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10 Differences Between Commercial Air Conditioning and Residential Air Conditioning

Residential and Commercial heating & cooling settings require different air conditioning setups, which is the reason why their air conditioning systems are different from each other in many ways. Here, we will be discussing how these systems compare and how different are these systems from each other.

1. Size

Residential air conditioning systems are smaller in size compared to commercial systems. Now, this is rather obvious because commercial air conditioners have to cool larger spaces compared to residential air conditioners that just have to cool a house or just a room if it’s a split air conditioner.

Also, components like thermostats, condenser fan, compressor, evaporator, blower and, damper are different in commercial air conditioners. Plus, the components are also larger compared to a residential split or ducted system.

2. Complexity of Design

Commercial air condition designs tend to be more complex and modular compared to residential systems. Commercial air conditioning systems contain many components that get configured together depending upon the building, its area and levels. This makes the commercial air conditioning systems customizable and modular.

Residential air conditioning systems aren’t that complex, and even though residential air conditioners have more features than commercial air conditioners, the design is rather basic. Most residential air conditioners normally have a single-stage system, that is capable of only heating and cooling. This is system is not as efficient and effective as a multi-stage system, which is normally found in commercial air conditioning systems.

3. Wi-Fi

Many residential air condition systems come with Wi-Fi and other IoT related features available these days in Australia that allows the users to make their experience as automated as possible.

However, commercial air conditioning systems are rather limited in terms of usability, because if the temperature is easily controllable, then there will be a temperature setting war in the workplace as every person has his/her temperature preference. Therefore, commercial air conditioning systems tend to keep an even temperature throughout the workplace.

4. Phase

Residential air conditioners in Australia normally use single-phase power supplies, which are the most commonly used power supplies in houses. However, commercial and industrial air conditioning systems require 3-phase power supplies that require three wires, compared to a single-phase system that only requires one wire. Even though 3-phase power helps in better regulation of voltage and it is more efficient and effective than a single-phase system while using fewer conductor materials than a single-phase system.

5. Noise

Air conditioners can get noisy and this is one of the biggest problems with a residential air conditioning system. This is the reason why these air conditioners have a sleep mode/quiet mode which helps reduce the running noise to help you sleep without getting disturbed by the noise.

Noise is not a big issue with commercial air conditioning systems, even though they are a lot louder than residential air conditioners. The reason why a commercial system doesn’t create a lot of noise indoors as their main units are located outdoors, on the roof, parking lot or a dedicated room.

6. Filters

Filters in air conditioners protect you from dust and other air contaminants. Filters ensure the longevity of your system and keep the ventilation clean and safe. Different filters are used in commercial air conditioners, including pleated, pocket/bag, v-bank, separator, carbon and HEPA filters.

In residential air conditioning systems, basic ducted panel filters and a split system air conditioner filter (depending on the manufacturer) gets used. Some systems also have filters in their exhaust. The functionalities of these filters range from protecting the indoor environment from outdoor air contaminants to improving air quality.

7. Heat Load

When you go to buy an air conditioner for your residence, you buy an air conditioner depending upon the size of your room or the design of your apartment or house.

However, buying an air conditioner for a commercial setting has more deciding factors involved and one of them is the heat load. Heat load depends on the number of people in a commercial setting, size, positioning, shadings, window covers, heat generated by the lights and other heat generation factors. You can use the heat load equation to find out what capacity of an air conditioning system is required by your workplace.

8. Power Consumption

Commercial air conditioners consume more power compared to a residential system as a commercial system has to air condition a larger area with many workers. These systems have higher workloads; hence, they consume more power.

On average, commercial air conditioners account for around 30% of commercial energy use of a building, and surprisingly, a residential air conditioning system accounts for 40% of a house’s total energy consumption. However, it’s rather obvious that a commercial air conditioner is more power-hungry.

9. Usage

In commercial workplaces, working hours normally last for 8-10 hours from Monday-Friday, and commercial air conditioning systems works continuously throughout this period. On average, these systems run in the workplace for around 40-50 hours per week.

Speaking of domestic consumption, an average Australian who stays at his house for 12-16 hours uses his residential air conditioning system for around 6 hours every day, which makes it around 42 hours per week. So, looking at these numbers, residential systems work for a similar number of hours. However, power consumption and general usage are much higher in a commercial air conditioning system.

10. Cost

Even though the price of both commercial and residential air conditioning systems varies depending on their respective refrigeration capacities, power efficiency and other features. However, maintenance costs are much higher for commercial air conditioning systems and take up a big portion of the building’s operational expenses. However, an efficient system design can significantly reduce operational costs. Also, control systems and zoning can result in lower electricity bills.

In a residential system, the operational cost is not even close to that of a commercial system. If it’s a ducted system, you’ll have to get your ductwork checked every 4-5 months, and if it’s a split system, regular servicing can increase the life of your air conditioner. Speaking of operational costs, there are many types of residential air conditioners like inverter air conditioners and reverse cycle air conditioners that are very energy efficient and can lead to lower electricity bills if used responsibly.

Overall, both types of air conditioning systems are made for their respective environments, and if you want to get a nice air conditioning system installed at your house, or your workplace, you can contact ComfyHome Melbourne, as we are a trusted name in this business for the last 40 years.

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