What is HVAC? How Does the Vent System Work? (Explained)

If you dream of having a ventilated range hood, you need to know what HVAC is and how it works. This article covers HVAC systems and how they work.

HVAC is a common term, and most people generally understand what it refers to. But what does HVAC stand for? And how does this pertain to your kitchen?

This post will discuss HVAC, how it works, the importance of HVAC systems, and their type so you can improve your home’s air quality.

HVAC is an abbreviation for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. HVAC refers to the various systems used to move air between indoor and outdoor spaces and heat and cool both residential and commercial buildings.

Image of multiple rigid hvac ductwork. Source: sigmund, unsplash
Image of multiple rigid HVAC ductwork. Source: Sigmund, Unsplash

What is HVAC

HVAC refers to the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system. It talks about how warm and cool air is controlled and moved around in buildings like homes, offices, and even indoor stadiums. A wide variety of HVAC systems are available, but they all essentially do the same thing; draw in outside air and condition it mechanically.

Air cleaners in HVAC systems can catch particles as small as germs, spores, and viruses, reducing humidity and improving air quality. An HVAC expert can help you choose the best system and customizations for your house.

Why is an HVAC system important?

Installing or updating an HVAC system to give a building mechanical ventilation is good for your health in several ways. People with asthma, allergies or more sensitivity to dust and other airborne particles may find relief from their problems if they use the system daily. In addition to helping people get a better night’s sleep, increasing the air quality in their homes using one of these systems may be done around the clock.

Types of HVAC systems

A house’s heating and cooling requirements are unique, as are its location, age, and the condition of its ducting, among other things. This means that HVAC systems may take many different shapes. Consult your HVAC specialist to determine which option is ideal for your household.

Split system

A forced-air system, or split system, consists of an indoor and an outdoor unit. Any combination of a furnace and air conditioner, an air handler and heat pump, or even a furnace and heat pump, would work for this purpose. Where you live greatly affects how your house should be laid out. For example, a furnace and a heat pump work best in cold places.

Hybrid heat pump

A furnace and an electric heat pump are both parts of a two-part central heating system. The heat pump is used to warm the house throughout the spring and autumn when outside temperatures are gentler. On the other hand, a furnace helps a heat pump do its job when the temperature drops too low. Since heat pumps are more efficient than furnaces, homeowners may benefit from a hybrid system, also called a dual-fuel system.

Ducted mini-split

A ducted mini-split system is different from traditional central air conditioning in that it pulls air from an external compressor and condenser through small tubes installed in the ceiling, floor, or walls. There isn’t enough space in the average house for the bulky ductwork usually used to distribute air. Ducted mini-split systems, as opposed to ductless ones, provide superior airflow.

Ductless mini-split

A ductless mini-split system has an outside unit with a compressor and condenser and an inside air handler that sends cool air directly into the room. In a space like a garage or a workshop, heating and cooling are desirable, but a split system is unnecessary. Unfortunately, it’s not great for use across the whole home. The typical homeowner can install one of these systems without professional help.

Heres one of the mini-split HVAC systems you may install yourself.

  • ALEXA ENABLED: Use voice or app control to control your air conditioner from anywhere. Use routines to adjust temperature settings while you are away and enjoy energy savings of up to 40%.
  • 4-IN-1 MINI SPLIT SYSTEM: With air conditioning, built-in heat pump (up to 5F/-15C), dehumidifier, fan and turbo function. DC Inverter, UL Listed, AHRI Certified, Works with Alexa
  • DESIGNED FOR HOME & BUSINESS: Powerful performance and dependable durability with high quality design for an attractive appearance. Great for bedrooms, additions, living rooms, and even commercial applications like stores, restaurants and warehouses.
  • WHAT’S INCLUDED: Includes indoor air handler, outdoor condensers, remote control and installation kit with 16ft. line set and communication wire. Pre-charged with R410A refrigerant for up to 25 ft. Important note: requires professional installation.
  • 5 YEAR WARRANTY: Backed by an industry leading manufacturer’s warranty, with 5 years on parts replacement and 5 years on compressor. Trusted quality and design by Senville, with free technical & installation support included.

Last update on May 21, 2023 / Affiliate links / All Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Packaged system

Everything you need for a typical split-system installation is included in a packaged system. All the units, however, are kept in open-air structures. This is a good option for houses that don’t have room for an inside heating unit.

Packaged systems are more silent (everything is placed outside the house) and cheaper to install (there is only one unit to install), so they are worth considering even if you have enough room for a split system.

Image of a repair man inspecting a hvac system. Source: adobe stock
Image of a repair man inspecting a hvac system. Source: adobe stock

How long does an HVAC system last

After learning what goes into an HVAC system, you may be curious about its lifespan. How long a given system will endure is, of course, very equipment-dependent. However, if you do the required yearly maintenance on your equipment, it will serve you well for many years.

How are HVAC and air conditioning different

“HVAC” and “air conditioning” are often used interchangeably. There are, nevertheless, important distinctions between the two concepts. While heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems use several parts to keep a structure at a comfortable temperature, air conditioners chill the space.

Remember that a central air conditioner is just an air conditioner, but an HVAC system may include a furnace, ducting, an air cleaner, and a smart thermostat. In other words, air conditioning might be considered part of the HVAC system.

If you want even more tips and insights, watch this video called “What is an HVAC System and How Does It Work?” from the Fire & Ice Heating and Air Conditioning Inc YouTube Channel.

This video called “What is an HVAC System and How Does It Work?” from the Fire & Ice Heating and Air Conditioning Inc YouTube Channel.


Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Do you still have questions? Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about the HVAC system.

What is ductwork?

Ductwork, or a duct and fitting system, is used to channel fluids like air, water, or steam in a structured fashion. It is the main part of the HVAC ventilation system and is used to move gases and liquids in commercial and residential buildings.

What does HVAC stand for?

HVAC refers to the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system. This term refers to the systems that heat and cool buildings, such as homes, offices, and indoor stadiums.

Is HVAC and heating and cooling the same?

Yes. Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning are three components of an HVAC system. The abbreviation “HVAC” stands for “heating, ventilation, and air conditioning” and describes the many methods used to heat and cool buildings.


As you can see, HVAC doesn’t just stand for heating and air conditioning systems and has much more to offer. So, before you put one in your home, you should talk to an expert to find out how these parts work together.

This article covered HVAC, how it works, and why it is important. Here are some key takeaways:

Key takeaways

  • Several indoor air quality products, like air purifiers, humidifiers, and dehumidifiers, can be hooked up to a home’s HVAC system to improve the air.
  • Humidifiers and dehumidifiers for the whole house can change the relative humidity and keep the temperature and dew point comfortable.
  • The air return, filter, exhaust outlets, ducts, electrical elements, outdoor unit, compressor, coils, and blower are nine components of your HVAC system that you should know about.
  • Ducts made of metal or fiberglass are used in warm air systems to transport the heated air to different rooms.
  • When it comes to air conditioning, the evaporator coil is the most common way for air to be distributed throughout a building or facility.
  • High-velocity HVAC systems are an example of a modern system that can function without extensive ductwork and building upgrades.

So, do you use an HVAC system in your kitchen? And did I cover everything you wanted to know? Let me know in the comments section below (I read and reply to every comment). If you found this article helpful, check out my full blog for more tips and tricks in your kitchen. Thanks for reading, and stay safe.

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Written by Roger Harris, Staff Writer

Hey there! My name is Roger, and I've been selling range hoods for over six years. I now run this blog all about range hoods and kitchen ventilation! If you're looking for a new range hood for your kitchen, this is the place for you.

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