November 15, 2022

If you’re wondering whether or not you should get a residential or commercial HVAC system, the answer is yes. However, there are distinct differences between the two, meaning you should consider your needs before deciding on one over the other.

In this article, we’ll talk about the cost difference between residential vs. commercial HVAC systems and how much more expensive one might be than another. We’ll also discuss how each type of system works and compare them side-by-side so that you can decide what kind of unit would be best for your home or office.

Are you thinking about replacing your HVAC unit? If so, you might wonder what the cost difference between residential and commercial models is. We’re happy to tell you that it’s not as big of a difference as you might think!

Residential HVAC units are designed to keep a smaller space at an ideal temperature. They often have fewer bells and whistles than commercial units, but they’re also much more affordable. Commercial HVAC units are designed to keep larger spaces, like offices, factories, or warehouses, at an ideal temperature. They often have more features than residential units but are also more expensive.

Here’s what makes up each type of unit:

  • Residential: These units tend to be smaller than commercial ones, making them easier to install in tight spaces like basements and attics. They also tend to operate more quietly than their commercial counterparts because they don’t have as many fans or blowers inside them. This makes them perfect for homes that need air conditioning but don’t want the noise!
  • Commercial: These units tend to be much bigger than residential models because they need more power and, therefore, more money and noise.

The Cost Difference Between Residential and Commercial HVAC

You might have run into AC problems at home, but a business or commercial property is another story. If you need to repair your commercial HVAC, consider using your experiences with your residential unit as a reference point. While both residential and commercial HVAC units operate on the same principles and share many similarities, commercial units have some key differences that make them more than just bigger versions of the AC in your house.

Once you know the differences between the two, you’ll be able to find a qualified professional to get the HVAC for your business up and running again.

The cost difference between residential and commercial HVAC is significant. For example, a commercial HVAC system’s average annual operating cost is over $2,500, while residential systems will cost about $1,000.

The main reason is that commercial systems are built to handle more equipment, which requires more energy and regular maintenance. In addition, residential systems are typically designed to be economical and easy to use. On the other hand, commercial systems tend to be larger and require more specialized care.

Commercial HVAC units are designed to cool buildings far larger than the typical home, which requires a radically different approach than residential HVAC units and higher maintenance costs.


Since commercial HVAC is used to cool more square footage, units tend to be far larger than their residential counterparts. As a result, some of their components are entirely different from residential HVACs. They also have greater variability in size since residential units come in standardized sizes while commercial units are often custom-built for their building. In addition, instead of just one thermostat, commercial units may have many units spread throughout the building.


Residential HVAC units tend to be positioned on ground level outside the home, while commercial units are usually located on the roof. With commercial units, their position on the roof allows technicians to work on them without disturbing the normal operations of a business. The roof also provides security to the HVAC unit, protecting it from vandalism or theft. In addition, given their size, the roof is usually the only place where an HVAC system could be stored economically.

Home Advisor reports that homeowners spend an average of $336 on each HVAC repair, with most spending between $163 to $520.

Of course, the total cost will depend on various factors, including:

  • the specific problem
  • the brand and type of HVAC unit

However, this can vary widely depending on your home’s location, your chosen company, and the time of year. Nevertheless, given the standardization of residential units, it can make sense to look at averages when planning for future expenses.

Commercial heating and cooling systems have much greater variability than residential systems, so it’s more helpful to think of a system for estimating costs rather than an average.

For example, it can be helpful to think of the service contract your HVAC technician is offering and then divide that amount by:

  • the hours they intend to work
  • the number of visits
  • the number of parts they will be servicing

Given the specialized knowledge required to repair commercial systems, the labor cost may be greater than what you would expect for a commercial repair. On the other hand, you can take advantage of tax credits which can defray the maintenance cost.

Residential Air Conditioning Is Easier to Set Up

Residential AC is easier to set up because it is a one-time installation.

Residential requires:

  • less equipment
  • less installation time
  • less maintenance

The most obvious difference between residential and commercial AC is that residential systems are smaller and don’t require as much electricity as commercial ones. They also don’t need as much space or have as many components.

Commercial air conditioning systems are often more complex than residential ones and can have many components. Commercial HVAC systems are built to meet the needs of many customers using them at once. This means they must be able to handle a lot more stress than a residential unit would ever have to deal with. They also need to withstand heavy use without breaking down or requiring frequent repairs.

Residential AC units last longer than commercial HVAC units because they are not used as often and are not subjected to the same stress as commercial HVAC units. Residential air conditioners are only used during pleasant weather or when the house or apartment is being occupied. Commercial HVAC units, on the other hand, have to run all day long, even if no one is in the building at all times of the day.

Common Features of Commercial and Residential Heating and Air Conditioning Units

The common features of residential and commercial HVAC systems are:

  • They both need to be able to heat, cool, or dehumidify the air in the room
  • They both need to be able to control the temperature
  • Their HVAC systems use ductwork to distribute air throughout a building. The ductwork can be used to move air through a home or office building. It used to move air from one part of the building to another
  • They use fans to ensure that air is being moved through the system properly
  • They rely on a central system that distributes hot or cool air throughout the building. The central system is powered by electricity, typically generated from fossil fuels like coal, natural gas, or oil. However, some newer systems use renewable energy sources like solar panels and wind turbines

Differences Between Residential and Commercial HVAC

However, there are also major differences between residential and commercial HVAC systems.

For example:

  • Residential HVAC systems are usually installed in homes or apartment buildings, while commercial HVAC systems are usually installed in office buildings or factories
  • Residential HVAC systems tend to be less powerful than commercial ones because most homes have fewer rooms than businesses.
  • Residential HVAC systems also tend to be more compact than commercial ones because they must fit into small spaces such as attics or basements where there may not be enough room for a large machine

Residential and commercial buildings are different types of structures that serve different purposes.

Residential buildings are for occupants who live in them, and commercial buildings are for businesses that want to sell their products or services to the public. Residential and commercial buildings are different in many ways.

  • Residential buildings are usually smaller than commercial buildings and are usually used for living. They may have one or more stories, but they do not have any shops or offices. Residential buildings can be single-family homes or apartments.
  • Commercial buildings may be used for the same purposes as residential buildings but include stores, offices, and other businesses. Commercial buildings usually have more than one story and may even be several stories tall.

What’s the Difference in Cost Between the Two?

There are several reasons why commercial HVAC is higher.

  • First, the equipment isn’t just bigger, it’s more powerful. Commercial HVAC systems need to handle larger buildings and higher volumes of air, which means they use more energy and burn through parts more quickly.
  • Second, commercial HVAC systems are designed to run on a much larger scale.
  • Third, commercial HVAC equipment is built with durability in mind, which means it’s built to last! As a business owner, this can mean paying more upfront for the initial purchase price, but it also means that your system won’t need a replacement for years or even decades after installation.

Commercial HVAC systems are more expensive than residential systems, but it’s not just because they’re bigger. There are several reasons why commercial HVAC is higher.

  • First, commercial buildings require a higher level of service, meaning they have to be inspected and maintained more often. That can add up in cost over time.
  • Second, residential homes have less stringent requirements when it comes to air quality and temperature. However, commercial buildings need to meet specific standards for both of these things, which means the equipment must be more powerful and durable to deliver that quality consistently.
  • Third, a lot of specialized training is involved in installing commercial HVAC systems, which means you’ll pay more for installation services than you would for residential work.

Getting the Type of HVAC System that is Designed for Your Needs

A commercial HVAC is much more complex than its residential counterpart, so you must seek our qualified professional. You want someone who is experienced with repairing them.

You can reduce costs by regularly maintaining your HVAC system. Most HVAC systems are designed to last anywhere from 15 to 20 years, and with the proper care, you can keep yours running for years.

When it comes to HVAC, you probably think of your home first. After all, it’s where you live and possibly work. However, have you considered how your commercial HVAC system can save you money?

HVAC systems are designed to regulate the temperature in a given space so that it stays comfortable for people who spend time there. Commercial buildings often have more people than residential buildings and need more heating and cooling power. However, this can lead to higher energy bills if the equipment isn’t set up correctly. With The Cooling Company’s help, you can get the most out of your commercial HVAC system without breaking the bank on utility costs!

If you’re looking for a new HVAC system, you might wonder what the difference is between residential and commercial units. Well, there’s a lot to consider!

Residential units tend to be smaller than commercial ones, which means that they can’t heat, cool, and provide humidity control for a much larger commercial space. That’s why they’re usually installed in one room or a much smaller area, like an apartment or a single-story home. Residential units are also designed to be more energy efficient than commercial ones because they don’t need as much power to run effectively.

That said, if you have a larger space that needs commercial heating or cooling and humidity control (like an office building), you should go with a commercial unit instead of a residential one.

If you want to ensure your HVAC installation will work for whatever kind of space you have before buying one, call The Cooling Company at 702.919.5082 today!

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