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Difference Between Normal and Industrial Air Conditioner

industrial air conditioner

Air conditioning systems existed in many forms of type and could be generally divided into 2 categories: Domestic Air Conditioning (Residential) and Commercial Air Conditioning (Industrial).

While both residential and commercial HVAC systems serve the identical purpose of heating, ventilating and air-conditioning, they vary in such a way that their mechanisms and parts selection were designed in order to address the needs for comfort in a home in comparison to a workspace in commercial use.

What Is A Normal Air Conditioner?

A normal air conditioner is commonly addressed with residential or domestic type air conditioning.

Physically, normal air conditioners such as home air conditioning systems are energy efficient and commonly operate via a split system which connects a single indoor evaporator unit to an outdoor condensing unit to cool down a single room.

Larger homes would benefit from a multi-split system that offers individual room controls and can connect multiple units to a single outdoor unit to heat or cool multiple rooms.

Both single and multiple split systems have an integrated drain pan to stop water from seeping into your house and collect condensation on the coil. Water can flow out of the angled tray and into a drainpipe that directs the water away from the house through a hole in the slope's bottom.

A residential structure includes:-

(a) Single-family homes

(b) Condominiums

(c) Townhomes

(d) Office Buildings

(e) Hospitals

(f) Restaurants

(g) Retailer Stores

(h) Complexes

What Is An Industrial Air Conditioner?

Industrial air conditioners are made with greater cooling capacities and temperature maintenance over wider regions in mind.

In order to provide a cooling system for a sizable area, these systems often include numerous compressors, condensers, evaporators, ductwork, fans, controllers, and filtration systems.

In most occasions, industrial air conditioning is used to store temperature-sensitive goods, perform specialized industrial operations, and guarantee that equipment operates as intended. It is essential that industrial air conditioning systems continue to function regardless of the external environment.

Precision temperature and humidity control is necessary for industrial air conditioning, and it might be provided by a highly effective filtration system only after impurities have been removed.

Instead of a split system, industrial HVAC units contain all the basic air-conditioning components in one single unit, called “packaged units”.

All of the components—supply, return, filters, coolant, lines, compressors, and blower fans are larger versions of those found in a domestic unit; the only distinction is their extended capacity to regulate several areas at consistent temperatures over extended periods of time.

The Differences Between Residential Air Conditioning Vs. Industrial Air Conditioner

It is vital to understand the application of the air conditioner, whether to normal air conditioner or industrial air conditioner; in order to obtain greatest efficiency and effectiveness. Let’s look into several aspects differ as below:-

1. Size & Capacity

There is a tremendous difference in sizes between a normal air-conditioner in comparison to an industrial air-conditioner. A normal air-conditioner could have delivered 8 to 10 tonnes of cooling capacity, whereas for most industrial cooling systems required more than 50 tonnes capacity and it varies between the industrial applications.

As a result, while both the normal air-conditioner and industrial air-conditioner serve the same purpose of providing heating, ventilation and air-conditioning, the capacity variances simply impact on the amount of power they consume; indirectly affect their functional costs.

The bigger capacity required to serve the needs of different areas, the larger the electricity consumption acquired.

2. Mechanism Complexity

Industrial Air-conditioning units are typically more complex in order to fulfill the higher expectations placed on them by the commercial environment as a whole and workplace HVAC systems in particular.

In comparison, a normal air-conditioner placed at residential is typically operated to heat and cool down a single unit space dwelling with relatively static requirements.

In addition to becoming larger, building air conditioning can be divided into various departments and/or offices with varying needs for heating and cooling.

Multiple thermostats that control different areas simultaneously must be taken into consideration by the air conditioning system. For instance, a business might produce, handle, market, or keep goods that need to be kept at a certain temperature.

Alternatively, a room with adjustable temperature can be needed to accommodate conventions or big gatherings of people while ensuring everyone is comfortable. The added complexity of commercial HVAC systems is driven by these differing needs.

In terms of mechanism, the industrial air-conditioner is in modular type whereas a normal air-conditioner unit is manufactured as a standalone system.

The major reason commercial HVAC designed as modular are due to all parts and components which housed together allows easier maintenance and upgrading purposes.

Meanwhile for a residential HVAC unit, the basic HVAC components are split between indoors and outdoors, its capacity has been determined and is considered tedious to be modified or expanded later on.

3. Equipment Placement / Location

A normal air-conditioner such as residential HVAC unit commonly placed at the backyard or the sides of the house compound; whereas an industrial HVAC system is placed in swamp coolers or on the building’s roof due to several factors as below:-

(a) It establishes a great space saving solution by placing HVAC unit on the roof

(b) It avoids noise pollution in the building

(c) A perfect solution for maintenance as none of the activities will be disrupted during repairs and replacements.

4. Equipment Customisation

The enormous HVAC system installed in commercial facilities is very different from the equipment utilized in smaller residential buildings. Commercial systems are highly complex and designed for efficient heating and cooling.

The HVAC equipment utilized in the two systems (commercial and residential) differs greatly since the humidity and temperature requirements of a residential property do not change significantly.

In order to satisfy a wide range of personal preferences, household air conditioners usually include a greater range of features. The HVAC system for a business must perform as intended, devoid of extra bells and whistles.

There is no need for accessories that are optional and might be used to upsell a home air conditioning system; the system is there to do its job.

Besides that, the control system used in both the normal air-conditioning system and industrial varies in such a way that in commercial or industrial applications, wired AC controller is usually elected, rather than a wireless remote seen in residential air-conditioning systems to prevent controls going missing at the hands of employees.

Vice versa, a more typical element of household air conditioning setups is Wi-Fi control. In a commercial setting, controls are typically restricted in order to prevent conflicts over temperature and settings.

5. Drainage

Theoretically, both the normal air-conditioning and industrial air-conditioning’s drainage serves the same purpose: to draw away water from the air conditioner into a drainage point.

In practical, the drainage setup for the residential or normal units which serve a much smaller area, the entire system drains in a single drain pan outdoors and discharges.

An industrial HVAC system consists of multiple pipes and drain pans for drainage purposes to ensure complete water removal and eliminate the possibility of overflowing which may cause a hassle if it is clogged.

6. Maintenance

The purpose of properly operating and maintained HVAC systems is to create a comfortable environment within the building they service, particularly in business environments.

Since owners and tenants depend on air conditioning systems to run their businesses successfully, commercial air conditioning supports business operations and systems.

The operational lifespan of HVAC systems is shortened, maintenance expenses rise, and a business's operations become more risky, unreliable, and unsatisfied as a result of neglected HVAC systems. It is risky to neglect maintenance, as it eventually results in expenses and lower returns.

The maintenance cost of industrial air-conditioner unit is much more costly than a normal air-conditioner system due to various reasons such as:-

(a) Complexity of components and build-up

(b) Size of the system

(c) Difference in mechanism

An experienced and skilled technician is required in order to ensure the installation of industrial air-conditioner without any issues such as leakage, provide efficient maintenance and energy efficiency.

In terms of modification or repair tasks, industrial units which are made up of modular parts further increases its flexibility and allows the user to make greater changes to heating, cooling and ventilating if it deems necessary.

Vice versa, the normal air-conditioning unit comprises two units that need to work together but are not independent. Either one of the indoor or outdoor units failed, the entire system has to be replaced in order to make major changes to the level of heating and cooling.


In a nutshell, normal air-conditioner and industrial air-conditioner varies greatly between factors as summarized as below:-

table of differences between industrial air conditioner and normal air conditioner

TCW Group, as a one-stop HVAC manufacturer based in Malaysia, is able to manufacture both normal air-conditioner and industrial air-conditioner, which suits all types of applications.

From concept to design, until manufacturing and assembly, TCW Group possesses a solid team to support all your inquiries from worldwide. For more inquiries, please do not hesitate to contact us at

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