Commercial vs. Residential A/C w/ AK HVAC

(Audio Only) In today’s podcast episode, we have a conversation about the pros and cons of commercial vs. residential A/C with AK HVAC/Andrew Greaves. (You may know him as AK HVAC on Youtube. Check out his channel and his comedy channel, HVAComedy.)

In many cases, young people don’t know if they want to go into commercial or residential HVAC, or residential techs may think about getting into commercial HVAC. Commercial HVAC may include RTUs, chillers, market refrigeration, or industrial refrigeration. Commercial HVAC/R also includes a lot of control systems. By comparison, residential HVAC almost exclusively deals with comfort cooling.

Even though it may seem as though commercial HVAC requires more specialized schooling, that isn’t necessarily the case. Schooling will especially help with commercial HVAC, but it’s not required. The desire to learn is much more important than schooling. (Be willing to unlearn your bad habits, too.) If you enjoy working on large equipment and machines, commercial HVAC may be right for you.

Hours are also a bit different in commercial vs. residential HVAC. In many cases, commercial HVAC still has on-call time, and the hours may be slightly more regular than residential HVAC. (However, some facilities like hospitals may require work at irregular hours.)

If you wish to become an entrepreneur, you’ll probably have more success with residential HVAC. The business models are very different, and you’ll have more freedom with pricing when you start up a residential business. Commercial work is process-oriented per the customer, and there is a lot of negotiation that goes into a contract. (You’ll also be more likely to stumble across lawsuits in commercial HVAC.) If you want to start up a business or have an entrepreneurial spirit, then residential HVAC might be right for you.

We also discuss:

Mechanical/technical aptitude
People skills
Commercial vs. residential shops
Service contracts
Corporate environments
Commercial HVAC technologies
Commercial HVAC specializations
Profitability as a tech vs. a business owner

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