Which HVAC System Is Best for Commercial Building?

commercial heating and plumbing

If you’ve googled “commercial heating and cooling near me,” you might wonder which kind of HVAC system you should install in your building. There are various options, such as a split system, a VRV or VRF system, a CAV system, and a VAV system, and you’ll need to consider your individual situation before determining which one is best.

For small businesses, a split system might be the way to go because it’s much cheaper than some of the larger units, and it’s reasonably energy efficient. However, if you’re trying to keep your large warehouse or factory’s temperature consistent, a CAV or VAV system could make more sense. Let’s have a closer look at the differences between these systems so you can determine which one could suit your business.

Which HVAC System Is Best for Commercial Building?

For commercial buildings, there are four main types of HVAC systems available: the split system, the VRV or VRF system, the CAV system, and the VAV system. While some are more energy-efficient than others, each has its applications, and it’s hard to say which one is best.

Before you decide on a model to install in your space, you should speak to an HVAC professional. They can help you consider various factors such as the size and layout of your space, the temperature and humidity requirements, your budget, and the environmental implications of your choice.

The Split HVAC System

The split system has both an indoor unit, which might be made up of the air handler and the evaporator coil, and an outdoor unit, consisting of the condenser and compressor. A copper tube connects the two elements and moves the air between them. The other components include a programmable or non-programmable thermostat and a filtration or humidity control system.

A split HVAC system can be very efficient, but the installation is quite complex and has to be done right in order for it to function optimally. If you don’t get highly experienced contractors to install your system, it won’t be as efficient or effective. What’s more, there are a lot of moving parts involved, so the system requires regular maintenance to prevent leaks and other issues. There are two kinds of split systems: single-split and multi-split.


As the name suggests, a single-split system consists of only one outdoor and one indoor unit and is therefore most suitable for heating or cooling a single room. Businesses like cafes, small shops, small restaurants, and offices often install this kind of HVAC system because it is affordable and reasonably easy to maintain once it’s been installed.

One of the biggest advantages of a single-split system is that it is energy efficient because it only delivers warm or cold air to the room where it is needed, so businesses won’t have high running costs. What’s more, if you buy multiple systems, they are independent, and if one stops working, the other ones are still functional. This isn’t the case for a multi-split system, where all the units are connected.


If your business doesn’t have a lot of outside space but you have to heat or cool multiple rooms, you should look into getting a multi-split system. This consists of one outdoor unit which is connected to several indoor units. This is usually the preferred option for larger businesses, such as big retail outlets, doctor’s offices, restaurants with multiple rooms, and large office buildings.

Because there is only one unit on the outside of your building, the multi-split system often looks more attractive, and it can preserve the professional appearance of your building. What’s more, no ducts are necessary. Because a multi-split HVAC system is complex to install, you should always ask for professional help. Mistakes during the installation process can reduce efficiency by up to 30%.

The VRV or VRF System

A Variable Refrigerant Flow or Variable Refrigerant Volume system uses a refrigerant to heat and cool the air inside your space. It is suitable for medium-sized or large commercial buildings because only one condenser needs to be installed, and it can be connected to several evaporators. There are two types of systems. The heat recovery system can cool and heat the building at the same time and is therefore great for buildings with several rooms.

The heat pump system can either cool or heat at any one time, but it can’t do both simultaneously. It is more appropriate for large, open spaces. The primary advantage of VRV or VRF systems is that they are easy and quick to install, so they don’t disrupt the occupants of the building. However, they are expensive, and if one of the elements breaks down, it might affect the rest of the system.

The CAV System

The Constant Air Volume system is made up of a compressor, which works at full capacity until the required temperature in the room or building has been achieved. Therefore, it is suitable for medium to large open spaces where the temperature has to be kept constant for a long time. CAV systems are often installed in factories and warehouses.

While a CAV unit is great at maintaining a constant temperature, the energy expenditure can be high, and there is no way to control the humidity. Several more advanced options, such as CAV multizone, CAV with reheat, and the CAV primary-secondary system, have been created in the last few decades, and they have increased the utility of this type of HVAC unit.

The VAV System

Variable Air Volume systems were designed for spaces that have several distinct heating and cooling needs. The fan speed and the compressor can be varied, so different rooms can be heated or cooled in different ways. What’s more, there are superior ways of controlling the humidity, so this system is a better fit if delicate items are stored inside the space.

Unfortunately, VAV systems are expensive to set up, and they require a lot of space because the units have to be placed inside the building. However, they can be a good long-term investment because they are more energy-efficient than CAV systems, and they allow for more precise temperature control. If you’ve googled “efficient commercial heating and cooling near me,” the VAV system could be the best option you’re seeing in your results.

Which System Should I Choose?

As you can see, each of these commercial HVAC systems can be suitable, and it all depends on your company’s individual needs. If you run a cafe, restaurant, or shop and you only need to heat one or two small rooms, a single-split system might be enough. Larger restaurants, shops, and doctor’s offices might benefit from a multi-split system.

Businesses that need to heat or cool very large spaces, for example, factories or warehouses, should consider one of the larger-scale HVAC systems like the VAV or CAV system. Because energy costs are currently rising rapidly, you should aim to choose the most efficient unit you can afford. This will not only save you money, but it will also position you as an environmentally friendly business, which can enhance your reputation.

How Can I Make Sure My HVAC System Stays in Good Condition?

A high-quality commercial HVAC system that has been installed by experts should last you for around 10 to 15 years. However, you’ll have to maintain it on a regular basis to prevent problems. Regular maintenance is the best way of keeping the system in good condition. If you’re not sure how often you should book an appointment, you should ask your HVAC specialists.

In most cases, one annual maintenance session will be enough, but it depends on the system you’ve chosen and how often you use it. For example, a cooling system that is in operation 24/7 might need to be checked twice a year, especially if the goods that are being cooled would be destroyed if the system stopped working for a few days.

Finding Commercial Heating and Cooling Near Me

Now you know more about the heating and cooling systems available to businesses, you might wonder how you can gain access to them. The first step is to contact a reputable HVAC business in your area. At McIntosh, we’ve been helping commercial customers for over 60 years, and we have a stellar reputation.

Working with us is easy and convenient because we can look after your HVAC system once it’s installed. What’s more, we offer various other services, such as plumbing, piping, and energy consulting. Because we employ a wide range of specialists, you can rely on us for all these services, and you won’t have to visit a different business for each one. This makes life easier for you and reduces your overall expenses.

There are four common types of commercial HVAC systems. The best option depends on your company’s size, heating or cooling requirements, and budget. If you’ve searched for “commercial heating and cooling near me,” you should contact local specialists who can help you find the best system for your needs. Call us at McIntosh in Tulsa, OK and ask to speak to an HVAC specialist. We’ll be happy to advise you and install a system in your building.

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