Difference Between Residential and Commercial HVAC System

Not all HVAC systems are created alike. Although the general purpose of the HVAC system is heating and cooling, several alterations are found between residential systems that are used in homes and commercial systems that are being used in large office buildings, warehouses, and stores. The major differences between residential and commercial HVAC systems are their size and power.

You can install this system in your home or at your building. There are numerous residential and commercial HVAC services in FL that provide HVAC installation facility for houses and commercial areas in most suitable rates and also provide yearly checking facility.

Here are some of the major alterations between both types of HVAC systems.

Size and Operating Power

A commercial HVAC system is larger than a residential system depending upon the area where it is planted. The requirement of cooling and heating in small areas is much different than a larger area. In big and large commercial buildings, a better and more powerful heating and cooling system will be required due to the bigger space and more crowded area.

Primarily, the larger the building, the superior the HVAC system will be. Bigger places have increased volume and size for which more powerful systems are required to work with full efficiency and meet the optimum requirements.

The needs of commercial systems are intensive; they are customized for competent heating and cooling. The technician needs to install the system in the right place to serve the building needs properly without consuming so much power so that it may not cause any problem with the rest of the electrical system.


Another difference between commercial and residential HVAC systems is complexity. A residential HVAC system is set in the home where it provides heating and cooling facilities to single-family at a small place with static requirements.

A commercial HVAC system is usually installed in large places like commercial buildings that may be segmented into departments and other office spaces with different heating and cooling needs. Therefore, for the adjustments of temperature and too met people’s needs in the building, there will be a need to use an advanced commercial HVAC system with all additional complex functions.

Drainage, Exhaust, and Ventilation

The drainage and ventilation components of the commercial HVAC system will be different than those of residential systems. In the residential HVAC system, all the drainage occurs into one pan located outside the house, and there are no requirements for big pipes or pans.

In a commercial HVAC system, there is a detailed and properly functional drainage system will multiple pipers and pans that ensure the proper drainage from the system. Water must be properly drained from the system to avoid overflowing.

The exhaust system should also function efficiently; additional components are attached to the commercial HVAC system to handle its high-power input. If the exhaust function does not work properly, it will result in overheating of the system, which can be fatal for the whole system causing it to shut down.

The ventilation system of the commercial HVAC system is similar to that of the residential system, except they are of a larger scale to be used for commercial purposes.  The ventilation system should work efficiently and should direct airflow through ducts efficiently.

Manufacture and Installation

Both systems are created in distinct ways depending upon the area where they are required to be installed. They must be the best suit for the location where they are installed.

Residential HVAC systems are confined in a discrete system, and they cannot be changed or customized. They cannot be rebuilt or mutated. The homeowner usually buys a system that is adequate for their needs. After the selection of their desirable system, they ask for any installation service to fix it.

However, a commercial system is customized depending upon the needs of the building. Being customized changes can be made into this system if heating and cooling need change. Being segmental and modular, they allow easy transportation to the site.

These kinds of changes cannot be made in the residential HVAC system, and if the owner needs to make any changes or alterations in the residential unit, the entire system will be replaced.


A residential HVAC system is placed outside the home within the backyard or against the house’s side away from the home residents but is very accessible to access. In large buildings, the commercial HVAC system is situated on the roof of the building. There are various reasons for placing the commercial system on the roof instead of ground

  • Commercial units are larger and louder, and placing them on the roof avoids noise pollution so that it does not disturb the people of the building.
  • The size of the unit makes it hard for them to be placed on the ground are they carry large space and roof areas of the building are almost free; therefore, the system can be placed there.
  • If any problem occurs in the system, the roof offers easy access for maintenance and repair without causing any issue to the building’s people.
  • Installation of the HVAC system on the roof provides safety from potential defacement and accidental damage.

Responsibility and Maintenance Cost

In case of any issue or default in the residential HVAC system, the homeowner is responsible for all the maintenance costs. Some settings can be done by the owner itself, including changing the filers to maintain the home’s air quality. However, it is always a better option to hire a professional to maintain the HVAC system’s yearly maintenance to make it work with full efficiency. Yearly maintenance also extends the lifespan of the unit.

The commercial HVAC systems are more complicated, and the repairs are handled by technicians who have experience in dealing with these types of systems. The responsibility of the business owner is to make sure that the system is working effectively.

Due to the additional size, complexity, and specializations, commercial systems’ repairs and maintenance can be much more expensive than residential HVAC systems. A big issue can cause a lot of financial burdens, and if the system is stopped, it can suspend the building’s operations; therefore, it is important to keep the commercial HVAC system in it’s best possible condition.

Leave a Reply