Pros and Cons of Three Types of Commercial HVAC Systems

Every commercial building has unique HVAC needs, based on its size, how it is constructed and what types of businesses it will house. When considering which HVAC system to install, builders should consider the following questions:

  • Is the system appropriate, considering the outside climate?
  • Does the manufacturer have a solid reputation?
  • Will the HVAC system be able to meet the property and usage requirements?
  • Does the system have any eco-friendly features?
  • Is the system ENERGY STAR certified?
  • How does the HVAC system work?

Based on the answers to these questions, builders may choose one of the following three types of HVAC systems.


This type of system is well-suited for small to medium-sized buildings, such as small offices, shops, restaurants and server rooms.


  • Affordable
  • The temperature of individual rooms is easily controlled
  • Damage to one unit won’t impact the other units


  • Longer installation time
  • Require more space because each indoor unit requires an outdoor unit


This type of HVAC system is best for medium to large-sized spaces. A multi-split HVAC system may only require one outside unit to connect to as many as nine indoor units. In addition, in higher end equipment, the compressor works at varying speeds to meet the temperature requirements of each particular room.


  • Greater versatility and control with ceiling and wall-mounted A/C units
  • Reduced need for outdoor units


  • More extensive pipework requirements
  • An issue with an external unit may affect multiple indoor units

VRF (Variable Refrigerant Flow)Variable Refrigerant Flow is available in two forms: Heat Pump and Heat Recovery. These types of HVAC systems are used in retail buildings, offices and hotels. VRFsystems may also be installed in mixed use spaces. VRF technology is new. Some HVAC installers do not have experience with installing VRF systems. 20/20 is well versed in all current VRF systems. 

Heat Pumps are a great option for open plan spaces and can provide either heat or cold air. Heat Recovery systems, on the other hand, may provide heat and cool air simultaneously.


  • Easy to control
  • Highest flexibility, compared to other systems
  • Eco-friendly options


  • Expensive
  • Extensive installation and maintenance requirements
  • May require a backup condenser

How to Choose a Commercial HVAC System

Builders should turn to a professional heating and plumbing company, such as 20/20 Plumbing & Heating, for HVAC system recommendations and installation. Don’t risk installing the wrong type of system — give us a call!