Differences Between Residential and Commercial HVAC In Florida

Differences Between Residential and Commercial HVAC In Florida

There is often confusion as to why a business needs a contractor who specializes in commercial HVAC in Florida. While the layperson may just see machines and ductwork, the experienced technician sees big differences. In some ways, residential and commercial HVAC are similar but the heating and cooling needs are quite different between the two. Here are some of these differences that make having a commercial HVAC specialist vital.

The modular nature

Businesses have to be ready to expand. This is not limited to new markets or providing new services. Sometimes, your HVAC needs expand as well. As more employees are hired, new cooking equipment is installed or new machinery is put to work, there are new pressures on HVAC to heat and cool the building.

For that reason, commercial HVAC is designed in a modular fashion. This means that units and components can be added as business needs change. Residential systems do not require this flexibility, so once installed that is how they stay. While this works great for your home, it can prove devastating for your business if the current HVAC system can no longer handle the load. With a modular system, you will either have to install a new system or keep less-than-optimal indoor conditions at your place of business.


Conventionally, residential HVAC is located outside of the home. From there, the ductwork and other components are dispersed throughout the house. For commercial HVAC, the most common location for the system is on the roof. After all, office buildings in a busy downtown location do not have outdoor ground space for the unit. Plus, that would be inefficient due to the sheer size of
commercial HVAC vs. residential.

Commercial HVAC has other considerations as well. While your residential unit may be behind a fence or locked gate, commercial properties often do not have the same security. A unit left on the side of a building could be vandalized or sabotaged. There are also workspace and noise issues to consider, as interference with these items can be an OSHA violation. Basically, there are many factors to consider when installing commercial HVAC and most layout designs will depend on the industry.

Packaged vs. split

Commercial HVAC units are larger in size because the components are housed in one cabinet. One unit contains the condenser, evaporator, compressor, blower and drainage system. This one unit is taken on site and connected to the ventilation system where heating and cooling enters through the ductwork. Contractors call this a packaged unit.

Residential systems have several pieces, which is why they are called split units. The outdoor part normally contains the condenser, compressor and fan while another unit indoors houses the evaporator, drainage system and blower. There are customized designs that deviate from these patterns, but this is the normal standard.

If you want appropriate commercial HVAC in Florida installed for your business, contact Five Star Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Inc. We also repair commercial HVAC, so if you are having any issues, call us for an appointment and estimate. Our hope is for you to become our next success story!

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