Acute heart failure (AHF) is a life-threatening medical condition, where urgent diagnostic and treatment methods are of key importance. However, there are few evidence-based treatment methods. Interestingly, despite relatively similar ways of management of AHF throughout the globe, mid-term outcome in East Asia, including South Korea is more favorable than in Europe. Yet, most of the treatment methods are symptomatic. The cornerstone of AHF management is identifying precipitating factors and specific phenotype. Multidisciplinary approach is important in AHF, which can be caused or aggravated by both cardiac and non-cardiac causes. The main pathophysiological mechanism in AHF is congestion, both systemic and inside the organs (lung, kidney, or liver). Cardiac output is often preserved in AHF except in a few cases of advanced heart failure. This paper provides guidance on AHF management in a time-based approach. Treatment strategies, criteria for triage, admission to hospital and discharge are described.