Last updated on July 1, 2022

The majority of commercial buildings use HVAC units for efficient cooling in the scorching summer heat to make their employees, as well as clients, feel relaxed and comfortable. In other words, the air conditioner has become a modern-day necessity to cope with intense heat and humidity in various parts of the world. And the case is no different on the residential side. 


Though both residential and commercial HVAC systems serve the same purpose of cooling, heating, and ventilation, they differ significantly in terms of mechanism and parts. It is mainly because addressing the cooling requirements of a home varies when compared to a bigger, sophisticated commercial space. 

This blog underlines the crucial differences between both types of air conditioning units so that you do not weigh them on the same scale. 

Read on to know more about it. 

1. Power Consumption. It is probably the most significant difference between a commercial and residential air conditioning unit. Since most commercial spaces are large in size when compared to regular-sized homes, the amount of power necessary for cooling the former is invariably more. 

Businesses accommodate more people at one time, and the human body gives off heat. Commercial AC units must be designed and sized accordingly to overcome the heat generated from the people in an enclosed space. Businesses which have large premises usually require multiple air conditioners to handle the additional cooling load by providing the right level of BTUs without draining power. 

In simple words, commercial HVAC units are more powerful (and bigger) than residential air conditioning units. 

2. Maintenance Cost. Commercial air conditioners are more expensive than residential units because of more powerful cooling capacity, size, and the difference in the mechanism. So, it’s evident that the maintenance costs of the former would be more than the residential air conditioning service.

For servicing a commercial unit, you need well-trained and highly skilled technicians to ensure manufacturer-recommended installation and efficient maintenance. There are different air conditioning experts for various HVAC systems. 

3. Different Locations. The large size of commercial HVAC systems means they are usually placed atop the roofs of commercial buildings. While residential units can be installed directly on the window space or ceiling of the room, this arrangement is not feasible for commercial buildings. 

Businesses not only utilise vast, unused vacant spaces on the top of their roofs but also protect their units from vandalism. Moreover, a rooftop location makes it easy for service technicians to carry out system maintenance without disrupting business operations. 

4. Complexity. Commercial and residential HVAC systems vary not only in terms of size but also their structure. Commercial systems are versatile. They can be designed according to the type of building where they are to be installed, the number of occupants, and whether the use of the building is periodic or constant.

These modular systems are flexible and convenient for businesses. They come in modules that can be added or reduced as per the changing cooling/heating needs of the companies. The use of these modules results in creating a sophisticated architecture for commercial HVAC systems. 

5. Drainage. Since every single component of a commercial HVAC unit is bigger than that of a residential AC system, the former also features a bigger drainage system. Residential systems cool a relatively smaller area, so the entire drainage system accumulates in a small pan placed outside the house. 

On the other hand, a commercial AC system is equipped with multiple pipes and pans for the draining purpose to ensure complete evaporation as well as eliminate the possibility of overflowing. 


You can figure out that there is a considerable difference  between commercial & residential HVAC units. There’s a significant difference in terms of power, design, complexity, mechanism, and cost of purchase and maintenance. 
At Coalfields Climate Control, we are a well-established name providing high-quality and professional services in residential and commercial air conditioning system design, installation, repairs and maintenance at competitive prices. We serve all areas of the Hunter Valley, Singleton, Cessnock, Newcastle and beyond. We also specialise in refrigeration and ventilation

Posted onOctober 10, 2019

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