Three Different Types of Commercial HVAC Systems

HVAC, or heating, ventilation and air conditioning, is designed to control the environment in a space. It can control the temperature, humidity, ventilation, pressure, and some special conditions like smoke removal. And there are 3 different types of commercial HVAC systems in the market now.

Commercial HVAC systems can be utilized by almost any commercial property types, including office spaces, distribution facilities, schools, conditioned storage facilities, hotels, etc. There are many benefits that go with an HVAC system. But when the HVAC system gets old, the amount of energy it uses will typically double. Thus, it is important to take actions to reduce commercial HVAC waste and replace the old system when necessary

Now, you should have a basic understanding about HVAC systems. Let’s go back to today’s topic–different types of HVAC systems. According to The Cooling Company, the 3 types of commercial HVAC systems are single-split system, multi-split system, and VRF or VRV systems. 

Single-Split Systems

As its name indicates, a single-split system connects one indoor unit to an outdoor unit. It is the most popular types of commercial HVAC systems because it is more affordable and suitable for small commercial facilities. 

It works especially well for buildings that have many small, individual rooms. It allows the occupants of the rooms to control the indoor environment independently. The single-split system of each room also does not affect other rooms. If one breaks down, the others are still working. 

However, one disadvantage of single-split system is that it requires one indoor unit pair with one outdoor unit, which will take up a lot of space. 

commercial HVAC systems
Single-Split Systems

Multi-Split Systems

A multi-split system can connect multiple indoor units to one outdoor unit. Depending on the provider, multi-split systems can connect up to ten units to a single outdoor unit. By using inverter technology, the compressor can run on various speeds, allowing each indoor unit to have its own setting. Thus, a multi-split systems take up less outdoor space and allow better management over the indoor units.

However, it requires more pipework to connect with each indoor unit, so the installation fee will be much higher than a single-split system. 

VRF or VRV Systems

Last but not least, a VRF (variable refrigerant flow) or VRV (variable refrigerant volume)  system is a more sophisticated commercial HVAC system. The VRF system and VRV system are the same, and these two words can be used interchangeably. 

Similar to a multi-split system, a VRF or VRV system also connects multiple indoor units to one outdoor unit. What’s more, the system is able to capture heat absorbed from the air during the cooling process and redirects the heat to other parts of the facility that need the heat. It works especially well for facilities that require customized heating and cooling over multiple zones, such as restaurants, office buildings, and factories. 

Moreover, a VRF or VRV system is more powerful. It can meet larger building’s heating and cooling requirements and the installation is quick and easy. Even though VRF/VRV systems have been around for decades, they have only just gained popularity in the United States in the last 10 years. A VRF or VRV system still represents the latest and greatest technology in heating and cooling comfort. 

However, the costs and installation fee of a VRF or VRV system are much higher than the other two types of systems. However, this concern can be mitigated with the selection of proper financing options and the expectation that VRF or VRV systems will generate increased energy savings over time, allowing for a return on investment.

commercial HVAC systems
Technician checking HVAC systems

Overall, each type of commercial HVAC systems has its advantages and disadvantages. Before selecting which type you want to install for your facility, it is important to determine how you want to use it and what you need to achieve with it. If you wish to learn more about commercial HVAC systems, click here to read more about how they work and the installation process. Or, contact our HVAC experts at EnergyLink. 

Learn more about commercial HVAC systems

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