Differences between Commercial and Residential HVAC Systems

Commerical Ac Pros Tampa Bay

Powering for comfort at home is very different than what’s needed in an office space or restaurant.  Of course, both residential and commercial HVAC systems will heat, cool and ventilate the space, but these units are very different in parts, power, and the overall capabilitiesSee some of the differences between residential and commercial HVAC units from our local AC experts! 

1. Unit Size 

residential HVAC unit is much smaller than commercial HVAC system. The commercial unit needs to be larger to cool or heat a much larger space. This also means that it’s going to be more powerful (and take more power to run).  

Commercial systems aren’t just larger, but the components are different from what’s in your home as well. The thermostats, compressor, evaporator, condenser fan, blower, and dampers are made to handle the capability of the commercial unit.   

Although both systems serve the needs of dramatically different areas, they both need proper, routine maintenance to keep them running efficiently.  


2. Placement

Did you know that most commercial units are on the roof? We install residential HVAC units on the ground level near the house. Having a commercial HVAC system placed on the roof is a great spacesaving solution so you can better utilize the indoor area for customers.  

It’s not just for space-saving, commercial AC units are installed on the roof to: 

  • Limit noise pollution in the building 
  • Allow for easier maintenance and repair so your business isn’t disrupted  

3. Equipment 

Even in Florida, the humidity and temperature needs of your home won’t vary as much as in a commercial space. That’s why the equipment used in the two HVAC systems is very different.  

Commercial systems are customized for effective heating and cooling in larger spaces and have very intensive equipment used internally to help it run properly. The parts and equipment for a commercial unit will be larger than what you’d find in your home AC unit 

Have a commercial space, restaurant, or office that’s hot? Keep your customers and staff cool; call our Tampa AC pros to help your business!  


As you can tell, every component of a commercial HVAC system is larger than those in your home AC. This includes the drainage system. 

As it runs, your residential HVAC unit drains in a single pan outside the house. A commercial HVAC system has multiple pipes and pans for draining purposes. This helps these powerful units to not overflow and allows water to completely evaporate.  

5. Maintenance Cost

One key difference between commercial and residential HVAC units is the maintenance cost. A commercial system will require more of an investment due to more complex components and the sheer size of the system. 

For commercial units, you need highly experienced and skilled technicians for installation and maintenanceSome AC companies aren’t equipped to handle commercial HVAC, not Integrity Home Solutions! Our techs can handle both commercial and residential units and make sure they’re running efficiently.   

6. Modular System

Residential units are standalone systems and parts are split both indoors and outside near the unit. The manufacturing and installation of commercial HVAC systems are modular meaning the parts are housed together. This is to help technicians more easily maintain and/or upgrade the commercial unit 

7. Complexity

Commercial HVAC systems need to be more adaptable than a standard residential unit. The variables of the unit will depend on:  

  • the type of building where the unit(s) will be installed 
  • the number of occupants that could be in the space  
  • and the use of the building, including if it is periodic or constant 
  • the end-use of the structure (an office will be set up differently than an autobody shop) 
  • the items manufactured or sold in the building (commercial units will need more power for exhaust or fumes) 


HVAC technicians specialize in different HVAC systems, and commercial AC units are more complex since they must function very differently. When it comes to commercial units, periodic HVAC maintenance checkups by experienced local technicians is key. 

Our HVAC Company in Tampa Handles it All 

Integrity Home Solutions doesn’t just help keep your home cool; our AC experts handle commercial jobs too! We’ve worked with several local restaurants and office buildings. You can call us anytime to handle any job from AC install to repair and maintenance. Call our Tampa Bay AC company today to speak with a specialist!  

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