowing how to use HVAC terms correctly can help you make more educated decisions.

HVAC and A/C: Two Peas in a Pod?

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. When it comes to your Greater Cleveland home, HVAC systems include all of the systems that heat, ventilate, and cool your home.

On the other hand, A/C stands for only air conditioning. Technically, an air conditioner is any mechanical system that cools or heats your home. Though, for practically everyone, the term A/C has come to mean specifically an air cooling system, such as a window A/C unit, a central air system, a heat pump, and/or a ductless mini split.

Maintenance Requirements

Maintenance for your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems affects your comfort, energy bills, indoor air quality, and how long your HVAC systems will last. Understandably, HVAC maintenance is very important.

  • A/C system: Whether your A/C is a central air unit, a window unit, heat pump, or a ductless mini split, it should be professionally serviced in the spring before summer hot weather. During the summer, check the air filter each month and change or clean as needed.
  • Heating system: Your heating system, such as a furnace, heat pump, boiler, and even a fireplace, should be professionally serviced in the fall. Your HVAC professional ensures that it is safe to operate before cool winter weather settles in.
  • Ventilation: Whole-home ventilation systems and ductwork should be professionally serviced at least once a year. Include professional service for your ductwork and ventilation systems during spring and/or fall.

The more familiar you are with HVAC terms, the easier it is to communicate your needs effectively with your HVAC technician. To learn more or to schedule service, contact the experts at Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues. For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or give us a call at 440-345-8795.