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Commercial and Residential Heating and Cooling Differences

What Are the Differences Between Commercial and Residential Heating and Cooling Systems?

It’s not a stretch to say that the heating and air conditioning units for commercial and residential buildings aren’t all that different. The overall goal and mechanisms of each system are essentially the same. Air conditioners cool the space and help control the humidity. Heating systems do the same, but instead of cooling, they provide heat.

Still, the requirements for the different systems are a little different. An 1800 square foot house with two thermostats will have different needs than a 60,000 square foot building with half a dozen or more thermostats. For this reason, there are some crucial differences between commercial and residential heating and cooling systems. 

The Size and the Placement of Unit

hvac unit

One major difference is the size of each unit. Commercial units are much larger than residential units because they need to meet the needs of the building. And the specific setup will vary depending on the specifics of the building. A retail operation with large, wide-open spaces will have different HVAC needs than a multi-floor office building. 

The placement of the unit is also a big difference. Commercial buildings adhere to the “out of sight, out of mind” idea with their placement of units. Most commercial buildings have their units on the roof, keeping them - and the noise associated with them - away from any important or high-traffic areas. Residential systems are split into two units, one outside and one inside. Indoor ones are usually placed in a basement or attic, while outdoor ones are usually near the back or side of the house. 

System Complexity

Differences in complexity are also apparent between the two types of systems. Commercial systems are designed with change in mind. They are built to be modular, meaning they can have other units installed in the system depending on the needs of the building as a whole. Residential systems are self-contained and whole. They don’t generally need to be changed as commercial systems do. 

There are also differences in the complexity of construction regarding pieces of the units like blower fans, dampers, evaporators, thermostats, and compressors. 

Maintenance Requirements and Mechanism of Unit

The mechanisms of each type of system differ, as well. As mentioned above, commercial HVAC systems are contained in one unit. When maintenance needs to be performed on a commercial system, the tech need only be concerned with the one unit.


The location of the commercial unit also allows for maintenance while business as usual goes on in the building. There is no disruption for commercial systems like there often is for residential systems. Residential systems are less complex, even though they are separated into two different units. And they are also built and installed with a mind to that particular home’s size and needs. 

About Anderson Heating, Cooling & Plumbing

Anderson Heating, Cooling & Plumbing has been serving the community since 1982. They offer first-rate service with helpful, friendly techs. They also offer up-front pricing and 24/7 service. Contact them today for reliable HVAC service in Mentor, OH.

A Friendly Face You Can Trust

When you’re dealing with an HVAC or plumbing crisis, it’s nice to see a friendly face. Anderson Heating, Cooling & Plumbing technicians are always friendly, polite, and respectful, so you can have the best possible experience working with us.

Experience You Can Count On

With more than three decades of experience serving the Mentor area, our team is in a unique position to give you the best plumbing, heating, and cooling services possible. We’ve seen it all, so we know just how to handle all your indoor comfort needs.

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At Anderson Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, we are so confident in the work we do that every service is backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not completely satisfied with our service, we will keep working until you are.

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