If you’re looking for air conditioning services, you’ll often see the words residential and commercial in contractor descriptions. Those designations are important in selecting an appropriate contractor because even though some HVAC services can be performed across the board, customers will find a definite distinction between what is offered through commercial services and what is performed for residential services. Here are some of the distinctions.
Residential HVAC Services
Residential HVAC concentrates on providing services to single- and multi-family dwellings, including some smaller apartment buildings. For the most part, residential air conditioning units are much smaller in tonnage or size as is the ductwork used to carry heated or cooled air through the building. These units have their own sets of maintenance requirements and protocols that differ from larger units. Although residential applications also involve installation of new equipment, contractors involved in residential HVAC also must understand the how to properly size HVAC units through Manual J load calculations that take a number of factors such as building square footage, outside climate, orientation to the sun, building envelope and other factors that can affect mechanical operation and efficiency.
Commercial HVAC Services
Business or commercial HVAC services encompasses a much wider range of applications. At its simplest, commercial HVAC means providing heating and air conditioning for much larger buildings such as schools, medical facilities, office buildings, shopping centers, factories, warehouses, zoos, aquariums, governmental installations and many other types of buildings. Customers with medium- or large-size buildings, or those with specialized ventilation needs, may need custom HVAC systems built to specification. In those instances, customers may need to select an HVAC contractor that specializes solely in large custom installations and has its own sheet metal fabrication plant with the ability to construct ductwork and other components involved in custom installations.
Commercial HVAC installations also take into consideration humidity, temperature and ventilation needs that differ from those in homes and must be factored into the design. Technicians who specialize in large commercial applications know how to configure these systems properly to obtain optimum results. Commercial HVAC applications may also involve mechanical cooling processes for refrigerating food or to create applications such as ice rinks.
Thus, selecting the proper contractor for one’s needs becomes even more specialized than simply differentiating between residential and commercial. Base selection on the specifuc commercial application.