Learn the similarities and differences between commercial and residential units
Commercial and Residential HVAC units share many similarities but contain many differences as well. While some HVAC manufacturing companies produce units for both markets, others specialize in one or the other. The biggest differences have to do with size, and also whether the unit is a packaged or split system. Commercial systems are typically modular in nature, which makes them more flexible and expandable. These units are for business applications and can serve very large office buildings to small shops.
Many times, HVAC units are installed while the building is under construction which presents a problem later on. Eventually the unit will be in need of replacement. Commercial units because of their size and complexity usually require more highly trained technicians to install and service the equipment. These types of HVAC units are designed to serve multiple zones and is capable of providing heating as well as cooling to the building. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) sets Minimum Ventilation Rates in Breathing Zone standards as to how much fresh air must be delivered for the number of occupants in a given room. HVAC units are based on tonnage or CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute). While ASHRAE advises 20 CFM per person in a health club, libraries only require 5 CFM per each individual.
The Common HVAC Installation
HVAC systems usually contain an outdoor condenser section along with an indoor evaporator section. In a residential installation, condenser sections are mostly located on the ground and duct connected. Alternatively, in commercial applications the condenser section is usually placed on rooftops while the evaporator section is placed indoors. Both commercial and residential outdoor units can be susceptible to weather damage and vandalism. Residential units are also usually much smaller than commercial units but cannot be expanded. If more cooling capacity is needed, the unit must be replaced with a new unit. Companies that install HVAC equipment usually include both commercial and residential installs. Installers have a product line card where they sell HVAC units from several different brands.[Read more…]