Residential Vs. Commercial HVAC Systems

While all HVAC systems have the same goal, and each type works in the same way, there are important differences between systems in residential and commercial buildings.

HVAC systems in commercial and residential locations have many similarities, but there are also many differences.

The largest difference is the size of the equipment. Commercial buildings are typically larger and filled with more people and electronics that generate more heat. Residential systems are typically installed outside the building. For commercial buildings, they are often placed on the roof to save space and prevent vandalism. Residential systems are usually standalone models that cannot be modified or expanded. Business setups are modular in nature, allowing them to be upgraded or downgraded as needed. Outdoor and indoor residential systems are available. Commercial systems combine all necessary parts in one place. Most residential systems drain into a pan and then into the ground. Due to the size and location of commercial units, drainage systems are more complicated. Residential units do not require additional ventilation. They can either vent outside freely or through the windows of a home. For commercial systems, ventilation is a concern because they are often housed inside structures without windows. Such structures require ventilation to function properly. Residential HVAC systems are simpler than those installed in commercial buildings. Commercial systems require more thermostats, which need more wiring, more ductwork that must be arranged in complex ways, and so on. Commercial systems are more complex and larger than residential systems, so they require more specialized training and experience. An experienced HVAC technician can diagnose the system in a business structure, but the repair may require multiple technicians. Modular commercial systems are more difficult to diagnose and repair than single-unit homes. A residential system can only have problems in one or two places, a commercial setup has many more possibilities.

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