chillers commercial hvac system

An Overview of Commercial HVAC System Operation

A commercial building’s HVAC system is an essential component of its operation. Commercial HVAC systems are critical to the well-being of people in restaurants, hospitals, schools, hotels, office buildings, and other commercial facilities, regardless of the season.

HVAC Systems: A Quick Overview

HVAC is an acronym for “Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning.” A building’s temperature, humidity, and air quality may all be controlled using HVAC systems.

For this overview, HVAC systems are broken down into heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. A short description of the purpose of these systems is as follows:

  • Heating systems preserve an even temperature in building areas where people work or live, ensuring comfort.
  • The ventilation system ensures that air is exchanged in a building to keep it free of contaminants. Air conditioning cools a building in the summer when the temperature and humidity in space become too warm for comfort.
  • Air conditioning systems do not require a building to be airtight to be effective. You may still cool a building with few openings for air flow effectively with an air conditioning system.

In a commercial building, radiators or supply air systems heat the air in an HVAC system. The ventilation process involves eliminating polluted air from the building while preserving pure air.  It also moves the air inside and gets rid of any extra humidity. Ventilation is often accomplished with the use of mechanical devices such as fans. Finally, cooling systems keep the business building comfortable and maintain the proper moisture.

A Commercial HVAC System’s Operation

Buildings with commercial HVAC systems have linked systems that supply heating, ventilation, and cooling to particular floors or other regions of the building. Most commercial HVAC systems have heat pumps, which pull heat from the air or water and use it to heat the building.

Pipes transporting water around the structure are a component of water-source heat pumps. Rooftop units are often used to heat and cool the roof or ground. They work to get the air that has been cooled or heated into the building. Chillers make cool water sent through pipes to coils that cool the air.

Two options for heating commercial HVAC systems are radiant heaters that use infrared radiation and fuel-burning furnaces.

Commercial HVAC Systems: Types and Functions

HVAC systems often found in commercial buildings in the US fall into one of the following categories:

  • Packaged

The condenser, heat pump, Rooftop evaporator, and fan coil are all commonly included in a single packaged HVAC system. Commercial buildings with little additional room for the system’s components are the most probable candidates for their usage.

The system’s standard thermostat includes temperature sensors, air purifiers, and ventilation systems.

  • Individual

The term “decentralized systems” refers to HVAC systems that operate independently of one other. The heating, cooling, and ventilation functions are provided through a network of individual units located throughout the structure.

Even though they’re simple to use, they’re not the best option for significantly large commercial buildings. Individual HVAC systems include rooftop units, AC units for offices or rooms, and air-to-air heaters.

  • Centralized

A centralized HVAC system is a single device that serves the whole commercial building’s heating and cooling demands. A large amount of ductwork is required for air distribution in these systems, which often employ water as a cooling medium.

Additionally, central systems are simpler to maintain since they have a greater capacity for load management. The downside is that they’re much more challenging to run and maintain.

Commercial buildings have distinct issues concerning heating, cooling, and ventilation. You must engage with a business HVAC contractor that knows what they’re doing.


Commercial HVAC systems require expert maintenance or repair services regularly. Since commercial buildings with HVAC systems are responsible for the comfort of their occupants, you must address any problems with the system quickly. A persistent problem may lead to more significant issues, trouble with employee retention, and potential health risks.

At Bay Area Mechanical, we have a team of experts that can handle various HVAC issues, and we’re always ready to help. We also provide HVAC maintenance programs that might help you avoid many problems and save money. Contact us if you have questions about your refrigeration system or commercial HVAC in the Bay Area.

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