What are Commercial HVAC Systems?

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Your business counts on your employees’ productivity – more productive employees mean better quality of work, better service for your customers, and better profits for the organization. You know that the culture of your business matters, but your employees’ workspaces also matter. In the sweltering summer heat or in the deep cold of winter, your workspaces should be temperate and comfortable. 

A reliable, well-constructed HVAC system is at the center of today’s workplace. With advancements in HVAC technology, long gone are the days of needing to bring a sweater to work due to an overactive air conditioner or poorly placed vents. As a business owner, you may be wondering how HVAC works in buildings and commercial settings. Read on to understand more about the systems that keep your buildings at just the right temperature.

What Kinds of HVAC are Available?

There are three major categories of commercial HVAC systems. Within each category, there is an overwhelming number of potential combinations and configurations of systems. Each system can be configured in a variety of ways, contingent on the size of the system and the requirements for the individual building or business and its needs.

Single-Split System:

Single-split systems allow for individualized control of heating and cooling for each room in the building. A popular and budget-friendly option for smaller commercial applications, these systems have an air conditioner, furnace, and evaporator coil for each controllable space. However, each space in this system requires its own outdoor unit, which may be difficult for those with outdoor space restrictions.

Multi-Split System

Multi-split systems are like single-split systems in terms of individualized room control but are more energy efficient. These systems allow building owners to connect up to nine indoor HVAC units to just one outdoor unit and include sensors that can adjust temperature as needed. Useful in large offices and healthcare facilities, multi-split systems are more costly due to the additional ductwork and labor needed for a successful installation.

VRF/VRV System:

Variable refrigerant flow (VRF) and variable refrigerant volume (VRV) systems use heat recovery and heat pump technology. Heat recovery technology can provide heating and cooling at the same time in one space or across multiple rooms, and heat pump systems provide either heating or cooling, ideally to large open areas. VRF/VRV systems are most commonly used in large office buildings and hotels.

Does HVAC Work in My Building?

The basic principles of HVAC technology apply to commercial and industrial settings as much as they do to residential. Like a residential building, the HVAC system moves air either across a series of evaporator coils or through a furnace to provide cold or warm air, changing the ambient temperature. That said, there are a few ways in which HVAC differs for commercial and industrial settings.


Commercial and industrial systems are much larger than residential systems. As a result, there are a lot more moving parts to a non-residential system.


Commercial systems have much larger equipment than residential HVAC. These systems are highly customized to provide efficient temperature control for large buildings such as hotels and hospitals.


With more moving parts, commercial HVAC systems cost a lot more to repair than residential systems due to their overall complexity.

Interested in an HVAC solution?

Experience the Emily Grene difference and get a free quote today at EG Comfort!