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The primary purpose of the HVAC system is to give you comfort during winter and summer. However, there are two types of HVAC systems, depending on where you install them. One is Commercial HVAC system, and another is Residential HVAC system. Both systems do the basic heating and cooling, but there is a difference in their mechanism, parts, complexity, and size. Residential HVAC systems are generally used for houses and small businesses, whereas commercial HVAC systems are used in office buildings, industries, warehouses, etc.

Before buying an HVAC system, it is important to understand what the difference between two types of HVAC systems is. Once you understand the difference, you can estimate on what to expect from each of them. So, to make things simpler for you here is the difference between commercial HVAC and residential HVAC systems.


Commercial HVAC vs. Residential HVAC

Size of the HVAC System

Residential HVAC systems are small in size compared to the commercial HVAC system. For residential purposes, your heating and air conditioning unit needs to work less and use less energy compared to the commercial HVAC system. As the residential heating and air conditioning system does less work to give you comfort, its size is also small. But commercial HVAC systems need to work a lot as it provides heating and cooling for tall buildings, industries, and warehouses. Because of this reason, commercial HVAC systems are big and also very complex. There is also a difference in thermostat, compressor, evaporators, blowers, etc. and because of these varieties, size differs between the commercial and residential HVAC system.

Complexity of the Heating and Air Conditioning Unit

There is also a difference in the complexity of these two types. A residential HVAC system is used for family purposes or small businesses only. In this case, a heating or air conditioning unit has only to provide heating and cooling facility in a specific requirement. But commercial HVAC systems provide heating and cooling for tall buildings, and because of that, the system needs to work more. Sometimes, HVAC systems are segmented into different departments of the buildings. In this case, many thermostats are used the HVAC system. In an industry, sometimes it is needed to set the temperature at a specific level so that the product is preserved well. For this reason, the HVAC system will have to maintain that temperature for quite a long time, and because of this, the HVAC system needs to handle this load. Also, sometimes, employees of an office need the adjustable temperature to feel comfortable, and to provide that temperature, the HVAC system works efficiently and takes all the loads. To handle these massive amounts of load, commercial HVAC systems are manufactured with a complex system compared to the residential HVAC system. 


A residential air conditioner or heating system is generally placed in the backyard or beside the window. But for commercial HVAC systems, it is placed on the rooftops. There are many reasons for this placement. Firstly, the size of the commercial HVAC system takes up a lot of space, and that’s why it is not possible to place it in the backyard or any open spaces. Most of the time, rooftops of the commercial buildings are unused, and to use that space; commercial HVAC systems are placed on the roofs. Secondly, commercial HVAC systems produce a lot of noise compare to the residential HVAC systems. If the commercial HVAC units are placed in the backyard, it will create an unhealthy environment for the employees to work. Also, when HVAC systems are placed on the rooftop, it is easier to maintain and repair the HVAC system.

Apart from these, there are differences in the manufacturing process, types of equipment, and maintenance costs.


For a summary of this content, see this Infographic – Difference Between Commercial HVAC & Residential HVAC System [Infographic]

Click To See The Infographic 

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