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The Definition of "HVAC"

What Exactly Does “HVAC” Mean?

HVAC is an acronym that’s thrown around a lot. Most homeowners can guess what HVAC means, but they’re often surprised to find the different services and ranges of the term. After all, many HVAC companies will do some things, like duct inspection and repair, but not other things, like duct cleaning. 

Although the scope of the term HVAC is rather broad, most of the services are standardized, so homeowners know what they’re getting when they call their local HVAC company. To dispel any myths and erase any confusion, this article explores the meaning of the term HVAC.

H for Heating

The H in HVAC stands for heating. When most people think about heating, they think about furnaces. This is about right because furnaces are the most popular type of home heating system. Most furnaces use natural gas to produce heat, but some use electricity, oil, or propane. Boilers are the second most popular type of heating system. These, too, use natural gas for the most part. Both are considered central heating systems. 

But, other heating systems fall under the H in HVAC. These include heat pumps, ductless mini-splits, and radiant heating systems. Most professional HVAC companies are familiar with all the different types of heating systems on the market. 

V for Ventilationventilation

The V in HVAC stands for ventilation. Without ventilation, homes and buildings would not be as comfortable for people as they are today. Ventilation is important because it moves the air around the home with fans, ducts, and vents. It’s also essential for removing moisture from the air, which is a big part of what HVAC systems do, especially in the humid St. Louis area. 

Filters are also part of the ventilation system. These include furnace and AC filters that help keep the air inside a home clean. Vents, ducts, fans, and filters all come together to help homes maintain the correct temperature, keep the air clean, and control moisture content. 

AC for Air ConditioningHVAC

The A and C in HVAC stand for air conditioning. Like with heating, several different systems help homes stay cool when it’s warm outside. But, by far, the most popular AC systems involve two units - one inside the home and one outside - and a system of ducts and vents. The unit inside includes an evaporator and expansion valve, while the unit outside consists of the condenser and compressor, which are essential for removing the heat from inside the home, therefore making it cool. 

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning are lumped together in HVAC because the systems all work together to keep a home comfortable and the air clean. In the winter, the heating system takes over. When it gets warm, the AC takes over. The ventilation system works year-round. 

But some portion of the HVAC system is working all the time. This is why it’s important to have regular HVAC maintenance checks scheduled. Having a professional check on the system at least twice a year is the easiest and most effective way to prevent expensive repairs and HVAC emergencies while ensuring that the whole system is working well.

About Air Comfort Service, Inc.

Air Comfort Service, Inc. has proudly served St. Louis, MO for over 50 years. Their awards and reviews tell the story of a company focused on its customers. They offer straightforward pricing and on-time service performed by trustworthy technicians. Call now for HVAC service!