You are probably aware that your favorite local HVAC company services both commercial and residential HVAC systems around the Des Moines area. But do you know how and why the skill sets to deal with commercial and residential HVAC are respectively different? If you own a home, you have likely dealt with getting your home’s furnace or AC system serviced, but the things to keep in mind for business and industrial HVAC systems are totally different. Whether you own a business and are interested in understanding your building’s HVAC system better or want better understand how Wyckoff’s professionals handle commercial HVAC differently, here are some key ways to differentiate between the two.

Roof HVAC Units Vs. Ground Units

Residential and small business HVAC systems are typically placed on the ground next to the building, while commercial HVAC systems are usually placed on the commercial building’s roof. Commercial buildings are more likely to have flat roofs that allow for extra storage and placement on top, while residential roofs are usually sloped. A commercial building may need extra space right next to the building for parking or employee walkways, so placing the HVAC unit on the roof allows businesses to have extra space in and around their building.

HVAC units in industrial and commercial areas could also be at risk for vandalism if they are not placed high up on the roof, where they are less accessible to people walking by. Placing a commercial HVAC unit on the roof has benefits for both business owners and HVAC professionals alike. People who are called in to service a business’s HVAC unit will have easy access to the roof through the building, and working on the system on the roof avoids disrupting any operations happening indoors. Since the HVAC system is outside of the building and above the business, the inside of the building is also less likely to be disrupted with the sounds of normal HVAC operation.

Standalone and Split Units vs. Modular and Packaged Units

Since residential HVAC units are only servicing one building, they are sold as standalone, split units that can’t be added to in any way; these are typically sold as-is and are not modifiable, since there are a variety of sizes and HVAC units available to serve the needs of a singular home. These are typically split up by an indoor evaporator and and an outdoor compressor.

Since commercial buildings vary greatly in size, shape, breakdown, and square footage, commercial HVAC units are sold in a modular style that allows businesses to purchase additional components to add onto the system as their operation expands or remove modular components if their HVAC needs shrink with operation size. This makes it easier for business owners to improve their HVAC system if they have more space in their building that needs to be heated or cooled without having to purchase an entirely new unit. Since commercial HVAC systems live on the roofs of the buildings where they’re installed, commercial units are packaged all together within the roof system instead of being split up by indoor and outdoor components the way residential units are. The packaging of commercial HVAC systems makes them easier to access, but they can be more complex for HVAC professionals to repair because of their modular nature and their larger capacity to heat and cool spaces. Most commercial buildings also have multiple thermostats so that different floors or zones of the building can regulate their temperature as necessary, which adds another layer to any potential maintenance or repairs needed to the system.

HVAC Drainage

Drainage systems are crucial to the successful operation of HVAC systems, and residential drainage systems are much simpler than commercial ones. Residential HVAC systems usually drain into a single pan placed outside of the house, since the system has a much smaller area to heat and cool. Because of the larger space typically heated and cooled by a commercial HVAC system, the drainage systems require a system made up of multiple pans and pipes that route any moisture properly to ensure everything evaporates without negatively impacting the commercial or industrial building.

Commercial Geothermal Systems

Most residential properties aren’t large enough to merit installing a geothermal system, but many commercial properties can benefit from the efficiency and ease of a geothermal system. These work by utilizing the earth as a heat source and a place to transfer heat so that warm or cool air can be pumped into your building accordingly. These have a huge cost and energy payoff; switching your business from traditional HVAC to a geothermal system can save your business up to 80% on utility bills. If you have questions or want to learn more, our professionals are happy to help!

Different Maintenance Costs

Because of the additional components and larger areas needed to heat and cool, commercial HVAC maintenance costs are typically a bit higher than the cost of residential HVAC maintenance. However, Wyckoff Heating & Cooling offers competitive rates on all services, and our employees are happy to talk with you to discuss the HVAC needs of your business to plan for maintenance or installations that are within your budget. We’re also happy to offer after-service for all of the products we carry and 24-hour emergency service when needed. Contact our professionals and make a plan for your commercial HVAC system today!