Types of Commercial HVAC Systems in Commercial buildings

Types of Commercial HVAC Systems in Commercial buildings

You always have to make sure that the HVAC system at your business or in your commercial building is best in its shape, it will help in making sure that all your employees, tenants, and customers are comfortable and also protects your business’s bottom line. In case your HVAC system shows signs of ineffective or improper operation, or it is simply aging and nearing the end of its lifetime, you will have to move even more quickly to cure the entire situation, depending on the types of Commercial HVAC Systems in Commercial buildings.

Possibly all these repairs or extensive maintenance will hold you for a while, but a system replacement could be a better option, whether you like it or not. Alturas HVAC Contractors has served the commercial HVAC needs and we are all ready to help your business make the best decision if you need to invest in a new HVAC system.

The air conditioning needs of commercial properties are very much varied as compared to residential installations, and Alturas Contractors is always there to help you in this regard. Whether your company needs a single-split system, VRF, heat pump, or multi-split package, we have experience in the installation of all types of commercial cooling systems.

Based upon different industries below, type and design of HVAC system may vary.

Types of Commercial Air Conditioning Systems

Any sort of harsh hot weather tends to make heavy demands on any business’s cooling system. Commercial air conditioning that is suitable for your industrial property in any hot area could actually mean that you must plan and install any of these commercial AC units:

Single-Split System

Well, for the most modest end of commercial cooling budgets, a single-split system AC is considered ideal for any sort of cafes, shops, small offices, and related cozy spaces. As all the indoor units definitely have an exterior unit, so as your office expands, you will have to add additional cooling capacity in a one-to-one ratio.

Multi-Split System

On the other hand, multiple indoor units would connect to single and even larger outdoor units. Any larger office spaces, diners, doctors’ offices as well as retail shops might be seen using the multi-split systems. Any of the interior spaces that have many walls or multiple floors are often best operated with the help of multi-split AC.

VRF or VRV System

VRF is the abbreviation of variable refrigerant flow (VRF) or variable refrigerant volume (VRV) this system is actually a heat pump that uses refrigerant in the heating and cooling lines. There is more than one evaporator that connects to a single condensing unit.

VAV or CAV System

Variable air volume (VAV) or constant air volume (CAV) systems actually uses a single-duct supply and return setup that has adjusting airflow (VAV) or constant airflow (CAV) to keep temperatures at set points.

Common Types of commercial HVAC systems

There are three major types of commercial air conditioning systems available on the market.

Split HVAC System

The split HVAC system derived its name from the system it is actually set up as well as its components. The whole system consists of the following parts:

  • An indoor unit, for instance, an air handler
  • An outdoor unit, which is basically the condenser 
  • A programmable and non-programmable thermostat
  • A humidity control or filtration system
  • Ductwork, that moves conditioned air from the system to the entire building

Furthermore, there are two main types of split commercial air conditioners:

  1. Single split
  2. Multi-split

Single-Split System

The single split is basically considered as the affordable commercial air conditioning system which is appropriate for small spaces like cafes, server rooms, shops, and offices. This is a compact system that is easy to install, and this is the reason that it is the first choice for many new buildings as well as renovated commercial spaces.


  • A single split air conditioner is cheaper to install so this is the reason that it is considered an ideal option for all of your small commercial spaces
  • All of these units are self-contained. Consequently, if one unit breaks down for any possible reason, the other unit would still be working at its best.
  • They are very energy-efficient so each and every indoor unit can be used in order to deliver air conditioning only to those rooms which need them the most.
  • It is considered the best solution for a single room which requires an additional HVAC system


  • It would use a lot of space as it has an outdoor unit for every internal unit

What Is a Multi Split Air Conditioner?

Split air conditioner

Well, split air conditioners are considered very powerful as well as cost-effective they are famous for their quiet functionality as compared to window air conditioners, wall air conditioners as well as portable air conditioners. As a matter of fact, they are considered as one of the most popular types of air conditioners. But as we discussed earlier that there are actually two types of split air conditioners and that is the single split air conditioners and multi-split air conditioners.

In case you want to know that what is a multi-split air conditioner and how is it different from a single split air conditioner. Well in this article we will take you through everything you need to know about multi-split air conditioners

As we know that all of these split systems are comparatively quieter, very powerful as well as energy-efficient as compared to window, wall, and portable air conditioners. Many split system air conditioners also come with handy built-in features such as motion sensors, Wi-Fi, and air purifiers or ionizers.

So what else will make a multi-split system air conditioner different from the rest?

Multi-split air conditioner vs single split air conditioning

Well, a split air conditioner would only cool one room at a time whereas a multi-split air conditioner would let you cool more than one room at a time. This is due to its construction, as a split air conditioner has one compressor as well as one air outlet, whereas a multi-split air conditioner has multiple (up to five) air outlets, and they are all connected to one compressor. These interior units can either be wall-mounted floor standing or even ceiling-mounted, and they are connected by refrigerant pipelines and cables to any of the outdoor units.

How does a multi-split air conditioner work?

It is to remember that a multi-split AC has one outdoor compressor that is connected to four or even five indoor air outlets through refrigerant lines instead of a complicated duct system. Other than the refrigerant tubing, the indoor air outlets are usually connected to the outdoor unit that too with the condensate drain lines as well as power cables.

Even though each indoor air outlet can also be individually controlled, they are still connected with the same outdoor heat pump unit in order to absorb or scatter heat. A heat pump basically works by eliminating the heat from the outdoor environment and then transferring it to all indoors.

Is a multi-split air conditioner the right choice?

Yes, a multi-split air conditioning unit can be an ideal choice if you want to air condition more than one room in your commercial building also if you need to independently control the temperature of every room.

A lot of split system air conditioners are available with convenient built-in features such as motion sensors, Wi-Fi, and air purifiers or ionizers, but still, multi-split air cons are no exception.

Multi-split system vs ducted air conditioning

Even though ducted air conditioners circulate the cool or warm air through the ducts, on the other hand, a multi-split system would use multiple indoor units that are attached to a single outdoor unit. They both recommend zoned cooling and heating but they both use different techniques.

Written down below is the comprehensive and informative exploration of the pros and cons of split air conditioning.

Pros of a multi split system air conditioner

There are a lot of great reasons for you to consider a multi split air conditioner in order to keep your commercial buildings cool in summer and warm in winter. Here are some major advantages of using multi split AC:

Flexibility and convenience

Multi split system air conditioners would offer unmatchable flexibility and convenience that would allow you to select the best and most suitable indoor unit for each room of your commercial business. You may install a high capacity air conditioner for your larger and spacious rooms and even smaller, quieter ones as well, they are all powered by the one outside unit. This would allow you to control the temperature and environment in your office is on a room by room basis.

Energy efficiency

Energy saving settings, that are combined with the ability to heat or cool rooms individually, would help to reduce power and running costs. Choosing the right indoor air outlet unit to suit each room also makes sure that you are not wasting any extra power. In fact, any wrong unit in a room can result in the air not being cooled in a proper way and energy wastage. Any unit that is too big for a smaller room would also use more power every time you turn it on compared to a smaller unit running for a longer period of time.

By operating multiple indoor air conditioners from the one external air compressor, multi split system air conditioners are among the most energy-efficient of all air conditioners. You can choose the most energy-efficient indoor air outlet units for maximum savings on your electricity bills.


Multi split air conditioning systems are very calm and quiet.

Independent control

You can enjoy the ability to individually alter the temperatures of each room, you can save a lot of your money and improve the comfort of your work space by heating or cooling all rooms individually. You can have up to five separate indoor air outlets that are all powered by a single outside compressor and they can also be controlled by a wireless remote.

Cons of a multi split system air conditioner

Multi split air conditioner power consumption

A multi split air conditioner would normally use and consume a lot of energy as compared to the single split air conditioner, so it is really very important for you to choose the capacity for each split air conditioner carefully in order to preserve energy efficiency.

Restrictions on placement

Outdoor air compressors have to be placed as close as possible to the indoor air outlet units. Additionally, the indoor air outlet units would require a comparatively large amount of free wall space in order to be installed.


The outdoor units are usually bulky, and it can also be an eyesore, so you will have to install them away from any of the meeting and busy rooms, all these outdoor entertaining areas, and your neighbors as well. It also depends on the size and design of your commercial building, so you may need more than one outside unit.

Interconnection can create problems if the air conditioner fails

If anything goes wrong with the outdoor unit, every indoor air outlet that is connected to it will get affected. Which would mean that if the outdoor compressor dies in the middle of summer, you will not be able to cool your capacity until it gets fixed.

Installing a multi split system air conditioner

Any of the multi split system air conditioners has to be installed professionally. Because of the ozone-depleting refrigerant gas is being used in these multi split system air as well as other air conditioners, they have to be installed by a licensed air conditioning installation professional.

As mentioned your indoor air outlet unit has to be installed as close to the ceiling as it is possible in each and every room. Basically, the cool air is heavier as compared to the warm air, so for maximum cooling efficiency point the louvers on your unit directly out or slightly tilted up. To heat the room, point them downwards.

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