What Is HVAC? What Is HVAC-R? A Few Things To Help Customers Understand This Diverse Industry

Posted on: 7 July 2020

Once you become a homeowner, you start looking at all the service professionals a bit differently because you know these people will be of value to you at some point. The HVAC contractor is a good example. If you are a bit confused about the HVAC or HVAC-R acronym, here is a brief breakdown to help you out.

H - Heating 

The heating aspect of HVAC is all about systems that generate heating for a structure. Many different forms of heating exist, and a good HVAC contractor is probably familiar with just about all of them. Of course, on the most basic level, heating can be something like a space heater or a fireplace. However, most HVAC contractors install, assess, diagnose, and repair things like furnaces, wood stoves, and boiler systems. 

V - Ventilation 

Ventilation is the often-forgotten aspect of having a comfortable environment in a home or structure, but it is actually extremely important. For example, you can't have some types of heating systems without the proper ventilation, and ventilation can be a huge part of cooling a space. Ventilation, where HVAC services are concerned, can involve a lot of different areas of service, including: 

  • Installing vent systems in an attic to keep the overhead temperatures down 
  • Implementing ventilation to thwart issues with exhaust from systems that operate using some type of gas 
  • Assessing the air quality in a home and determining whether lack of ventilation could be to blame 

AC - Air Conditioning 

The final two letters in the HVAC acronym simply stand for air conditioning. The HVAC industry is all about making the home more comfortable or the business more suitable for everyday use and comfort, so having air conditioning is important. Air conditioning could mean a lot of things because it technically refers to conditioning the air in some form or fashion. However, most customers and most technicians understand air conditioning to refer to cooling the air. Numerous cooling systems are available for keeping a space cooler, such as central air systems and mini-split systems. 

A Note About the Occasional R — Refrigeration 

Occasionally, you will see the HVAC acronym given with an "R" attached to the end. The "R" in this acronym stands for refrigeration. Most HVAC technicians are familiar with refrigeration techniques because a lot of home cooling systems rely on refrigeration processes. However, there are also service professionals who may advertise themselves with the HVAC-R designation because they have more training in refrigeration systems like commercial coolers and freezers. 

Contact an HVAC contractor to learn more.