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HVAC and A/C Differences

HVAC terms and acronyms abound in the heating and cooling industry. HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. It’s a blanket term for the comfort systems in the typical home. Without these comfort systems and ventilation, homes wouldn’t provide healthy indoor environments.

Types of HVAC Systems in San Antonio

You’d be hard pressed to live in a home without some kind of air conditioning here. Odds are, your home has a forced-air HVAC system, which combines a furnace with an air conditioner, or it has a heat pump that provides both heating and cooling in one appliance.

Most are split systems, where the outdoor condenser for the air conditioner or heat pump sits outdoors and the furnace and air conditioner’s parts are located in an indoor air handler. A fan inside the air handler blows conditioned air into the ductwork that supplies all the rooms. A few homes have package systems where the condenser and air handler are in one box and sit on the ground or the roof.

Cooling appliances minus central A/C usually include window, wall, or portable air conditioners. A home with ductless air conditioning or a heat pump does qualify within the definition of HVAC terms for central HVAC systems.

While individual cooling appliances may keep residents comfortable, appraisers and lenders won’t treat the home the same when it’s being valued or when buyers apply for financing. They will, however, give credit for a ductless HVAC system.


The ventilation that homes need include the ductwork and the exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathrooms. Newer homes tend to need more ventilation because they have low levels of air infiltration. Upgraded ventilation devices include heat or energy recovery ventilators (HRVs and ERVs) that remove stale indoor air and replace it with fresh outdoor air. These systems use heat exchange technology to keep conditioning bills low while improving indoor air quality.

If you find HVAC terms confusing and home comfort and air quality are important to you, contact Beyer Boys for more information. We provide HVAC services for San Antonio homeowners.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Antonio, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).