Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

What Is the Difference Between Climate Control and Air Conditioning

climate control

It’s important to be able to control the temperature inside your car’s cabin. During the summer, you need air conditioning to ensure comfort and safety, and during the winter, you’ll need heat for the same reason. However, different cars have drastically different systems that achieve these goals. If you’re confused about the difference between climate control and air conditioning, you're not alone.

The difference between air conditioning and climate control

Air conditioning refers to manual control of the temperature of the air pumped into the cabin, as well as the speed of the fan. This is what most cars have – you manually turn on the air conditioner, select the temperature you want, and adjust the fan speed. Depending on your make and model, your passengers might have their own controls to achieve this (dual zone operation).

Climate control is different. This is a more advanced, computerized system. It basically automates everything, meaning that you don’t control it manually (although you can manually override the computer). While these systems are more common on high-end luxury cars, they’re beginning to make appearances in lower-end vehicles as well.

Basically, these systems require you to do nothing more than set the desired temperature in the cabin. The car’s computer then uses a range of interior and exterior temperature sensors to adjust the temperature of the air blown into the cabin, as well as the fan speed in order to keep the cabin temperature correct.

There are a number of different such systems on the market, and they all work in slightly different ways depending on the automaker in question, as well as the make and model.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

How to Transfer a Car Title in Idaho
In order to prove ownership of a car, you must have the title. However, when a car is sold, given away or inherited, the title needs...
The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia
CraigBurrows / Shutterstock.com Malaysia is a popular destination for many tourists today. The country has amazing sights and attractions that you will want to explore....
Auto Safety Tips
Driving is more than a way to get from point A to point B. Owning and driving a car can also be a highly enjoyable experience. Whether a person is driving...


Related questions

Q: AC is leaking R-134A but no dye can be found anywhere

You should check the A/C evaporator drain with a black light and see if it shows dye leaking out of the drain. This would be the evaporator leaking. You had the evaporator replaced 6 years ago when the vehicle was...

Q: Whenever I turn on the climate control system, I hear a high pitched whine

Hello, thank you for writing in. Your symptoms appear at first to be an issue with the blower motor. It is used to control the fan speed regardless of temperature. It is also located near where you report hearing the...

Q: A/C problem - 2007 Honda Civic

Hello. It is possible to damage the compressor by introducing liquid refrigerant. The compressor is designed to compress vapor or gas, not liquids which indeed are not compressible. If your system is not working right now, a possibility is you...