In the most general sense, air conditioning can refer to any form of technology that modifies the condition of air (heating, (de-) humidification, cooling, cleaning, ventilation, or air movement). In common usage, though, "air conditioning" refers to systems which cool air. In construction, a complete system of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning is referred to as HVAC.[3]
The icing problem becomes much more severe with lower outdoor temperatures, so heat pumps are commonly installed in tandem with a more conventional form of heating, such as a natural gas or oil furnace, which is used instead of the heat pump during harsher winter temperatures. In this case, the heat pump is used efficiently during the milder temperatures, and the system is switched to the conventional heat source when the outdoor temperature is lower.

An example of a geothermal heat pump that uses a body of water as the heat sink, is the system used by the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago, Illinois. This building is situated on the Chicago River, and uses cold river water by pumping it into a recirculating cooling system, where heat exchangers transfer heat from the building into the water, and then the now-warmed water is pumped back into the Chicago River.[25]

The three major functions of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning are interrelated, especially with the need to provide thermal comfort and acceptable indoor air quality within reasonable installation, operation, and maintenance costs. HVAC systems can be used in both domestic and commercial environments. HVAC systems can provide ventilation, and maintain pressure relationships between spaces. The means of air delivery and removal from spaces is known as room air distribution.[3]

If a heat exchanger cracks or contains holes, leaks can release carbon monoxide into your home. Carbon monoxide is nearly impossible for humans to detect on their own due to its characteristics of being colorless and odorless. Because of this, it is referred to as “The Silent Killer”. Some symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, dizziness, fatigue, nausea and vomiting. It is extremely important to have a HVAC technician perform a furnace inspection annually to prevent problems such as carbon monoxide poisoning. UGI Heating, Cooling & Plumbing offers yearly maintenance packages and service agreements that include yearly maintenance and furnace inspections.