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Significant Differences In Residential And Commercial Use HVAC Systems



HVAC Systems

Both residential and commercial HVAC systems perform the same heating, ventilating, and cooling functions, but they differ drastically in terms of mechanisms and parts. How a home addresses the comfort needs of occupants varies significantly from how a workspace addresses these needs. The following are seven significant differences between residential and commercial ac unit and systems:


In contrast to commercial HVAC systems, residential HVAC systems cool or heat much larger spaces than their commercial ac unit and counterparts. Moreover, commercial systems use components different from residential systems, such as compressors, condenser fans, evaporators, blowers, and dampers. Both methods are required to meet the needs of various areas, which means their power requirements vary significantly.


A residential HVAC system is typically installed in the backyard or on the side of the house, while a commercial HVAC system is usually installed in swamp coolers or on the building’s roof.

  • You can save space by placing an HVAC system on top of the roof.
  • The building is protected from noise pollution.
  • Maintaining equipment in this way ensures that no activities are interrupted while repairs and replacements are performed.


HVAC systems for residential and commercial buildings also differ in structure, in addition to size. Systems installed in commercial buildings should accommodate the type of building, the number of occupants, and the building use, whether it is periodic or constant.

The end-use of the structure and the products manufactured or sold inside the building are other considerations that affect the complexity of commercial ac unit and HVAC systems. In contrast to commercial exhaust systems that require more power to eliminate exhaust, residential systems feature a more straightforward mechanism.


The components of an HVAC system are more significant than those of a residential unit due to a much smaller area served by residential HVAC units. Drainage is accomplished through multiple pipes and pans in a commercial HVAC system, ensuring complete evaporation and preventing overflowing.


Depending on the building where it will be installed, a commercial HVAC unit will have a different mechanism. HVAC systems are manufactured and installed modularly instead of manufacturing a residential unit as a standalone unit. As a modular system, commercial HVAC units are easy to maintain and can easily be upgraded since all parts are housed together. All the components of a residential HVAC system are separated into indoor and outdoor areas, and they cannot be expanded or modified.


Unlike the massive HVAC equipment installed in commercial establishments, the HVAC equipment used by smaller residential structures differs significantly. These systems are custom designed and highly efficient for heating and cooling large commercial buildings. Humidity and temperature requirements for a residential dwelling do not vary much from an office building, hence the different HVAC equipment in the two systems.

Read Also: HVAC Servicing: How Frequently Should You Get it Done?

Cost Of Maintenance

Due to various reasons, such as the complexity of components, the size of the system, and the difference in mechanisms, the maintenance cost of a commercial HVAC system is higher than a standalone residential unit. Commercial units need highly qualified technicians who can complete the installation, ensure efficient maintenance, and be energy-efficient. Even though each HVAC unit features a unique mechanism and functions differently, different HVAC technicians specialise in other HVAC systems.


Even though both systems are designed to achieve the same goal, periodic HVAC maintenance checks by technicians familiar with the particular model you own are necessary to ensure that your space is comfortable and healthy. All the points mentioned above highlight the difference between HVAC systems and residential AC systems and why HVAC systems are better.

James Smith is the writer for Munchkin Press. He is a young American writer from California and is currently traveling around the world. He has a passion for helping people and motivates others.

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