From The Blog

Difference between HVAC and Furnace

If your home is in need of a heating and air upgrade, you are likely scouring the web right now, trying to figure out exactly what you need and reading up on home comfort and air flow like never before.

The world of heating and air can be quite overwhelming for the uninitiated. There’s a lot of terminology, new and emerging technology on the market, and even some mathematic equations if you dig deep enough.

The truth is all you want is some hard and fast answers that will help you make the best decision for your home and your family. We absolutely get it, and that’s why we want to present some cold hard facts about the heating and air industry and to get you armed with the info you need.

So, with that in mind, here’s a look at one aspect of heating and cooling:

What is the difference between HVAC and furnace?


Big picture:

HVAC: Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning – that is what HVAC stands for. So, it stands to reason that an HVAC system handles all elements of home comfort. That means that an HVAC system comes with a thermostat that tells all elements of the unit what to do depending on indoor temperature. For instance, you tell the thermostat – which is constantly monitoring indoor temperatures – the indoor temperature that you prefer, and it, in turn, controls the air conditioner and furnace as necessary, maintaining perfect temps year-round.

FURNACE: This system too has a thermostat, but a furnace is only capable of heating your home. So, if you’re experiencing trouble cooling your home in the summer, a furnace unit on its own does you no good. However, if your home’s air conditioner is rocking along just fine, but you are noticing a chill in the air this winter, you may just need a furnace replacement.


Small picture:

HVAC: When your home approaches the high end (temperature-wise) of your thermostat’s settings, it goes into action by initiating several steps. First, it engages its evaporator coils. An evaporator coil is the part of an air conditioner that absorbs the heat from the air in your house. It is located inside the air handler or attached to the furnace. The evaporator and condenser coils then complete the heat exchange process, which is the basis for all modern HVAC.

Located inside the blower compartment or air handler, the evaporator coil contains refrigerant that chills the air – once the compressor moves into the coil. Refrigerant removes the heat from the air. Once the refrigerant becomes warmer it is removed, transported to the condenser coil outdoors (the big part of the air conditioner you see outside your home).

FURNACE: In this apparatus, once your thermostat detects the air growing too cool for its settings, it sends a signal to the furnace’s boiler. The boiler then heats oil or gas. The heated gas or oil is then distributed throughout the house via pipes to produce warmth and comfort.


Cost to you:

HVAC: Since it is a whole home comfort system, you may imagine that an HVAC system can be expensive. And certainly, that can be the case, as the average HVAC replacement runs between $5,000 to $10,000. However, a new HVAC system will also keep your entire home comfortable year-round for an average of 10-20 years, depending upon the system. Also, modern HVAC units are much more energy efficient than in years past – thanks to developments such as multiple stage blowers and smart thermostat technology that more consistently controls indoor temperatures. This means that your system does not have to work as hard and thus uses less energy, returning the savings to your pocket.

FURNACE: Since a furnace is a much smaller, simpler system than a whole HVAC unit, it can be much cheaper. However, there are more expensive furnaces too, making the average cost anywhere from $2,000-$7,000. Furnaces also have an impressively long life, some lasting as long as 30 years, although you should expect to get at least 15 years of great service from a new furnace.


In summation:

Whether you require a whole new HVAC system or simply a furnace depends entirely on your situation. The good news is that a trained, experienced heating and air specialist can easily install either system. And with the modern advances in home comfort technology, you can rest assured that you will be able to select a system that meets your needs to a T.

If you are in need of a new HVAC system or furnace, consider giving the professionals at Conditioned Air Systems a call. We have installed countless HVAC and furnace systems throughout north Georgia since opening our doors in 1983. All our technicians are NATE-certified and trained on the latest developments in the heating and cooling industry and are ready to help you achieve the comfort you want at the price you need.

Call us today at 770-536-7509.

Conditioned Air Systems

Your Trusted HVAC Experts for Home Comfort and Efficiency

Whether you need a new HVAC system installed or simply need repairs, give us a call. We are here to help!
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