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What is the Difference Between Residential and Commercial HVAC and Which one do you Need?

July 1, 2020

When looking for an HVAC company for your home or business, it is difficult to know which type of company you need. You might be wondering if there really is a difference between what a commercial versus a residential HVAC contractor does, and which is right for your needs. Before you just go work googling “residential HVAC company near me,” it is important to understand the distinction between the two, and also what they can and can’t take care of.

What is the Difference Between a Commercial and Residential HVAC Company?

In terms of what an HVAC system does there is no difference really between a commercial and residential system, but they don’t all operate the same way. The major differences between what a commercial HVAC system requires versus residential lies in the location, complexity, and scope of the way the system operates.

Operating Power and Size

By necessity, a commercial HVAC system is going to be larger than a residential one. Both will perform the same function of heating and cooling, but the areas that they need to serve are significantly different. Commercial buildings will need a much larger system to keep things tepid. That means the systems have to have a larger capacity and increased size and power. But there is also the need for commercial systems to operate with efficiency, so technicians need to be able to temper power and size alongside the amount of energy the overall system uses.

The Complexity

Typically, commercial HVAC systems are much more complex to meet the extra demand placed upon them. Many commercial buildings are not only larger, they have different areas and departments. Those spaces will have varying needs, which may require not just several units but zoned heating and options like thermostat controls throughout. Although residential homes might also benefit from zoned heating and cooling, the process is usually far less involved or complex than commercial planning.

Ventilation, Exhaust, and Drainage

Because larger units produce more condensation, there is usually a need for more drainage systems in place. Typically, a residential system will have only one pan to accommodate condensation, but commercial buildings will usually require multiple and spaced correctly. Proper drainage is highly critical to remove the condensation from the system without it backing up and causing problems.

High-powered HVAC systems also need to have more complex exhaust systems that help reduce the risk of the individual units overheating. And commercial ventilation is also more critical in the overall design because it helps to divert the heating and cooling where it is needed.

Installation and Manufacture

Commercial HVAC and residential HVAC systems differ in the way that they are manufactured. Residential systems work as a standalone and they can’t be built onto or changed. The homeowner will buy a system that suits their needs, which is calculated according to square footage, the number of rooms, and occupants. A commercial system is customized according to the building it is built for. Commercial HVAC systems are modular, and can be added onto or changed as needed.

So, Which is Right for You?

Although most people think there isn’t a difference in commercial and residential HVAC systems, there are. And it takes an experienced and trained HVAC professional to know which system is right. And one to also how to build an entire system that will accommodate the needs of the building it is being used in.

At Custom Climate , we deal with both residential and commercial HVAC systems; installation, repair, and maintenance. And we have the know-how to handle any HVAC issue you are having. So, instead of just googling “residential HVAC near me,” contact the best in the industry…us!