The Differences Between a Residential and Commercial HVAC System

If you are building a new structure, you might wonder if you should install a residential or commercial HVAC system.

If you are considering whether or not you need a residential or a commercial HVAC system, you might be wondering what the differences are between a residential and commercial system. Besides the space size you need to heat or cool, are there other things different about the two?

Contact Thomas Hoffmann Air Conditioning & Heating to request a free consultation.

Whether you are building a home office or an office building or simply looking for the appropriate HVAC system for your home, it is essential to know the differences between system grades. Keep reading to find out a few ways commercial and residential systems differ.

Location of the Unit

Commercial systems tend to be out of the way and are typically located on the roof of a building. Residential systems are usually located outside the building somewhere close by. This is partly because commercial units tend to be bigger and louder, so having them on the ground is not ideal for a business or space.

A commercial building usually has more space on the roof, which provides an excellent place to house the louder and more cumbersome unit. That is usually not an option on an angular residential roof.

Split Versus Packaged Systems

Residential HVAC systems are usually split both internally and externally. They have the blower, the condenser, and the evaporator scattered instead of in one place. Commercial units are generally in one place with a complete package housed in a cabinet. The only thing that is located on the interior of a commercial unit is the ductwork that supplies the air to the interior of the building.


Commercial HVAC systems tend to be on the more complex side when compared to residential systems. Residential units have only one pan drain that goes to the outside, and the windows are used for exhaust. Commercial HVAC systems have many drainage systems, often requiring more maintenance and attention. Although working similarly, residential systems can surprisingly work better on their own.

St. Louis HVAC Installation

If you are building a structure that might be big enough for a commercial unit but is still residential, or vice versa, then you might be wondering if you should install a residential HVAC system or a commercial system. The right choice depends on how much you want to spend, the complexity of the design you want to deal with, and the logistics of where the system can be housed.

Working with professionals is crucial in ensuring the best HVAC system for the home is selected, whether you are searching for an HVAC installation service or an existing system needs to be upgraded. Call Thomas Hoffmann Air Conditioning & Heating LLC at (314) 471-7625. We can help you choose the best heating and cooling system and will provide proper maintenance to ensure it works properly throughout the year.

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At Thomas Hoffmann Air Conditioning & Heating, we pride ourselves in being a locally owned and operated HVAC company. With more than 30 years of experience and a master technician and mechanical engineer as our owner, we can replace, repair, and provide maintenance for your business or home’s HVAC system.

(314) 471-7625

1 thought on “The Differences Between a Residential and Commercial HVAC System”

  1. the unique requirements and functionalities of both residential and commercial heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. From size and capacity to complexity and zoning, understanding these distinctions is crucial for homeowners and business owners alike in ensuring optimal comfort and efficiency within their respective spaces.


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