When it comes to the HVAC system within a home, we all know we have one. However, there’s a lot of jargon and acronyms that can get a little bit confusing! We’d like to help clear some things up.

One of the most common misconceptions about this system is that it’s the same thing as an air conditioning unit and furnace, which can make it incredibly confusing when you realize there’s actually a completely different system that you’re supposed to have maintained regularly. For that reason, the team at AA Temperature Services in Punta Gorda wanted to take today’s blog and go over the differences between an HVAC system, AC unit and a furnace. Let’s get started by breaking down these different systems and covering their specific uses.

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HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. This is likely why so many people believe that an HVAC system is exactly the same as an air conditioning unit and furnace — because your HVAC system includes both your furnace and central air conditioning unit. However, the entirety of your HVAC system goes beyond that.

For example, the HVAC system in your home includes the ducts and ductwork running throughout your home. It also can include components such as a humidifier or thermostat and the blower motor. So — while this system does have some ties to your central air and furnace — it’s not the actual piece of equipment that’s pushing the warm and cool air throughout the house.

To make it nice and simple, your HVAC system is what pushes the warm and cool air throughout your home and helps to keep the house as a whole well ventilated. Now that we understand that, let’s talk more about what your air conditioning unit and furnace do.


The cool air that you enjoy when temperatures are at an all time high is thanks to your air conditioning unit. These units suck in air from outside of the house, cool and filter it, and the rest of the system pushes it throughout your home. If you notice that your house isn’t cooling down as well as it normally does, chances are that you may need AC repair.

Now, when it comes to air conditioning units, some are tied to an HVAC system and others run independently. That means that there are no ties to the ducts in your house or the furnace. Some of the most common independent air conditioning units that you’ll see will be window units or ductless/split systems. These systems are designed to provide cool air to the rooms within your house, though it’s going to be much more concentrated in regards to how far the cold air travels. With that being said, a majority of the time that independent units are used in a home, there are a couple of different units within a house to keep the entire house cool.

Among independent running AC units not being attached to the HVAC ducts, there are various ways that HVAC systems and AC units differ. Central air run through an HVAC system is going to provide you with the benefit of scheduling when your air is running, improving the quality of air within your house, and minimizing the chances of mold and mildew within your house. Overall, an HVAC system is much more beneficial to invest in than a stand alone AC unit.


The last system that we’re going to talk about today is your furnace. We’ve talked a little bit about the different forms of cool air that you can get in a home, but now we’re going to talk about the unit that provides a home with warm air: the furnace. The furnace within your home works by pushing out heated air through the ducts of your home. This provides the warmth that you need when days yield less than ideal temperatures.

There are various ways that furnaces can be powered, some of these methods include electricity, natural gas, and fuel oil. Each style of furnace has its pros and cons, and an HVAC technician from our team would be more than happy to go over those factors with you if you’re looking to invest in a new furnace for your home.


We hope this helps explain some of the complications around understanding an HVAC system! Thankfully, our professionals are here to provide you worry-free service or installation, no matter the need.

For years we have provided high-quality air conditioning, heating, and HVAC services to the Punta Gorda area and throughout Southwest Florida from Sarasota to Naples. With 24/7 service, we’re there to help you when you need it the most. Contact our office today for a quote on the services that you need or to get your HVAC services scheduled today.

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