10 Common Differences Between Commercial & Residential Air Conditioning

While both commercial air conditioning and residential air conditioning serve the same purpose of cooling, they differ considerably in terms of mechanism and parts. After all, addressing the cooling needs of a workplace environment is different from a residential setting. So let us delve deeper to find out the differences between commercial and residential air conditioning.

Commercial Air Conditioning Service in Melbourne

In Melbourne, people rely a lot on residential air conditioning and commercial air conditioning to provide a much-needed relief from the intolerable heat by creating a pleasant environment for comfort and better productivity. Given that there is a difference between cooling your home and cooling your business, it is important to break down the dissimilarities to know when to choose one cooling solution over another.

What is Commercial Air Conditioning?

Commercial air conditioning can be explained as any type of cooling system installed in a workplace or commercial setting. Designs of commercial air conditioners are more sophisticated and complex, making them function more efficiently in varying environments.

The usage of these systems varies too. For example, office space is going to need a different air conditioning system than a restaurant. Moreover, these cooling systems require special consideration when it comes to installation, maintenance, and repairs.

What is Residential Air Conditioning?

Residential air conditioning systems have become a necessity in Australia. Melbournians have become very reliant on these cooling systems during the height of summer. You can find different air conditioner types, and the layout of the preferred AC depends on factors such as the total area of the home, number of occupants, usage, and unique dimensions of the home.

Commercial Air Conditioning vs. Residential Air Conditioning

Let’s cover the 10 main differences between commercial and residential AC systems:

  1. Size

Size is the most obvious difference between these two air con systems. Unsurprisingly, commercial air con systems are much larger compared to residential air con systems. While a residential system is often a central air conditioning unit used to cool an entire house, a commercial system has to cool an entire floor or building (like a supermarket), which is much larger in area than a house. That’s why commercial AC units have bigger evaporators, compressors, fans, and blowers. And they also have different thermostats than residential AC units.

Read More: What Size Ducted Air Conditioner You Need.

  1. Different Unit Types

You can find a lot more variety in commercial HVAC systems than residential HVAC systems. Split System, Multi-Head Split System, Evaporative cooling, and Ducted Refrigerated Air Conditioning are the most common residential systems. On the other hand, there’s a wide range of commercial air conditioning systems such as Ducted Systems, Evaporative Coolers, Building Management System (BMS), Variable Speed Drives (VSD), Variable Refrigerant Volume (VRV) Systems, Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) systems, Water and Air Chillers, and Multi-Split Systems.

  1. Unit Placement

Residential AC units are usually located in the backyard or fixed to an exterior wall. Generally, these units are placed in areas that are easily accessible. On the other hand, commercial AC systems are usually placed on the building’s roof for better access and noise control. These units are also located in garage/basement or plant rooms to reduce easy access in order to prevent intentional or unintentional interference with the system.

  1. Usage

While commercial systems run for about 8-10 hours a day (40-50 hours per week), we spend most of the remaining hours at home. However, Australians use their residential air conditioners for about 6.3 hours per day on average.  Therefore, the usage of commercial AC units is much more compared to residential AC units.

Read More: How Much It Costs To Run An Air Conditioner?

  1. Complexity

A workplace air conditioning system is expected to meet the cooling needs of an entire building or floor, and that explains why commercial systems are more adaptable and complex. While a domestic air conditioner performs adequately to meet the static cooling requirements of a family, a commercial system functions according to the building’s layout, purpose, and size.

  1. Design

In comparison with domestic air con systems, commercial systems are more modular in nature. It is because different components of these systems can be configured to meet the cooling requirements of a building. It means there is no need to run these units at full capacity even when it is unnecessary. Some commercial units offer variable fan speed, and then there are multi-stage commercial systems designed to increase cooling capacity when needed. Moreover, zoning systems allow you to control cooling in different parts of the building.

  1. Customisation

Given that commercial AC design is modular in nature, it enables you to customise it as needed. For example, building AC units have components that you can add or remove according to the cooling requirements. Take an example of BMS systems that are customised and commonly used in industrial facilities and office blocks.

  1. Environmental Impact

Be it residential air con systems or commercial air conditioning systems, there will be an environmental impact because of the energy consumption – coal generates 75% of Australia’s electricity. However, the residential use of single-stage fixed systems consumes more energy than multi-stage systems used in commercial settings.

  1. Life Span

Commercial air conditioning generally lasts longer because these systems are bigger and more durable. A commercial HVAC system can serve you anywhere from 15 to 25 years. However, the life span of air con depends a lot on its application, usage, and maintenance.

  1. Warranty

Commercial air con units tend to have a shorter manufacturer warranty than residential air con units. Most residential air con units have a standard manufacturer warranty of 5 years, while commercial ones come with a 1-5 years warranty, depending on its application.

The Bottom Line

Commercial and residential air conditioning systems have numerous differences between them, so which do you think is better? Well, both systems accomplish the same goal of providing a comfortable and healthy environment. However, you can expect significantly higher bills and breakdowns when there is an improperly installed, maintained, or repaired commercial air conditioning system.

Have more questions about commercial and residential air con systems? please don’t hesitate to contact ComfyHome.

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