Both commercial and residential HVAC systems heat, ventilate, and cool spaces; however, they vary incredibly in the mechanism, power usage, size, and other aspects. This is because addressing a commercial space’s heating and cooling requirements differ drastically compared to a home. With that in mind, let us delve into seven differences between a commercial and residential HVAC system.
1. Size and Power
Whereas both commercial and residential HVAC systems serve essentially the same purpose, cooling and heating needs vary dramatically with the building’s size. A commercial system is tailored to sizeable square footage and more occupants. As such, it requires more power to meet higher heating and cooling demands.
Both systems have similar sizing considerations, including square footage, peak usage hours, and efficiency. However, these factors have higher values in commercial spaces compared to homes.
You expect more complexity in the structure and components of a HVAC system when it comes to get Commercial HVAC Services. When it comes to a commercial system, the building is more extensive and may consist of several spaces with varying heating needs. The system must account for multiple thermostats, blowers, and dampers to effectively manage temperatures in different zones. Adding to the complexity are more wires, buttons, switches, and advanced systems for exhaust alleviation.
However, residential equipment is designed to heat and cool a single-family dwelling and therefore features simple design and parts.
3. Modular vs. Split
Commercial heating and cooling systems typically come as one package with several thermostats. However, contractors can add modules to the system to adapt to expanding HVAC needs. The HVAC modules vary from one business to another with capacity requirements and other variables.
In contrast, residential systems are split systems, typically featuring two parts- a compressor located outdoors and an evaporator installed indoors. This incredibly limits expansion and modification capabilities.
A commercial system comes with a great deal of flexibility but requires the intervention of a qualified contractor who can maneuver the unique structure with experience and skill. You also need to schedule regular maintenance for your residential HVAC unit to prevent total system replacement.
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4. Installation Location
HVAC contractors often install residential units behind or beside a home, keeping it out of the way of the home’s occupants but still making it easy to access for repair and maintenance. In contrast, commercial units are typically installed on the roof of a building for the following reasons:
- The unit’s size makes it tricky to install in or around the house without occupying too much usable space. As such, owners prefer taking advantage of the unused rooftop space.
- Commercial units tend to be noisier than their residential counterparts. Placing them on the rooftop keeps the noise away from the building’s occupants.
- Rooftop installation safeguards the equipment from vandalism and accidental damage since commercial buildings are synonymous with heavy foot traffic.
- The roof offers convenient access for unit maintenance and repairs without disturbing people using the building.
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5. Maintenance Cost
Component complexity, additional size, specialization needs, and complex mechanism are among the reasons why maintaining a commercial HVAC system is costlier and more cumbersome than residential units. Still, commercial system repair and maintenance should be handled by a highly skilled and experienced HVAC specialist.
Since a residential unit is less complicated, you can effortlessly complete some maintenance tasks, including filter replacement and maintaining good indoor air quality. But it is essential to have a professional HVAC technician thoroughly inspect your HVAC system once a year to maintain optimal working conditions and increase its lifespan. Conejo Valley Air Inc is a call away for your annual HVAC maintenance or repair tasks that need professional expertise.
6. Drainage and Exhaust
The drainage system is more detailed in a commercial HVAC unit, featuring several pans and pipes to prevent overflowing and ensure complete evaporation. In comparison, a residential unit is compact and often drains into a pan placed outside your home. A commercial unit also requires additional exhaust components to handle its high-powered output.
7. The Initial Cost of a Commercial HVAC system
Commercial systems come with higher initial investment than their residential counterparts. The cost averages between $6,800 and $12,300, depending on various factors, including;
- Unit’s capacity
- Brand and quality
- Location and climate
- Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating(SEER)
- System add-ons
All in all, a more efficient model guarantees lower operation and maintenance costs and more extended warranty periods.
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The Bottom Line
Although commercial and residential HVAC systems accomplish the same goal, they boast significant differences in size, power requirements, costs, complexity, mechanism, drainage, and exhaust, as discussed above. Regardless of the system, you are looking for, ensuring a healthy and comfortable space requires HVAC installation, maintenance, repair, and replacement by competent HVAC contractors.
HVAC experts at Conejo Valley Heating and Air Conditioning Inc. are well trained and skilled to install, maintain, repair, and replace both commercial and residential HVAC systems. Call us today at 805-499-0448 or message us online to receive a free estimate for your new HVAC system.