What’s the difference between HVAC, car AC and home AC?

Units that cool and heat your home and automobiles have a lot in common and some major differences as well. Here is a list of what is similar and different between HVACs, home air conditioners and car air conditioners.


HVAC is an acronym that stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. These units are typically used for businesses and are generally very robust and durable. The reason that are used as commercial air conditioning is because HVACs have an ability to provide all of the needs a business would have in terms of their required air comfort. These units are typically connected to a ducted system and delivers air through vents in the rooms and areas targeted. They also have the highest level of power.

An HVAC unit has advanced technology to provide the following:

Heating – The unit will provide the highest levels of heating to your business. One of the best reasons companies buy these units is because they provide a consistent level of high quality heat fast.

Ventilation – One of the areas where a quality HVAC unit will excel is in ventilation. Ventilation is the process of improving the air quality inside your business. This process involves temperature control and dehumidification or moisture removal. An HVAC unit will proficiently circulate fresh air throughout the spaces, while removing and keeping out dirty air. Outside air is very important because if only inside air is circulated pollutants can begin to amass and cause problems. A lack of ventilation in the home will make the room stuffy, moisture accumulates easily, and mold and mildew will often appear.

Air Conditioning – HVAC units also provide air conditioning which is simply providing cooling to your business.

An HVAC unit is composed of separate parts including a furnace or boiler for heating, forced or natural air ventilation, and central air conditioning. There are some HVAC units that use a ductless system but these are not very popular.

So an HVAC unit provides all the air circulation needs for business.

Home Air Conditioner

As mentioned, an air conditioner is a unit that provides cool air throughout a home. The best AC units do also provide some ventilation and filtering of air into the space, but not as robustly as a good HVAC unit.

Home air conditioners come in two types: ducted which uses a series of ducts and vents to deliver cooling throughout the home and ductless which has two units; an AC unit that sits in a room or area of the home and provides cool air directly from the unit and a compressor unit that sits outside the home delivers pressurized and filtered air to the AC unit.

Within these two categories, there are many different types of ACs that homeowners purchase based on their specific needs.

Car AC

Your Car AC is the unit that provides cooling inside your automobile and this same unit also provides heat. However it works differently than a business HVAC. The air conditioning system in your car causes cooling because of a rapid expansion of compressed gas. Freon is compressed in the compressor of your car’s AC system and then turns into a hot gas. In the AC’s condenser, the Freon gas is cooled to a liquid state and travels to an expansion valve. As the gas through an expansion valve it degrades to a low-pressure gas and rapidly cools in the evaporator. A fan then blows over the evaporator and cools the air that eventually blows out your vents and you receive cool air. The system is simple yet very effective and causes quick cooling which is badly needed on hot summer days in the confined space of your auto.

Although each unit provides cooling to your car, home or business, they operate differently and provide different levels of cooling.