HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) is the technology of indoor and vehicular environmental comfort. HVAC system design is a sub discipline of mechanical engineering, based on the principles of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer. Refrigeration is sometimes added to the field's abbreviation as HVAC&R or HVACR, or ventilating is dropped as in HACR (such as the designation of HACR-rated circuit breakers).

HVAC is important in the design of medium to large hospitals, where safe and healthy building conditions are regulated with respect to temperature and humidity:

The HVAC system involves the following components:

  • Ventilation
  • Pressure relationship with surrounding spaces
  • Air cleanliness level
  • Air distribution
  • Operating hours
  • System reliability
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