If you’re a small-business or commercial-real estate owner, and you’re thinking about replacing your commercial heating system, then you will want to do it now before the winter weather hits in full force.
How Do Commercial Heating Systems Differ From Residential?
A commercial heating system is similar to a residential heating system in that both essentially perform the same job, which is to distribute heat throughout a building. But the similarities end there. Commercial heating systems differ from residential systems in four important ways:
- Size: Most obviously, a commercial heating system must heat a larger space, so it’s much larger than a residential heating system.
- Energy needs: A bigger system requires an adequate source of power. Make sure your commercial space has the ability to power up a large commercial heating system.
- Complexity: A residential heating system usually just has to heat a single-family home. A commercial heating system has to accommodate buildings that may be segmented into offices, floors, or departments that each have different heating needs. As such, the commercial unit has more moving parts and more sophisticated controls.
- Location: A residential heating system can be placed in the corner of a home’s basement or outside next to the house. A commercial heating system, on the other hand, can be noisy, so it’s typically placed on the roof of a building so as not to disturb those who are in the building. The roof also offers easy access for maintenance and repair crews.
What Are The Different Types Of Commercial Heating Systems?
There are several different types of commercial heating systems, each with their own pros and cons. Here’s a brief overview of each kind of system so you can start to consider which one will be right for your needs.
Oil Or Gas Steam Heat
These systems use oil or natural gas as fuel to boil water and create steam. The steam is then condensed and distributed throughout the building through a network of pipes. This is the oldest heating technology on this list. Some people swear by it, but it’s terribly inefficient and it takes a while for the system to start producing heat because the water needs to boil before anything can happen.
Oil Or Gas Water Heat
Here’s another system that relies on oil or gas for energy. Similar to steam heat, the water is heated in a boiler, but it doesn’t turn to steam. Rather, the heated water gets distributed to radiators located throughout the building. This is a relatively inefficient way to heat a large building and it could be hours before a building is thoroughly heated after a cold night.
Natural Energy Heat
Commercial heating systems that use sustainable or “eco-friendly” energy sources, such as solar energy and geothermal energy, are a relatively new option in the United States. Unlike systems that use oil or gas, these HVAC systems don’t produce greenhouse gasses. They can also help you save on your energy costs over time. However, the up-front installation costs are high. You’ll want to be sure that the savings you’ll see in utility bills will offset the costs to install the unit. Oftentimes, only larger businesses find a natural heat system to be a cost-effective option.
Air Heat Pumps
Heat pumps are like refrigerators in reverse. They pull in cold air and use a refrigerant to create hot air that then gets distributed throughout the building. These pumps do not rely on fossil fuels, so they are great for the environment. And they drastically reduce energy costs. However, sometimes it gets so cold that these systems cannot create heat, and you’ll have to rely on a backup system for a source of heat. If you live in an area that has excessively cold winters, then this probably isn’t the best option for you.
Ground Or Water-Source Heat Pumps
These systems take advantage of the consistent temperatures of the earth and below-ground water sources, transferring heat from those sources into your commercial space. They are even more efficient than air-source heat pumps for even more savings on your energy bill. Plus, these systems have the added advantage of heating your building’s water as well. Again, this is a great option for moderately cold areas like the New York City area, but it is not a feasible option for places where it gets excessively cold in the winter, such as Vermont or Minnesota.
Which Commercial Heating System Is Right For You?
If you need someone to help you determine which commercial heating system is the best choice for your property, then contact Cool Works Co., based in New York City. Cool Works is a full-service heating and cooling contractor specializing in the design, installation, and servicing of HVAC systems. Their team of technicians has been servicing the New York City area for 25 years, so they know all of the city’s codes, regulations, and requirements for HVAC installation and upkeep better than anyone. Contact Cool Works today to discuss your commercial heating system needs.