Different Types of Commercial HVAC Equipment

In Kissimee, Florida, you have a variety of residence styles to choose from: ranch, contemporary, Spanish, and so on. When it comes to the HVAC needs of commercial properties, the diversity is greater than residential installations.

The biggest difference between commercial and residential HVAC systems is their size and power. Residential units are normally smaller with less power. However, commercial properties range from small shops like coffee shops to large office buildings, warehouses, and public spaces. To meet these diverse applications, HVAC systems have different heating and cooling setups, layouts, and capacities. In this article, we will consider the main types of commercial HVAC equipment options available.

Types of HVAC Systems

The various solutions that you may see in a large-scale commercial HVAC system include:

  • Rooftop units: Located on the roof, these units use ducts to circulate the air into the area. Residential units are typically located on the side of the house or in the backyard.
  • Heaters: The two types of heaters are radiant heaters for direct heat, or hot air furnaces that heat air by burning fuel.
  • Heat pumps: Heat is extracted from water or air for heating. With a water source heat pump, water runs through a pipe to supply the heat pump.
  • Chillers: Cool water is generated and distributed to air cooling coils via a pipe.

Single Split System

Single split systems are the most affordable type of HVAC system and are suitable for small commercial building use. They heat and cool individual rooms — making them ideal for shops, server rooms, cafés, and small offices.

You can also use them in combinations to serve larger areas or multiple rooms. The only negative is that there needs to be enough external space to install a corresponding outdoor unit for each indoor unit.

The advantages of this system include:

  • It is less expensive than installing a central system.
  • Each system is self-contained, so if one unit breaks down, it won’t affect the others.
  • As your business expands, you can add cooling capacity in a one-to-one ratio.

Even though this is a less expensive system, it is very versatile, effective, and energy-efficient.

Multi-Split System Air Conditioning

Multi-split systems work the same way as single-split systems, but you can connect additional indoor units to the one outdoor unit. This system is often used in restaurants, shops, and offices. The fewer outdoor units you need, the less space they will take up and the more aesthetically pleasing they are to the eyes.


Variable refrigerant flow (VRF) and variable refrigerant volume (VRV) refer to the same type of commercial HVAC system. The two terms are used interchangeably. This is a great HVAC solution for medium to large applications such as hotels, larger offices, or retail spaces.

VRF and VRV systems use heat pumps and heat recovery. Heat pump systems provide heating or cooling to a building at any time, which is ideal for open plan spaces. Heat recovery systems are able to provide simultaneous heating and cooling to a number of areas at the same, making it a suitable solution for a building with different rooms. Efficient commercial HVAC systems recover waste heat from around the building and use it to heat water and other rooms. The heat recovery system is flexible as you can cool one room while heating another.

HVAC and Warehouses

Combining HVAC systems with other ventilation options is a good idea in a warehouse. Big ceiling fans set on high volume/low speed can help to cut the temperature in your warehouse substantially. The combination of an industrial portable box fan with a refined misting system provides cool comfort economically.

While educating yourself regarding the available equipment is good, ultimately, you should speak to a trusted HVAC company to decide on a commercial HVAC system that suits your needs. Call Frank’s Air Conditioning at (407) 490-2070 to help you weigh the options and choose the best HVAC commercial equipment for your needs.

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