HVAC: what is it?

Definition: HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. Residential and commercial buildings use HVAC systems to move air between inside and outside as well as to heat and cool. These are the systems that keep you warm and cozy in the winter and cool and fresh in the summer. Furthermore, they are the systems that filter and clean indoor air to keep you healthy and keep the humidity at optimum levels.

How does HVAC work – Air Conditioning, Heating, Heat, Energy, Refrigeration ?

It is possible that you have separate components in your home, such as a radiant system and window air conditioners. In most homes, air is circulated via internal ducts in the home or with a ductless system in individual rooms or zones.

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Your ducts are the pathways through which heated or cooled air passes. Keeping your ducts in working order requires regular cleaning every two to five years.


Another part of your system is the exhaust outlets, which allow the exhaust created by the heating system to be expelled. Make sure your chimney flue or vent stack is tuned up annually.


Ventilation begins at the air return in your ventilation system. It pulls air into the system, filters it, and then passes it on to the main system. Keep your filters clean by regularly dusting them since debris and dust can easily accumulate on them.

Learn more about HVAC systems here.

The three main functions of an HVAC system are interrelated, especially when it comes to providing acceptable indoor air quality and thermal comfort. Heating and cooling systems are among the most complex and extensive in a home, but when they stop working, you will know immediately! HVAC systems have nine main components: air return, filter, exhaust outlets, ducts, electrical elements, outdoor unit, compressor, coils, and blower.

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Types of HVAC Systems


HVAC systems

central HVAC systems

local HVAC systems

heating systems

air-conditioning systems

HVAC systems facilitate thermal comfort and indoor air quality for building occupants. Depending on the number of zones, location, and distribution, HVAC systems can be classified as either central or local. HVAC systems include heating equipment, ventilation equipment, and cooling or air conditioning equipment. A central HVAC system is located away from buildings in a central equipment room and delivers conditioned air via a ductwork system. A central HVAC system can be all-air, air-water, or all-water. Heating and cooling panels and water-source heat pumps are two examples of central systems. Air conditioning systems can be installed inside conditioned zones or adjacent to them with no ductwork required. There are several types of local systems, including local heating, local air conditioning, and local ventilation.

Renewal of HVAC Contractor Registrations that have expired more than 4 years

Submit a renewal application, supporting documentation, and fee:

HVAC Contractor Registration Application

Total fees: $200.00 ($15.00 application fee, $160.00 credential fee, and $25.00 late renewal fee)


Mechanics and installers of heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration generally do the following:

install, maintain, and clean HVACR systems

wire and install electrical components

check and test HVACR systems and components

troubleshoot malfunctioning systems

repair or replace worn or defective components

provide recommendations for system maintenance

Maintain records of all work performed

In homes, businesses, and other buildings, heating and air conditioning systems control temperature, humidity, and overall air quality. Refrigeration systems provide a climate-controlled environment for storing and transporting food, medicine, and other perishable items.

HVACR technicians often specialize in one or more specific aspects of HVACR, such as radiant heating, solar panels, testing, and balancing, or commercial refrigeration.

In installing or repairing air conditioning and refrigeration systems, technicians must follow government regulations regarding the conservation, recovery, and recycling of refrigerants. Among the regulations are those pertaining to the proper handling and disposal of fluids and pressurized gases.

HVAC technicians may offer clients service contracts that include periodic maintenance of heating and cooling systems. Generally, this service involves inspecting the system, cleaning ducts, replacing filters, and checking refrigerant levels.

Other workers assist HVACR technicians in installing and repairing equipment. On a large air conditioning installation project, especially one in which workers are covered by union contracts, ductwork may be installed by sheet metal workers, electrical work by electricians, and pipework by plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters. Often, boilermakers install boiler systems. Home appliance repairers work on window air conditioners and household refrigerators.

HVACR technicians work both indoors and outdoors.

About 380,400 jobs were held by heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers in 2020. The following are the largest employers of heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers:

66% are plumbing, heating, and air conditioning contractors

or independent contractors

44% are wholesalers

in education; state, local, and private 34%

Typically, HVACR technicians work in homes, schools, stores, hospitals, office buildings, or factories. At the start of each day, some technicians are assigned to specific sites. Other technicians make service calls in multiple locations.

Despite the fact that most technicians work indoors, some may have to work on outside heat exchangers even in bad weather. Many technicians work in cramped or awkward spaces, and some of them work in buildings where the air conditioning or heating system is malfunctioning.

Injuries and Illnesses

The rate of injuries and illnesses among HVACR technicians is among the highest. Hazards include electrical shock, burns, muscle strains, and injuries from handling heavy equipment.

The handling of refrigerants requires the use of appropriate safety equipment, because they are hazardous and can cause skin damage, frostbite, or blindness. Inhalation of refrigerants is also a risk when working in tight spaces. There are several refrigerants that are highly flammable and require special handling.

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