What Parts Are Specific to a Commercial HVAC Unit as Opposed to a Residential Unit?

Commercial Hvac Jackson

The heating and cooling system that keeps you comfortable at home is probably quite different from the commercial HVAC system in your local supermarket, office building, or other commercial structure. The first central HVAC systemsdeveloped in the early 20th century were designed for commercial use in applications such as factories, hospitals, and theaters. While HVAC systems specifically designed for home installation were first installed in the 1950s, it wasn’t until 1970 that a majority of new American homes had central AC and heat. Components and installation specific to commercial HVAC systems necessarily differ from home heating and cooling systems in several ways.

Component Location

The outdoor compressor/condenser unit of a home central air conditioner is typically located on the ground immediately beside or behind the house. In a commercial HVAC system, however, external AC components are often installed on the roof. Since most commercial buildings have a flat roof, installation and service access is easier in that location.

Cooling Methods

Home air conditioners circulate refrigerant between two coils: the indoor evaporator coil that absorbs heat and the outdoor condenser coil that releases extracted heat into the air. Water-cooled chiller systems common in commercial applications, however, utilize an external method such as water circulating through an outdoor cooling tower to cool the hot AC refrigerant flow. These systems are often used in industrial sites with very large square footage, as well as at hotels, indoor malls, etc.

Package Units

Many home HVAC systems utilize a gas-fired or electric furnace installed indoors and a separate central AC composed of an indoor evaporator coil and air handler paired with an outdoor compressor and condenser coil. In large commercial HVAC installations, however, package units are common. These systems incorporate both air conditioner coils and the compressor, a conventional gas or electric furnace (or heat pump) and a blower/air handler — all in a single package. In commercial applications, package units are usually roof-mounted and connect directly to the building’s ductwork.

For all your home and commercial heating and cooling needs, call the experts at Jackson & Sons.

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