Which Heating System is Best for High Rise Condos? A Toronto Heating Question

high rise condo heating
Heating your high rise building can be more efficient than you know.

If you own or operate a high rise condo in Toronto, one of the most important factors in your business’s success is a reliable, responsive heating and air conditioning system.

You want the tenants in your high rise condo comfortable and happy. It means they’re more likely to stay over the long term, and good tenants are hard to find!

The long and short of it:

  • If your building is 6+ floors, a centralized basement system is your best bet. 
  • If your building is less than 6 floors, individual units might be more financially viable.

At Advantage Airtech, we provide comprehensive HVAC services for commercial buildings and high rise condos.

Not all buildings fall into the 6-floor rule, so it’s best to have us assess your building before making any investments in heating and cooling upgrades.

HVAC Systems for Buildings with 6+ Floors

If your high rise condo has 6 or more floors, you will probably use a centralized HVAC system. This means a single mechanical room in the building to house all large heating and air conditioning components.

These systems tend to be very complex to install, repair and maintain because they have to deliver customizable heating and cooling control to each zone in the building.

Fortunately, we train a handful of technicians specifically on large-scale design and installation for condos and similar buildings. This includes regular certification on the two primary condo heating and cooling systems:

  • Water source heat pump – This is one of the more popular systems for buildings of this size. It is also called a two-pipe system because it uses two high volume pipes circulating condenser water to heat pumps in each of the zones (individual units, hallways and common areas). This systems features a lower up-front cost and a great deal of flexibility.
  • Four-pipe vertical stack – This is a fan coil system using two pairs of water lines; one pair for hot water and the other pair for cold. Residents tend to experience a great deal of comfort with this option because they can switch between heating and cooling very easily and the system responds rapidly, even for units located on the top floor.

HVAC Systems for Buildings with 6 or Less Floors

ductless heating and cooling for toronto condos.
A new building can benefit from ductless heating and cooling.

We often recommend a decentralized system for smaller buildings.

Two options are most suitable in this setting:

Ductless units include an outdoor component, indoor component and small cable connecting the two. These preserve space by mounting out of the way, and they heat and cool very efficiently.

With window-based systems, each rental is outfitted with a heating and cooling window unit. You often see these types of systems in small hotels or motels. One great advantage of this system is that the owner can obtain exact power usage from each of the tenants. But a drawback is that these systems have a shorter lifespan and can result in more calls for repair service.

If you need any kind of help with the HVAC system in your high rise condominium or new low rise in Toronto, call the experts at Advantage Airtech.