Commercial Air Conditioning: Ultimate Guide

Commercial air conditioning is designed to provide cooling, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) to a wide range of commercial buildings including malls, hypermarkets, shops, hotels, restaurants, warehouses, storage facilities, and distribution centers. This ultimate guide helps business owners choose the best commercial air conditioning that controls temperature and humidity throughout the year while improving indoor air quality in an enclosed space and creating a comfortable environment for customers and employees. Also, our guide answers the most common questions about commercial AC benefits, types, factors to consider when buying commercial air conditioning units, and more.

Commercial Air Conditioning


What is Commercial Air Conditioning?

What is Commercial Air Conditioning

Commercial air conditioning is a cooling and ventilation system designed to maintain a consistent temperature and ensure optimal comfort within a given environment, AC units are manufactured using the most sophisticated heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) features, and come equipped with air conditioner units, air ducts, ventilation systems, thermostats and controls, air filtration and purification systems, these components distribute the conditioned air and optimize the airflow in a given space, besides this, business owners can select the most suitable commercial air conditioning from a large selection of ACs that ranges from commercial portable air conditioning to massive air conditioning systems, and varies in cooling performance, indoor air quality, energy-efficiency rating and cost. Also, commercial air conditioning solutions can meet the cooling needs of different environments including large commercial premises, offices, retail outlets, hotels, and hospitals. Additionally, commercial air conditioning is easy to install, maintain, repair, and clean as intended.

Commercial air conditioning is referred to as commercial HVAC system, commercial heating, ventilation, air conditioning and cooling (HVAC), air conditioners, AC, A/C, and air-con.


The Purpose of Air Conditioning in a Commercial Space

Climate change and rising temperatures across the globe and the rapid rise in commercial buildings made commercial air conditioning increasingly popular for a wide range of commercial buildings including small, medium, and large commercial settings, office buildings, multi-use properties, special-purpose buildings, multi-dwelling units, hotels, lodging, restaurants, cafés, bakeries, leisure centers, cinemas, shopping centers, malls, convenience stores, shops, showrooms, manufacturing facility, warehouses, distribution and logistics centers, butchers, pharmaceutical facilities, hospitals and airports. Commercial air conditioning units are designed to keep the indoor air cool in the summer and warm in the winter while ensuring acceptable indoor air quality (IAQ), thanks to the air conditioning system and advanced control options that maintain the desired air cooling performance within an interior space. Commercial air conditioning is available in various types that can be installed on walls, floors and roofs, and comes in different cooling capacities that meet the requirements of large-scale commercial premises and multi-story buildings, while it creates a positive customer experience and comfortable work environment for the employee.


Benefits of Commercial Air Conditioning

Benefits of Commercial Air Conditioning

Environmental variables such as temperature and humidity have an impact on air quality and thermal comfort, commercial air conditioning is mainly designed to meet different climates’ requirements and provide proper cooling in hot climates for employees and customers alike, also, these innovative air solutions are equipped with cutting-edge AC technologies and offer numerous benefits:



High temperatures often cause occupants discomfort and lead to distractions, commercial air conditioning is imperative in cooling your commercial facility, especially during summer months, commercial air conditioning ranges in cooling capacity from kW 10-100+kW and 200kW, they come in various unit sizes which makes them suitable for small commercial spaces, single-story commercial buildings, multi-story commercial buildings and towering skyscrapers, besides this, commercial HVAC systems are energy efficient and can maintain a comfortable indoor temperature, while it utilizes less energy and save money on energy bills. Also, it is recommended to keep your commercial air conditioning at 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

Humidity Control

Humidity Control

Humidity inside commercial buildings has become a major concern during extreme summers, using a professional HVAC system is essential to maintain comfortable and productive work conditions, especially in manufacturing plants, commercial properties or retail environments where humidity can negatively impact people’s health by increasing the risk of colds and coughs spread, and can also affect the functioning of machines, cause rust of equipment and spoil materials or products, commercial air conditioning provides proper cooling during humid summer spells which reduce the amount of air humidity, water vapour, moisture absorption, mould, mildew and airborne contaminants, this ensures an optimal humidity level within commercial facilities, and therefore, improve customer experience and increase clients satisfaction.

Indoor Air Quality

HVAC systems, air circulation, ventilation and dehumidification devices are vital to improving indoor air quality in commercial premises and commercial real estate, commercial air conditioning helps control humidity, airborne contaminants, allergens, mites, germs, bacteria and pollutants, while commercial air conditioning systems protect sensitive products and critical equipment from dust, humidity, spoilage and deterioration, thanks to the commercial AC air filters and advanced air purification systems which trap airborne particles of 0.3 microns, reduce dust particles, purify the air from harmful pathogens and unpleasant smells, this ensures a clean atmosphere and fresh air indoor, hence, commercial air conditioning decrease air pollutants, create a healthier indoor for occupants, promotes wellbeing and improve indoor air quality.

Increase Productivity

Nowadays, having a conducive working environment has a direct connection with employee mood, commercial air conditioning plays a major role in maintaining a positive atmosphere throughout your office or workplace, especially, when the temperature rises above a certain level, heat decreases the productivity of employees, while, a well air-conditioned office makes people feel comfortable and boost morale, which increases productivity. No matter how hot or cold the climate in your work environment, commercial AC units come equipped with a temperature control system that helps people achieve optimum temperature even in environments characterized by extreme temperature and high humidity, this impact directly employees’ health, improves your business bottom line and increase revenue.

Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency

Commercial air conditioning is excellent for energy-conscious businesses, whatever your air cooling requirements, commercial ACs are incredibly energy-efficient and can be adapted to suit your local climate temperature while circulating airflow indoors and exhausting it out of your commercial building, this brings down the temperature and improve air quality, you can choose the most energy-efficient AC system which can meet small commercial premises and large office buildings needs, thus, commercial air conditioning create a more comfortable environment for workforce and customers alike. Besides this, commercial air conditioning increases energy efficiency, reduces utility bills and saves you money over time since it costs less to run, likewise, this air conditioning technology is environmentally friendly and can deliver high-quality air to your commercial indoor space while it reduces carbon footprint in your business or workplace.


Types of Commercial Air Conditioning?

Commercial air conditioning is mainly designed to meet your building’s cooling and heating requirements, whether your commercial building is a multi-story building or a single-story building, you can choose the best commercial air conditioning from a large selection of ACs that varies in size, capacity, design and configuration, several types of commercial air conditioning available in the HVAC market, while these are the most commonly used types:

Single-split air conditioning systems

Multi-split air conditioning systems

Central air conditioning

Ductless mini-split AC systems

Variable refrigerant volume (VRV systems)

Variable refrigerant volume (VRV systems)

Variable refrigerant flow (VRF system)

Chilled water system (CW) or coolers

Commercial Rooftop HVAC Units (RTUs)

HVAC systems for hotels and resorts

PTAC systems (Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner)

Cooling units for large commercial operations

Wall or floor-mounted AC systems

Commercial kitchen cooling solutions

Air handling units (AHU)

Industrial-grade ACs


Factors to Consider Before Buying Commercial Air Conditioning?

Before purchasing a commercial air conditioning, it’s essential to consider factors such as cooling capacity, size of the commercial space, number of occupants, climate zone, type of AC needed, installation requirements, lifespan, cost, and energy-efficiency rating, whether you are looking to buy a new commercial air conditioning or replace your existing one, these are the most important consideration you need make when choosing the commercial air conditioning that will work perfectly for your commercial building for decades:



To choose the appropriate commercial AC size that accommodates your cooling and heating needs, you should be aware of the square footage of your commercial space, number of occupants, ceiling height, building insulation and the number and size of doors and windows which may influence the quality of air cooling if not sealed, generally, a commercial space of 500 sq. ft requires 1,200 BTUs to cool down a commercial space in one hour, while, most of commercial facilities consume between 15,000 and 25,000 kWh of energy a year, energy usage is measured in kilowatt per hours (kWh). Commercial air conditioning can be tailored to meet the size requirements of various buildings including small and medium-sized commercial facilities, large commercial properties, multi-level offices, single-story and multi-story buildings, etc.

Capacity of Cooling

To reach comfortable air cooling, it is essential to calculate the number of BTUs (British thermal units), which measure heat and determine the cooling capacity needed and air distribution required within a given commercial space, room, area or building, also its important to consider factors such as location’s weather and the operating environment which should be analyzed in terms of cooling requirements, thermal insulation, budget, building design, the layout of commercial premises and detailed information, however, cooling a large building and keeping the temperature-controlled in environments characterized by high temperature and humidity, requires air conditioning units with large cooling capacity, also, the larger is the building size, the larger is the AC capacity and the unit size needed.

Unit Types

A reliable commercial air conditioning is designed to ensure an excellent air cooling performance in hot weather, however, there are several factors such as air-conditioning technology, energy efficiency, cost and installation requirements, these factors determine what commercial AC system suits your needs, also, there is a wide range of commercial AC systems ranging from small, medium-sized to large commercial air conditioning, and comes in single-zone mini split air conditioner and multi-zone HVAC system, here are different types of commercial air conditioning you can choose from:

Ducted system

Central air conditioning system

Wall-mounted air conditioners

Ceiling cassette air conditioners

Ceiling cassette air conditioners

Floor-mounted air conditioners

Rooftop unit (RTU)

Portable air conditioners

Variable refrigerant flow (VRF)

Rooftop unit (RTU) air conditioning system

Single, twin/triple split air conditioning

Multi-split air conditioning systems


The purchase price of a commercial air conditioning depends mainly on the type, size and capacity of the selected AC system; also, it’s important to consider installation cost which includes AC parts, accessories, ductwork, electrical wiring, and other requirements. However, an energy-efficient AC model costs more upfront, but it will significantly reduce your utility bills by 30 to 50% and save you money in the long run. Besides this, single split-system units cost less than large rooftop HVAC units and come in different commercial building setups, preferences and budgets.


Why Choose Energy-efficient Commercial Air Conditioning?

Air filtration systems are widely used to create safe air to breathe and ensure fresh air circulation, especially in hot and humid climates, most commercial air conditioning incorporates air filtration systems which can filter 99.97% of microscopic particles ranging in size from 0.01 microns to 0.3 microns, air filters trap particles from the air drawn into the building from the outside or from within the building, this purifies indoor air from various biological air contaminants such as airborne, allergens, mold, mildew, dust mites, impurities, bacteria, viruses, fungal organisms, pollutants, smoke, mists, fumes, odors, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and vapors.

Air filtration systems

The CADR rate (clean air delivery rate) determines the cubic feet per minute (CFM), and indicates the volume of air purification on commercial surfaces, while it measures the amount of contaminant-free air produced per minute, and how much faster the air-filtration system can deliver clean air in commercial facilities. It is recommended to consider air filter compatibility and airflow efficiency before buying commercial ACs or HVAC systems, you can also choose the best air filtration system from a large selection of air filters which includes high-efficiency air filters, high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, and ultra-low penetration air (ULPA) filters.

The air filtration system is also referred to as an air filtration system, air purification system, air purifier or air cleaner.


What Do Commercial Air Conditioning Ratings Mean?

Energy-efficient and cost-saving commercial air conditioners tend to cost more upfront, but they save money in the long run, while, non-rated commercial AC systems are inefficient and can raise energy consumption and augment electricity bills, for that, it is recommended to opt for a commercial AC unit with EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) ratings or SEER rated (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) such as 13 SEER (13 BTUs), 14 SEER (14 BTUs), 16 SEER (16 BTUs), and 18 SEER (18 BTUs).

BTU is a British Thermal Units that measure cooling output.

SEER measures the efficiency of air cooling and heat pump, SEER is calculated by dividing the amount of cooling output by the energy input.

The energy efficiency ratio is calculated by dividing the amount of cooling output by the energy input.

What Do Commercial Air Conditioning Ratings Mean


Why Choose High SEER-Rated Commercial Air Conditioning?

Choosing an energy SEER-rated air conditioner increases cooling performance in commercial buildings, and consumes less energy to cool efficiently different types of commercial facilities, this means that fewer energy bills will be paid in the long run, however, the higher the SEER rating, the higher is the upfront cost, for example, 18 SEER rated AC system can produce 18 watts of cooling output against every 1 watt of energy consumed, you can also find commercial ACs rated as high as 27 SEER, while it is preferable to use high SEER energy-efficient air conditionings that fit your cooling requirements, especially in warmer climates.

Additionally, energy-star certified commercial AC can significantly contribute to reducing carbon footprint, while minimizing greenhouse gas emissions.


How to Size a Commercial Air Conditioning?

How to Size a Commercial Air Conditioning

As a general rule of thumb, the cooling capacity of a commercial air conditioning is sized by tonnage; a 1-ton system has a capacity for 12,000 BTUs, in other words, 1 ton of air cooling, describes the capacity of a commercial AC system to remove and transfer heat from a commercial space in 1 hour, for example, 1 ton is required to cool down a commercial space of 5000 square foot of floor area in one hour. Besides this, the size of commercial air conditioning is determined based on the type and number of AC units needed to cool your commercial facility, however, larger commercial properties need high-capacity central AC units to ensure proper air cooling and require professional installation, while small commercial surfaces require wall AC unit which can be mounted easily using DIY method.

Things to Consider When Installing a New Commercial AC Unit

Commercial air conditioning installation can be complex, so here are the top things to consider before installing new AC units:

To ensure a seamless installation, it is important to inspect your commercial space and carefully assess the pre-installation requirements such as size, layout, cost, and accessibility for maintenance.

If ductwork is not available, it should be planned by a qualified HVAC professional based on load calculations.

The electrical connections of your commercial building should meet the requirements of commercial air conditioning in terms of voltage and amperage.

To ensure effective air cooling, commercial AC installation should provide proper airflow and the need to circulate air throughout your commercial building.


Routine Maintenance of Commercial Air Conditioning

Routine Maintenance of Commercial Air Conditioning

Keeping your commercial air conditioning maintained is essential to ensure smooth circulation of clean air throughout your commercial building because over time pollutants such as dust, dirt, debris, mold, harmful spores, pollen, and dander accumulate and get circulated back into your commercial environment, this create an unhealthy environment and also affect ACs cooling performance which breakdown the AC system, cause a leak, and increase energy consumption. However, using a high-efficiency particulate air filter (HEPA filter) or an exhaust vacuum can capture 99.97% of airborne particles of 0.3 microns (µm), bacteria, and pollen, while regular servicing or routine maintenance of AC components like air handling units, coils, plenums, pans, and ductwork, can prevent this issue, this saves maintenance costs and extends the lifespan of commercial AC system.


Average Lifetime of a Commercial Air Conditioning

Generally, the lifespan of a commercial air conditioning ranges from 15 to 20 years, however, air conditioning units can last anywhere from 5 to 10 years, while central AC systems last on average about 10 to 20 years. Besides, high-priced AC systems tend to be more long-lasting, thanks to the high-tech AC/heating system which guarantees high-speed cooling during peak summer heat. Also, keep in mind that, quality installation and routine maintenance can keep commercial AC ducts and air filters clean, while it enhances the performance and longevity of the AC system.

Average Lifetime of a Commercial Air Conditioning

Warranty of Commercial Air Conditioning

Most AC units and HVAC systems come with limited warranties which include comprehensive maintenance services within a specific period of time, replacements and defective parts for up to 12 years manufacturer’s warranty.



Whatever your air cooling requirements, commercial air conditioning comes with innovative features, and advanced control systems and can be customized to meet specific cooling requirements. Whether you are looking to install an air conditioning (AC) system for commercial facilities or industrial buildings, end-to-end ACs, and HVAC solutions are available to ensure perfect air cooling, functionality in extreme heat, and energy efficiency, no matter how large or small your commercial settings, large-scale climate control systems can be designed to cool large areas, while ACs units can be used for small commercial spaces.

Scroll to Top