What Is the Difference Between Commercial and Residential HVAC? 

There are many differences between commercial and residential HVAC systems. It is essential to know when to call in a professional for residential or commercial air conditioning service.  

At the most basic level, commercial HVAC systems are very different from residential HVAC systems. But there are a lot more differences when deciding to choose one. This can make it confusing to determine which system types work best for your business or home. 

This blog will take through some of the major differences between the two. 

Size of the Air Conditioning Unit

The basic difference between commercial and residential HVAC centers around the size of the heating and cooling installations. A commercial HVAC system will generally be larger than a residential one to accommodate the greater loads in a business setting. 

Commercial HVAC is designed to cover large areas like malls, offices, restaurants, etc., while Residential HVAC is designed for homes, villas and apartments. 

Also, the number of users plays a vital role in deciding which type of HVAC system should be installed. Commercial HVAC can accommodate more people than residential as they are installed in larger areas used by many people daily. On the other hand, residential HVAC only needs to accommodate fewer people than commercial as they are installed in smaller spaces and not that frequently.  

So you don’t need an industrial-sized heating furnace and cooling system in residences but may have to consider using those in commercial spaces of 50 people or more. In some cases, multiple HVAC units might be required in commercial properties as well. For example, one AC unit might run on one side of the building while another unit cools down the other side of the building.  

Equipment & Design

One of the top ways a commercial air conditioner differs from residential HVAC is the equipment and design. While there are similarities in how the systems work, the equipment used is much more complex and designed for various uses. Commercial systems can range from a large walk-in cooler with multiple compressors to massive clean rooms with specialised cooling requirements.  

Commercial and residential HVAC systems also have differences in how they are designed.  

Home HVAC systems are designed to cool a specific number of rooms in a home, so they run continuously at full load until the temperature is set. Commercial systems are designed to handle large spaces that may not need to be fully heated or cooled all the time. They cycle on and off as needed to keep a space at a comfortable temperature. 

On the other hand, buildings require some form of ventilation in order to remove stale air and bring fresh air into the building. However, commercial buildings may need additional exhaust fans to remove fumes or steam from an industrial process or kitchen. In addition, commercial buildings often have more than one zone of heating or cooling instead of a single location for a home. 

This means the equipment for commercial air conditioners is larger as well as more complex and powerful, with multiple components that all must work together for peak efficiency. 

While there are many similarities between commercial and residential HVAC systems, their differences are substantial enough that they require different designs, installation techniques and maintenance schedules. 

Ability to Handle Loads

Commercial HVAC units must be able to handle much larger loads than those found in homes and are built with this in mind. This is because the greater loads require a high-capacity HVAC unit for proper heating and cooling of a large area.  

Residential HVAC systems only have to keep one area at a comfortable temperature — which is substantially small compared to a huge office of 500 people. 

For instance, the average commercial building will require 30 tons of cooling capacity, while a typical home only needs 3 tons. This means commercial HVAC units are bigger in size than residential ones and require different components to function correctly. 

Frequency of the Air Conditioning Service

Commercial air conditioning systems are more complex than residential HVAC because they need to regulate the temperature in several rooms at once. Additionally, some commercial properties require a higher level of cooling, such as storage facilities and warehouses. 

Residential units are easier to maintain because they only have to regulate the temperature in several rooms at once. Additionally, most homes don’t require a higher level of cooling because they’re much smaller than commercial buildings. 

Because of this complexity, it’s important to schedule regular commercial air conditioning services and inspections for their HVAC systems. 

Many companies recommend scheduling the maintenance at least twice per year or annually if your business doesn’t operate 24 hours per day or seven days per week. 

Looking for a reliable company for your annual commercial air conditioning service? Reach out to our expert team at Renown Services.