Properly functioning HVAC systems on commercial buildings have a major impact on the success of a business. When employees are comfortable and happy, operations run smoother. For customer-facing businesses, the indoor environment is critical to how commerce occurs. Customers stay within ideal environments for longer periods of time and often drive engagement with your business when the weather outside is extremely hot or cold.

The relationship between air conditioning and the success of commercial businesses dates back to theaters in the early 1920s. As building designs transform, the differences between commercial and residential HVAC systems have widened. Learning how commercial HVAC systems operate helps business owners understand the importance of working with highly skilled, experienced and properly equipped commercial HVAC experts like Poston Brothers.

5 Differences Between Commercial HVAC Systems and Residential HVAC Systems


For practical purposes, commercial heating and cooling systems are far more complex than residential systems. A commercial building may include many levels and house multiple businesses. Different levels and areas within a commercial building require unique temperature controls. For instance, manufacturing areas where machines produce heat require special designs. Sensitive components like computer servers and temperature-sensitive merchandise demand highly regulated and stable temperatures. Within office areas, a focus may be placed on the decibels produced by the HVAC system. Commercial HVAC specialists possess a high level of skill and experience to design systems to suit the complexity of businesses.

In comparison, residential HVAC systems are far more simple. There is a far more straightforward planning stage in locating the ideal place to install a furnace and mount a single air conditioning unit. Likewise, the design of ductwork, vents and thermostats is personalized most often to a single environment throughout a home.


The second primary difference between residential and commercial HVAC is the location of equipment. Furnace and air handlers in residential homes are primarily located in basements or ground-floor garages. Air conditioners and heat pumps are typically mounted in backyards and concealed from street view but are easily accessible for maintenance and repair.

Commercial units are most commonly mounted on rooftops or dedicated areas specifically purposed for the demands of commercial HVAC equipment. Commercial ductwork is highly complicated compared to residential heating and cooling systems. The scope of air duct networks must be located to balance performance and efficiency. A slight mounting error in a residential home may cost a few cents in wasted energy each month. When similar errors occur in commercial HVAC systems, energy costs can skyrocket. The commercial HVAC technicians at Poston specialize in commercial HVAC systems, installing, maintaining and repairing equipment in the most challenging projects. No matter the conditions, commercial HVAC professionals remain focused on cost-effective and high-performing systems.


There is a clear difference between the size and scope of commercial HVAC systems and a standalone residential unit. Manufacturing and installation processes for commercial HVAC systems are distinct. Commercial systems require unique maintenance expertise, state-of-the-art tools and far more knowledge than residential models. While commercial HVAC is a highly competitive market, commercial HVAC systems benefit most when professional contractors possess all three qualities.

Maintenance expertise demands time to evaluate and optimize every component within the system. This reduces operating expenses and protects against breakdowns.

State-of-the-art equipment measures, tests and calibrates operating equipment including furnaces, air conditioners, ductwork, fans and thermostats. With the best technology, skilled technicians are able to improve performance, reduce energy use and even improve noise pollution.

Knowledge of commercial HVAC systems helps technicians design the most efficient system and respond properly when equipment needs repair. The complex nature, greater environmental demands and higher requirements of commercial HVAC systems are not for amateurs or inexperienced HVAC technicians. Most commercial HVAC specialists work for years under a senior technician simply to master commercial HVAC maintenance.


One of the reasons it takes so long to train commercial HVAC technicians is to understand the design goals of commercial systems. For instance, consider the drainage system. In a residential high-efficiency furnace, a single drain pan and few feet of PVC are all that is necessary to remove liquid safely out of your home. Commercial HVAC systems include a series of multiple pans and pipes to safely manage liquid. Furthermore, ductwork design manages noise pollution, efficiency and performance. Commercial zoning adds to the difficulty of mastering the trade.

Beyond the exterior designs of a commercial system, technicians must learn the larger and more intricate designs of commercial units. Training with manufacturers, working with experienced peers, and, most importantly, growing within an established commercial HVAC company, technicians help businesses create ideal environments for staff and consumers.

Contact Poston Brothers for Commercial HVAC Services

Serving our community for nearly a century, Poston Brothers has built a reputation for helping businesses design, build and maintain their commercial HVAC systems. Our team of specialists focuses on helping businesses improve existing HVAC systems and quickly responding to requests for repair. As a leader in the community, we are dedicated to empowering our local economy. When you trust us to provide professional commercial heating and cooling services, we are confident you’ll never look elsewhere.