What Is Included in an HVAC System?

The term “HVAC” stands for “heating, ventilation, and air conditioning” – three integral systems in every home and business. While HVAC home systems and commercial HVAC systems differ in a few ways, their primary purpose is the same: To keep us safe and comfortable in our homes and workplaces, regardless of the temperature outside.


Let’s take a closer look at the specific components that make up HVAC systems, as well as how these elements differ in residential and commercial settings.

What Is Included in a Residential HVAC System?

A complete residential HVAC system consists of a heating unit, a ventilation system, and an air conditioning unit. Additional components may include air filtration and cleaning elements. The heating portion of the system typically consists of a boiler or furnace. If the system uses forced air, ductwork is necessary to provide heat throughout the home. Otherwise, a network of pipes will deliver hot water or steam throughout the building to heat it. The home’s water system may also be connected to the HVAC system to provide hot water to bathrooms and kitchens.


The ventilation part of an HVAC system can be natural or forced, although the latter is most common. While natural ventilation systems simply let air exit the home, forced varieties are often used to clean the air in addition to circulating it throughout the building.


A home’s air conditioning system is used to remove heat from the inside of the house during the warmer months of the year. There are several types of air conditioning systems, including central air conditioning, ductless air conditioning, and window AC units. The setup you choose will largely depend on your home’s construction. For example, if you don’t have existing ductwork, you might opt for ductless AC or window units.


Installing a complete HVAC system in the home usually allows all three components to be controlled through one interface. This is beneficial, as it eliminates the need for separate controllers and thermostats for each individual component. Additionally, an integrated HVAC setup guarantees that the different units do not work against each other.

What Is Included in a Commercial HVAC System?

Offices, schools, stores, restaurants, factories, churches, hospitals, and other commercial buildings benefit from complete HVAC systems as well. However, these systems differ from those in residential homes, as they serve larger spaces and more people. Additionally, HVAC systems for commercial buildings are also typically located on the roof of the building. This protects the equipment from vandalism, utilizes unused space, and allows HVAC technicians to access the components with ease.


Residential HVAC systems usually have an indoor evaporator and an outdoor compressor. However, in a commercial building, both units are combined into a single rooftop air conditioner and generally use multiple thermostats. This allows the temperature in different parts of the building to be regulated as needed. The last major difference in commercial HVAC systems is that they consist of modules, as opposed to standalone residential setups. These modules allow flexibility in increasing or reducing heating and cooling capacities.

Looking for High-Quality HVAC Service and Repair? Smith and Co Can Help

If you’re in need of a new HVAC system for your home or commercial building, look to Smith & Company HVAC. Our HVAC technicians specialize in both commercial and residential systems and can help you choose a setup that meets your unique needs and specifications. Plus, we install, clean, inspect, and maintain all types of HVAC equipment and can identify and repair any problems you may experience.


For more information about our services, contact Smith & Company today at (410) 972-9343. We look forward to speaking with you!