When considering the HVAC system for a high-rise condominium, there are huge differences between that and a residential system. The expertise gained from residential heating and air conditioning work doesn’t translate well to commercial HVAC systems. In this blog post, we’re going to explore some of the differences between residential heating and air conditioning systems and commercial HVAC systems.

Centralized Systems

For structures with 5-7+ floors, centralized HVAC systems are a popular choice. These units provide heating and cooling from one centralized mechanical area. They are typically very complex to install, operate and maintain because they have to provide heating and cooling to each separate zone or office. One big drawback to these systems is that individual power consumption cannot be accurately measured.

  • A popular centralized system is a four-pipe vertical stacked fan coil system. In this system, hot and cold water are run to each unit through 2 pairs of pipes: one pair for hot and the other pair for cold water. With this system, residents experience the most comfort because they can switch from heating to cooling easily and quickly. This is especially convenient for transitional seasons.
  • A water source heat pump is probably the most popular system for a high-rise building because it provides flexibility and features a lower initial investment than a four-pipe system. This system uses only two pipes to circulate condenser water to heat pumps in each unit. For cooling, each unit has its own compressor and a remote cooling tower is used for heat exhaustion.

Decentralized System

This is the commercial equivalent of a window unit or a ductless mini split system in that each unit in the complex has their own heating and cooling system. These are normally installed in smaller buildings with 6 or less floors. One great advantage of these systems is that exact power usage can be obtained from the unit and billed to the resident. However, because each resident or office has their own unit, calls for service can be frequent. Additionally, these systems can potentially have a shorter life span.

You want a company that has the expertise to work with complex commercial HVAC equipment. At Advantage Airtech Heating & Air Conditioning, we have years of experience installing, repairing and maintaining commercial HVAC systems in Toronto. We would love to talk with you about your project and how we can help.

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