Bradenton HVAC vs. AC: What’s the Difference?

HVAC vs. AC What’s the Difference

Approximately 87% of homes in the US have air conditioning. They account for 12% of the country’s energy spending every year.

Even though they’re common, most homeowners don’t know the difference between HVAC vs. AC. Even professionals sometimes use the terms interchangeably, but they’re not the same.

Read our comparison guide to learn the differences between HVAC and AC systems.

What Is AC?

Air conditioning refers to the system that cools your home. It’s usually made up of one or more units that pull hot air from outside, cool it, and bring it inside.

There are several types of air conditioners to choose from, depending on the size of your home and how much space you need to keep cool.

A window unit is the most popular option. It comes in various sizes that can cool a room or a larger area. It provides relief but isn’t as cost-effective or attractive and can damage your window frame.

Central AC cools your entire home. It works along with furnaces to regulate temperature all year long. Ductless or split systems let part of the AC unit sit outside.

What Is HVAC?

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. An HVAC system includes everything related to heating and cooling your home, including the:

  • Furnace
  • AC unit
  • Heat pumps
  • Ducts and vents

There are also several types of HVAC units.

A split system is the most common, with the air conditioner outside and the heating system inside in an out-of-the-way area like a basement. A hybrid system switches between gas and electric power. Duct-free systems are individual units installed in single rooms. Packed heating and air systems typically go in the attic and are small but energy-efficient.


One of the biggest differences between HVAC vs. AC units is the way they circulate air. This is important for your family’s health for two major reasons.

It reduces moisture buildup, minimizing the chance of mold and mildew. It also helps maintain your indoor air quality. Poor air quality results in 3.2 million deaths every year from diseases such as:

  • Ischemic heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Lower respiratory infections
  • COPD
  • Lung cancer

An HVAC system is easier to regulate than an air conditioner. You can set it to your desired temperature and let it run on automatic. An air conditioner may need to be adjusted physically from time to time.

Both systems need specific types of professional maintenance and repair. It’s best to find a full-service HVAC company that can work on both.

Where to Find HVAC Services

An air conditioning unit sits in your home, cooling the air from outside before it comes back into your home. An HVAC system heats and cools your home using your furnace, AC, heat pumps, ducts, and vents.

One other major difference between HVAC and AC systems is the way they circulate air. HVAC keeps it clean and healthy, while AC keeps it cool. An HVAC system is also better at automatically maintaining temperature but requires more overall maintenance.

Bowersox Air Conditioning and Heating is a full-service HVAC company. Contact us for installation, repair, and maintenance today.

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