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What Type of Commercial HVAC System Do You Need?

Determining what type of commercial HVAC system is right for a particular project can present real challenges for your contracting or building company. From packaged systems to VRF, keeping all building occupants in a comfortable climate is crucial.

Types of Commercial Heating and Cooling Systems

With all the choices on the market, identifying the right HVAC system for each of your clients and your upcoming projects is critical to ensure the highest degree of satisfaction with your work. Here are some of the most popular commercial HVAC options to consider for your next contracting or building project. 


Centralized HVAC systems require extensive ductwork and deliver warm or cool air throughout the coverage area. Often, these systems are located in an equipment room and have an indoor and outdoor component for the air conditioning system. Indoor furnaces provide the heat during colder periods of the year, while heat pumps can provide heating and cooling year-round.


Packaged systems offer self-contained heating and cooling to conserve indoor space. In general, these systems can be placed outside the building to provide heating in Winter and cooling in Summer. Packaged terminal air conditioners (PTAC) are popular packaged options in the hospitality industry or for multi-family homes and are typically mounted indoors. Removing the clutter of outdoor condensers is one of the benefits of using a packaged system.


Single-split systems typically include an air conditioning unit and a furnace. While the compressor unit for the cooling system is located outside, the rest of the HVAC equipment operates indoors in a split system. Single-split HVAC systems are less expensive than traditional central-air systems and offer solid performance for smaller areas within a facility or shop. A major feature of single-split systems is they are ductless, which makes them easier to install, run more quietly, and more energy efficient).


Multi-split systems offer the same benefits as single-split systems. Rather than pairing one indoor unit with an outdoor unit, multi-split HVAC installations connect multiple indoor units to one outside compressor. A key feature of this system is it can cool multiple rooms and independently control the temperature in multiple cooling zones with just one outdoor unit, which can reduce the cost of heating and cooling and optimize comfort for your clients over the life of these systems.


Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) systems produce the most energy-efficient HVAC solutions for most commercial enterprises. VRF (or VRV, which is the copyrighted term) air conditioning systems use variable speed inverter compressors to control the amount of refrigerant that is distributed to multiple indoor units. Multiple air handling systems are connected to just one VRF outdoor unit, and the precise temperature control of multiple cooling zones provides optimal comfort while minimizing energy consumption. These modular HVAC systems are ideally suited to commercial applications, such as office buildings, schools, or hotels.

Commercial HVAC Systems For Various Industries

The right HVAC system for your business will vary depending on the industry as well. Choosing the right system from among these options can have significant benefits in terms of comfort, air quality, and energy savings. Understanding the needs of your client will help you to make the most practical and positive choices for your HVAC installations. 


Restaurants, hotels, and other hospitality enterprises require comfortable surroundings for customers and staff members alike. PTAC units can be a solid choice for smaller hospitality businesses. These systems are located either horizontal, under the window, or vertical, closet mounted, to allow for more immediate room temperature change. For larger hotels, a VRF system can reduce the cost of cooling, while delivering reliable temperature control for an expanded indoor area.

Commercial Office

Large office buildings can also benefit from energy-efficient VRF HVAC solutions. Centralized HVAC is the standard for most older office buildings. However, a portable cooler for temporary spot cooling can provide added heating and cooling in areas that may be underserved by your current system.


Multi-family residences, such as apartment buildings, can benefit from HVAC systems that offer added flexibility for tenants. Multi-split or single-split HVAC options are typically used and allow for greater control of indoor temperatures for tenants who pay their own utility bills. If utilities are included in the cost of the apartment, however, a centralized system can keep costs lower for property owners.


Centralized HVAC is the standard for most schools and universities. Adding a vertical packaged unit or VRF in areas that routinely become too hot or too cold can promote greater indoor comfort for students and teachers. Additionally, these options are relatively quiet for classrooms.


Warehouses offer unique challenges for HVAC installation. Heating and cooling large areas can be difficult, especially during the heat of Summer or the chill of Winter. In many cases, it may be more practical to install packaged rooftop units or a commercial-grade through the wall air conditioning. Warehouses also use a lot of air curtains, large ceiling fans, and spot cooling/heating solutions to keep the optimal temperature for people and products.

How We Can Help

As one of the largest and most trusted Bard HVAC distributors, we can recommend innovative and modular products from this leading commercial HVAC manufacturer. Bard light commercial HVAC system options are designed to provide practical solutions for smaller areas throughout your commercial premises. We also carry a wide range of HVAC options from other manufacturers to ensure that ISC Sales can always provide the right solution for your needs.

ISC Sales

ISC Sales carries more than 30,000 industrial products from top manufacturers, including the best and most practical solutions for your heating and cooling needs. Browse our product list online or call 972-964-2700 to request a quote. We look forward to the opportunity to serve you.

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