Residential Air Conditioning vs. Industrial HVAC: What is the difference?

Posted by Stephanie Hefler & filed under HVAC.

There are two broad categories of air conditioning units commonly used in the United States: residential air conditioning units and industrial HVAC units. A typical residential air conditioning system is commonly known as a ‘split system’.

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A split system is used in the home environment and consists of two parts: an external component, known as the condensing unit, and an indoor unit, known as the air handling unit. The condensing unit is typically placed in a metal frame and sits outside of the household on a concrete slab. The condensing unit contains the compressor, coolant lines, and exhaust fan. The air handling unit on the other hand typically is housed somewhere inside of the household and contains the furnace, evaporating coils, and the blower which supplies both cold and warm air to the house. The two components are connected with coolant lines, allowing coolant to flow between the outdoor condenser unit and the indoor air handling unit, cooling special coils within the air handler. The air handler blower pushes filtered air past the coils, which then cool the air down as it comes into the home. Air is then sucked back up into the system from inside the house, filtered, and passed over the coils again. This process is continuously repeated, allowing air to become cooler and cooler until the desired temperature in the house is met. At this time, the unit shuts off.

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Industrial HVAC on the other hand is a ‘packaged’ unit. Many industrial HVAC units have all of the components of a split system in a single unit. That is to say, instead of having an external component and an indoor component as the split system does, the industrial HVAC unit has both of these components in one unit, hence the name “package unit”. The industrial HVAC unit still has all of the same components: the supply, return, filters, coolant lines, compressors, and blower fans; however, because the components are compacted into a single unit, the unit can be moved from location to location. This makes Industrial HVAC units perfect for temporary cooling needs in almost any facility.

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Portable Air is dedicated to meeting your air conditioning needs. For more information, visit www.portableac.com or call 800-341-4297.

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