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Understanding the Differences Between Residential and Commercial HVAC

Understanding the Differences Between Residential and Commercial HVAC

Understanding the Differences Between Residential and Commercial HVAC

The basic idea behind all HVAC systems is the same.  Cooldown buildings, absorb moisture during the evaporation phase and lower humidity, providing a pleasant environment for those inside the space. However, this doesn’t mean that these 2 systems are the same.Residential and commercial HVAC have different requirements, from energy and space to repair. Click To Tweet

Residential vs. Commercial HVAC

While residential and commercial HVAC systems have similar technology, there are significant differences between the two. This includes the amount of power they require to operate, size, location, complexity, and drainage. These key differences also mean that technicians must receive different training for commercial and residential HVAC repair and maintenance.


  • Residential HVAC systems split, with the blower, evaporator, and condensation drainage unit inside the home and the compressor, condenser and condenser fan unit located just outside the home.
  • Commercial units are housed together (package units) on the facility’s rooftop or in a large cabinet. This allows technicians to work on them without disrupting those inside the building, and it keeps the system safe from vandalism or other damage.


  • Residential units generally only require one condensation pan that drains to the outside, with windows to alleviate exhaust.
  • Commercial HVAC systems are very complex. They heat and cool a much larger area, so require a more elaborate draining system.

The Same Goal

Residential and commercial HVAC systems are not the same, but both function to reach the same goal, which is to provide a comfortable space. Whether it’s for yourself, your family, customers or clients, it’s important to schedule HVAC service calls with a technician capable of fixing your unique system.

Contact Us to learn more about finding a qualified residential or commercial HVAC technician. Interested in becoming a certified HVAC technician? We offer flexible classes, financing options and hands-on experience that’s proven to get you hired after graduation. 

The Essential HVAC Tool List

The Essential HVAC Tool List

So you’ve decided to pursue a career as an HVAC technician. What tools will you need going into a training class? There are several standard tools every technician should have, though you’ll likely have specialized tools suggested or even provided once you advance in your career.

HVAC Tool List For Every Technician

HVAC technicians use a wide variety of tools. From hammers to testing kits, the experienced HVAC technician should know how to use their tools properly. Click To Tweet Tools should be well maintained and cared for. Here are some essential tools you’ll need as an HVAC technician:

Measuring Tape

You’ll need at least one measuring tape to do almost every job as an HVAC tech. This means that your measuring tape will be used several times a day.  It should be durable and easy to use, and it would be wise to carry a backup with you as well.

Hand Tools

HVAC technicians use hand tools extensively. Hammers, screwdrivers, pliers, wire strippers and wrenches will be utilized again and again, making them a crucial investment. Although it can be tempting to opt for the cheapest sets, they will not last. Technicians will also want a cordless drill, though that will not replace hand drills, as they both play an important role in HVAC repair.   

Ductwork Tools

Ductwork installation and repair tools may look similar to hand tools but do very different things. Hand tools would not be efficient in repairing ductwork. Tin snips, crimpers, hand seamers and an awl are a few ductwork tools you’ll need. Without these tools, ductwork will be tedious and inefficient

Testing Kits

Testing kits are absolutely vital for the safety of every technician. Multimeters will be your go-to tool to protect yourself from possible electrocution. The multimeter checks for electrical currents to determine if there is any voltage present.  Working on a unit that is still connected to power can prove fatal.Technicians also frequently use thermometers, to detect changes in temperature that could signal a problem. This is not nearly the same as a thermometer you would use to check for a fever!

Step Ladder

When you’re preparing for a job, don’t overlook the step ladder. Some HVAC technicians rely on the homeowner’s ladder, but that’s both unprofessional and not always available. If you are servicing units you’ll need a step ladder several times a week.

Safety Gear

Beside the tools needed to get the job done, you’ll need a few things to protect yourself. Gloves, protective eyewear and a mask when necessary are all important to have, especially when working around insulation or dangerous materials.

Contact Us to learn more about the tools and experience needed for an HVAC career.