HVAC Definitions - In air conditioning and heating the name HVAC is often used. HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Other acronyms are less used to describe air conditioning and heating applications is HVACR or heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration and HACR or heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration.
HVAC can be used to also describe the trade HVAC where many technicians and support personnel work to install, maintain and service HVAC equipment. Mechanical and electrical engineers and advanced level air conditioning and heating tradesmen have the responsibility to design HVAC equipment and properly ensure it is installed correctly.
HVAC and HVACR can include very small refrigerators, air conditioners, and heaters and HVAC can also include very large systems which maintain temperature and comfort factors in large commercial building and industrial settings.
HVAC Definitions - Trade
The trade has many different types of jobs included such as service technician, installation technician, refrigeration technician, and controls such as building automation systems (or also referred to as DDC). Modern control systems utilize computer programs and programmable controllers to monitor the temperatures and air quality in buildings so that the occupants are comfortable and have healthy air to breathe indoors.
HVAC Definitions - Equipment
All equipment in an air conditioning and heating system (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning system are designed to work together to maintain comfort for the building’s occupants. From residential to commercial HVAC helps keep people comfortable and healthy by maintaining good indoor air quality and comfortable temperatures. Companies and Contractors
There are many residential HVAC companies that specialize entirely in the residential market and light commercial. These companies service, repair, and maintain HVAC comfort systems for homes and small businesses. Some of these air conditioning and heating companies also offer plumbing services as some plumbing services are similar to air conditioning and heating services. These companies serving small to medium-sized air conditioning and heating equipment.
There are also HVAC companies that specialize entirely in the commercial HVAC market and service large commercial HVAC systems for medium to large buildings for the comfort of the occupants and for temperature control for equipment like servers and computers. These companies service medium to large HVAC equipment.
HVAC Definitions - Manufacturers
HVAC Manufacturers the produce air conditioning and heating equipment that plays a key role in the industry include Trane, Carrier, York, Goodman, Burnham, and McQuay. These manufacturers produce air conditioning and heating equipment such as air conditioners, gas furnaces, heat pumps, and other air conditioning and heating equipment like indoor air quality equipment. See our Page on HVAC Brand History.
HVAC Definitions - Heating
Heating in HVAC can be any number of heating systems from gas furnaces, electric furnaces, oil furnaces, oil and gas boilers, radiant heating systems, and heat pumps. The “H” stands for heating and comprises all of the aforementioned ways of providing heat using different methods and different types of heating systems. Heating systems include forced air systems and hydronic hot water systems to provide heating for comfort and safety.
HVAC Definitions - Ventilation
Ventilation in HVAC or the “V” describes ventilation. This can be ventilating a home using ductwork or ventilating a kitchen using ductwork and fans with a hood. It can also refer to combustion air or the air needed to have combustion for various heating systems. All of these various things are applicable to the “V” in HVAC. Ventilation is considered very important to the safety and health of occupants in buildings and structures and safe ventilation rates are defined in various mechanical codes to provide safe and healthy air changes to the inside of buildings and structures. Ventilation includes natural ventilation and mechanical ventilation.
HVAC Definitions - Air Conditioning or AC
The “AC” refers to air conditioning and the various methods of air conditioning use the refrigeration process for cooling air or water for conditioning and cooling the space. Air conditioners and chillers usually accomplish the job of air conditioning or the “AC” in HVAC.
HVAC Definitions - Refrigeration
If the HVAC has an “R” at the end of it then the “R” stands for refrigeration. This can be applied to residential or commercial refrigeration units including large refrigeration units for supermarkets and cold storage warehouses. From the smallest refrigeration unit, all the way up to refrigerated warehouses the “R” in HVACR is applicable to this description of refrigeration.
HVACR is a thriving business not only for refrigeration systems but also for helping to keep people comfortable with warmth in the winter and cooling in the summer. It is a hardworking and necessary industry in this day and age and if you need a good job in this industry it wouldn’t hurt to look into HVAC educational opportunities for a long-term HVAC career.
We have a comprehensive list of HVAC terms and acronyms here.
Technical Resource: Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technology