Commercial air conditioning systems are designed to heat and cool spaces much larger than the ordinary residential spaces. They are used in coffee shops, office buildings, restaurants, retail shops, and so on. These systems come in different types, varied applications and costs. Of course, you’ll need to consult a hvac services professional before settling on one type over the other. But information about the various types of air conditioning systems in the market will give you a general idea on what you need.
The main types of commercial air conditioning systems are:
- VRF or VRV air conditioning system
- Single split air conditioning system
- Multi-split air conditioning system
Although different in their features and functionality, these systems do more or less the same thing — heating and air conditioning. Each comes with a varied application that makes it more suitable for specific needs.
VRF Air Conditioning Systems
A VRF system features several smaller air handlers instead of one large and noisy unit that pumps out air to the whole space. An advantage with these small air handlers is that one can control each one of them individually. Of the other two types, VRF systems are the most recent air conditioning systems. Their energy efficiency and ease in customizing heating and cooling in multiple zones makes VRF systems popular in high air conditioning demand areas. Businesses that have multiple workspaces such as supermarkets, hotels, large offices prefer using this type of HVAC. In addition, VRF systems feature a heat recovery system making it possible to recycle ‘waste heat’ from one room then use it to heat another. The other thing people love about these systems is that they only require one outdoor unit for several indoor units. This means that the outward appearance of a building will be neater when using VRFs. One would think that because of the many benefits VRFs offer, installation is complicated. On the contrary, VRF air conditioners are very easy to install. But like all good things, VRF systems come at a high cost in purchasing.
Single Split Air Conditioning System
This is the most common type of air conditioning system. For each indoor unit, an outdoor unit is required. Since this type is less expensive to acquire and install, it’s a favorite to small commercial spaces such as small shops, cafes or small offices. One advantage of single split air conditioners is that in case one unit fails; the other units remain functional. This type is also more energy efficient. A downside, however, is that single split air conditioning systems require ample outdoor space. Keep in mind, unlike the VRFs, with single slit systems, one outdoor unit is required for as many as all the indoor units.
Multi-split Air Conditioning System
The major difference between the multi-split system and single split one is that with multi-split air conditioning systems, one outdoor unit can be connected to up to nine indoor units. It has sensors that detect temperature variation and make appropriate settings. This type also supports a range of indoor units; air curtain, wall-mounted AC unit, and ceiling-mounted AC unit. Again, this type will not require a large outdoor space for several units since only one or a few are required. But, as the name suggests, multi-split systems require a complex installation and fitting, making them time-consuming and costly.
You now have a better understanding of the different types of commercial air conditioning systems. But even with this knowledge, you still need a HVAC contractor to assess the air conditioning needs of your business space to determine the best fit.