Elevate Your Career in HVAC – Join Our Team of Experts Today! Read More

Skip navigation


Mike Smith Heating & Air Conditioning, LLC Blog

The Difference Between Commercial HVAC and Residential HVAC


If you need to plan, modify, or update an HVAC system in your commercial building for the first time, you probably have an understanding of HVAC systems that is based on your knowledge of how they work in residential settings. While there are definitely similarities, commercial HVAC systems are not just larger versions of residential systems. To help you understand the importance of having the right system for your building, we’ll go over what these differences are and what impacts they have.


This one seems obvious at first glance, but the size of your HVAC system affects other things, like the amount of electrical power it will need in order to function. In air conditioning, the power of a system is often measured in tons. While a residential system is designed to provide 5-8 tons of cooling power, systems designed for commercial properties often provide 50 tons or more! You need to work with a commercial HVAC specialist who can ensure that your heating and cooling systems are compatible with your electrical system.


To address the fact that they are so much larger, commercial systems need to be more complex. One example of this is drainage. While a home air conditioner can collect condensation from the cooling process in a small pan in a single location, this is just not possible on a larger scale. Commercial systems must have a network of piping that carries that condensation to where it can safely be eliminated, because moisture problems can cause not only water damage but also mold growth.


In a home system, there is an indoor unit in the home and an outdoor unit which is typically right beside the home. For commercial buildings, most HVAC units are installed on the roof. This allows technicians to have easy access without getting in the way of the business conducted in the building, prevents accidental or malicious damage that could happen to units on the ground, and allows for better ventilation and quieter operation. 

Modular Construction

Rooftop commercial HVAC units are made to be part of a system of any size. This means that if you need to add to your commercial HVAC system due to the expansion of the building or a change in how it is used, it’s as simple as adding another unit. Home systems are made to fit the needs of the current building, and needing more HVAC power in a home setting usually means needing to replace the whole system. 

Maintenance and Repair Needs

Everything breaks or wears out eventually, and the things at greatest risk are moving parts. Because a commercial HVAC system is larger and more complex, it has more of those moving parts. This means it’s particularly important to have regular maintenance done, so any minor issues can be corrected before they cause big problems or system breakdowns. It’s best to have a partner in the care of your commercial HVAC system who can be there every step of the way. Our team specializes in all aspects of commercial HVAC in Monroe, LA, from installation to maintenance, repair, and replacement. 

Contact Mike Smith Heating & Air Conditioning, LLC. We provide “Professional grade service.”

Comments are closed.