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

P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
P0684 OBD-II Trouble Code: Glow Plug Control Module to PCM Communication Circuit Range/Performance
P0684 code means there is a failing connection within the Glow Plug Control Module often due too corroded wires and solenoid failures.


Related questions

Q: 2003 Saturn L200 smells like gas

These are the effects of many concerns that may have little to do with one another. The air conditioning system has a condensation drain which may be clogged on your vehicle causing the water to flood into the interior. The...

Q: Heater controls not working

Hello, thank you for writing in. There are multiple fuse boxes associated with the vehicle, and you may also need to check the interior fuse box. Fuse number 13 according to my records is for the rear climate control, and...

Q: AC not working

While there could be a variety of different reasons as to why your air conditioner is not blowing cold in your Mustang as it should be, the most common problem is low refrigerant. Unfortunately just topping off the radiator with...