When it comes to the world of heating there is a lot of technical jargon that gets thrown around, and one of the most common is ‘HVAC’. We’re guilty of that as well – it’s a term we use a lot. But when you don’t work in the industry, you might not quite know what a HVAC system is, and how it’s different from the air conditioning units you can buy online, or your home boiler. So today, we’re going to look at the difference between the two, and why there is so much confusion.

What Is HVAC?

HVAC stands for ‘heating, ventilation and cooling’. Its job is to heat and cool a building and provide proper ventilation so that moisture can escape and not cause issues like mould. HVAC systems are made up of a range of different elements that are combined into one efficient and easy to manage system, and are most commonly found in commercial properties like blocks of flats, restaurants, office blocks and so on.

HVAC units can take on many different shapes and sizes, all offering different benefits depending on their design and the spaces they’re being used in. The average HVAC system might include any combination of:

  • Heat pumps
  • Boilers
  • Air conditioning units
  • Ducting
  • Moisture vents
  • Refrigerant lines
  • Condensing units


And much more besides. In short, if it controls the temperature or air quality of a building, it comes under the umbrella of HVAC.

So What Is Air Conditioning?

So is HVAC is heating, ventilation and air conditioning, why is air conditioning also a separate thing? Well, it’s mainly because air conditioners only do one thing – condition air and move it through the space. They do this by filtering air as it comes in, removing humidity and heat and then pumping cool air back into the home and sending the warm, humid air through vents and back outside. They are also equipped with special filters that can remove particles and allergens like pollen and dust, cleaning the air you breathe in the room.

You can buy mobile air conditioning units for small spaces, complete with extraction duct, but they are rarely effective. Instead, we always recommend having an in-built air conditioning unit to get the maximum benefit, either as a window unit, a mini-split system or as part of your wider HVAC solution. Which leads us back to our main question…

Is There Really A Difference?

Yes, and no. Air conditioning has its own definition and can be used as a standalone solution, but it also makes up part of the HVAC systems. Some properties will have a separate heating and cooling system in place already, and so they only require an additional air conditioning unit to provide that filtration and clean air supply. But most will need a full HVAC system to provide heating, cooling and ventilation as one integrated solution. The trick is understanding what’s going on in your building and being able to decide which option is right for you. That’s where we come in.

At Bonus Eventus Maintenance we work with companies to install and maintain air conditioning and full HVAC systems of all shapes and sizes in commercial properties. Our experts can advise you on the right type and size of system for your property, ensure it’s installed correctly and set you up on a regular maintenance plan to prolong the life of your equipment. If you would like to know more, or you think your air conditioning system might need some attention, just get in touch today to book your free consultation.