Commercial vs Residential HVAC Differences You Need to Understand

Commercial vs Residential HVAC Differences

What’s HVAC if not HVAC? During the warmer months of the year, air conditioning is needed at the office and at home. When cold weather sets in, you turn on the heater in your house and place of business.

What possible differences could there be between the two systems?

Quite different, in fact, though you would only realize this if you had prior experience with HVAC systems.

The installation, upkeep, and repair of residential HVAC systems are the bread and butter of some service providers. Many HVAC companies focus exclusively on commercial buildings, but there are others.

Home Service Doctor is one of the best HVAC company in Boston focusing on commercial and residential HVAC systems.

This piece highlights key distinctions between the two types of systems to help you know what to expect from a replacement or repair service and what questions to ask.

Key Features of Residential HVACs

Most of us are familiar with the commonplace residential HVAC unit because practically all of us have one in our own homes. Some of the characteristics that set home HVAC apart from their commercial counterparts are the ones listed above.


Residential HVAC units are typically smaller in size. If you have a central (ducted) system, the evaporator will likely be located within your house, while the compressor will be outside.


The majority of dwellings are located on the same side of the house. In places prone to flooding, it is sometimes necessary to elevate certain parts of the house, such as the roof, onto platforms.

Less Powerful

To flow air through a more compact and straightforward design, HVAC systems for the home have evolved. A typical home’s heating and cooling system may be responsible for heating or cooling anywhere from one to three stories, depending on the size of individual rooms, the number of occupants, and the building’s layout.

Simpler Design

It is common for a central (ducted) household HVAC unit to be upgradable or expandable. Ductless zoned mini-split systems, on the other hand, can be easily extended to cool different stories or rooms.


Easy access is guaranteed at the only site of drainage collection for residential heating and cooling systems, typically a pan.


The wide variety of residential HVAC systems currently available and in use necessitates the expertise of a trained technician for proper installation, upkeep, and repair.

Key Features of Commercial HVACs

These are just a few of the most noticeable modifications between a commercial HVAC system and a home one.


Commercial HVAC systems are often more robust and installed on a greater scale. The evaporator and compressor are typically housed in the same unit rather than in separate indoor and outdoor compartments.


Commercial HVAC units are often housed on the roof of the building for convenience and security and to avoid damage from vehicles and vandalism.

More Powerful

Commercial HVAC systems are built to distribute air more efficiently throughout a bigger and more intricate area, typically one with many levels and many rooms, in order to maintain consistent temperatures and ensure the comfort of a larger number of people.

Modular Design

Most commercial HVAC systems are designed with extension in mind because of the fluid nature of commercial office space, which frequently involves the possibility of altering the interior layout or expanding onto the primary structure.


Due to the larger volume of water generated by commercial HVAC systems, the plumbing required to collect drainage and channel it to a safe disposal area tends to be more intricate.


It’s apples and oranges to compare the HVAC maintenance needs of a home and a business. While both methods accomplish the same end result (comfortable temperatures in enclosed areas), the mechanics behind the two systems couldn’t be more dissimilar. Commercial HVAC companies in Boston have the education and experience to set up, maintain, and fix systems with more moving parts, more locations, and more types of housing.

What to Look for When Selecting a Residential or Commercial HVAC Companies in Boston

You should look for several things in an HVAC contractor regardless of whether you need them for a home or a business, despite the fact that residential and commercial HVAC systems vary in many specifics.

  • Accreditation from and membership in the Better Business Bureau
  • Ties to the neighborhood (Chamber of Commerce, other associations)
  • Service-level promises in writing
  • Third-party, independently-verified consumer reviews
  • Free price quotes
  • Confirmed familiarity with a given brand and type of air conditioner/heater

It’s important to ensure the contractor you hire to maintain and repair your commercial HVAC system has the experience, training, and credentials necessary to deal with the complexity and power of large systems.

Get in Touch

Home Service Doctor, one of the best HVAC companies in Boston, has almost a century of combined HVAC installation, upkeep, and repair experience. This includes residential and commercial HVAC systems offering the best HVAC services in Boston, Massachusetts.

We are skilled in repairing all makes and models of heating and cooling systems. Our specialists have received specialized training to address various HVAC problems. We are among the top service providers in the area thanks to the professionalism displayed by our staff.