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Keeping Your Business Cool: A Guide to Commercial AC Systems


images of three commercial ac systems



As a business owner, maintaining a comfortable environment for your employees and customers is paramount. A well-functioning commercial air conditioning (AC) system is essential for year-round comfort and productivity. But with various options available, choosing the right AC system for your business can feel overwhelming.


This guide from Allstar Service & Repair explores the most common commercial AC systems, their advantages, and factors to consider when making your selection.


Types of Commercial AC Systems:


rooftop ac package units

  • Rooftop Package Units (RTUs): These self-contained units are located on the roof and house all the essential components of an AC system, including the compressor, condenser, evaporator coil, and blower. RTUs are a popular choice for commercial buildings due to their ease of installation and maintenance. However, they can be noisy and require roof space for installation.

  • Split Systems: Similar to residential AC systems, split systems consist of two separate units: a condenser located outdoors and an evaporator coil and air handler located indoors. Split systems offer greater flexibility in placement and can be more efficient than RTUs. However, they require more installation work and ductwork compared to RTUs.

  • Chillers and Boilers: For larger commercial buildings, chilled water systems can be a highly efficient option. Here's how it works: Chillers: These act as giant refrigerators, using a refrigerant cycle to remove heat from water. The chilled water is then pumped through a network of pipes to air handlers located throughout the building. Air Handlers: These units contain coils filled with the chilled water. Air is drawn through the air handler by a fan, passing over the chilled coils and absorbing coolness. The cooled air is then distributed throughout the building via ductwork. Boilers: During colder months, boilers can be integrated with the chilled water system to provide heating. The boiler heats water, which is then circulated through the same network of pipes used for chilled water. Air handlers then transfer the heat from the hot water to the building through air circulation. Cooling Towers: In conjunction with chillers, cooling towers are essential for heat rejection. Cooling towers use water and air to remove heat from the refrigerant used in the chiller, allowing the chiller to continue producing chilled water.



a worker on top of cooling towers

Advantages of Chilled Water Systems:

  • High Efficiency: Chilled water systems can be highly efficient, especially for large buildings with variable cooling needs in different zones.

  • Zonal Control: Individual air handlers allow for precise temperature control in different areas of the building, reducing energy waste.

  • Scalability: Chilled water systems can be easily expanded to accommodate future growth in your business.

Disadvantages of Chilled Water Systems:

  • High Initial Cost: The upfront cost of installing a chilled water system, including chillers, boilers, cooling towers, and piping, can be significantly higher than other AC systems.

  • Maintenance Complexity: Chilled water systems require more complex maintenance compared to simpler systems like RTUs. Regular maintenance of chillers, cooling towers, and boilers is essential for optimal performance.

Consider the advantages and disadvantages of chilled water systems for your building. Determine if it is the right choice for you. Allstar Service & Repair can help you choose the best and most cost-effective AC system for your business. Make a cool decision for your business by selecting the right commercial AC system.

Now that you understand the importance of a well-functioning commercial AC system, navigating the various options can feel overwhelming. But fret not! This guide will equip you with the knowledge to make an informed decision based on your specific needs.

Considering Factors for Your Perfect AC Match:

  • Building Size and Occupancy: The size and layout of your building significantly impact your cooling requirements. A large warehouse will require a more powerful AC system than a small office. Similarly, buildings with high occupancy levels will generate more heat, requiring a system that can handle the additional load.

  • Heat Generation: Beyond occupants, consider heat-generating equipment within your building. Servers, commercial kitchens, and manufacturing processes can all contribute to the overall heat load.

  • Budget: Commercial AC systems range in price depending on their type, size, and efficiency rating. While upfront costs are important, consider the system's long-term operating efficiency and potential energy savings.

  • Climate: Your geographical location plays a role. For regions with hot summers and mild winters, a high-efficiency cooling system might be a priority. Conversely, locations with significant seasonal variations might benefit from a system that can also provide heating.


Additional Considerations:

  • Energy Efficiency: Look for systems with high SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) ratings, which indicate how efficiently they convert electricity into cooling. While a higher SEER rating typically translates to a higher initial cost, the long-term energy savings can be significant.

  • System Maintenance: Regular maintenance is crucial for optimal performance and lifespan. Consider the ease of access and service requirements for each system type.


Contact Allstar Service & Repair for Commercial AC

By understanding your building's needs and the various AC system options, you can make an informed decision that ensures a cool, comfortable, and energy-efficient environment for your business. For expert advice and recommendations on the perfect commercial AC system for your needs, contact Allstar Service & Repair today!

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