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Best Commercial Air Conditioning Units
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Best Commercial Air Conditioning Units

There are many options for business owners when choosing the best commercial air conditioning units. Many times, business owners and facility managers begin researching air conditioning units by brand, and while there are some top-notch brands, at Bill Howe Heating & Air, our specialists know that brand is only one piece of the mix.

Most manufacturers remain competitive by offering comparable warranties, have high-quality standards, and build units to last. When looking for the best air conditioner for your commercial property, it is important to consider many factors.

Type of Air Conditioning Unit

Water-cooled or Chiller units

Water cooling air conditioning systems operate differently than traditional type units by way of how they “cool” the air. Where traditional coil condensers cool the air as it passes through the refrigerant cooled coil, water cooled systems use a cooling tower. The heated air passes through the water condenser and then circulates into the building; the warm water is moved to the cooling tower.

A benefit of a cooling system using water is a higher efficiency system, but it does require a constant water supply.  In areas where water conservation is critical, this can be a drawback.

Water-cooled systems also require that the water reign used is treated to avoid bacteria buildup and contamination. Maintenance requirements for a water-cooled system versus traditional air conditioning will be more frequent and often costlier.

A water-cooled system is often quieter than air condensers and is often favored in hospitals and schools.

It is usually less expensive to install a water-cooled air conditioning unit, but water use and maintenance may offset costs.

Choosing between a water-cooled system and a traditional air-cooled unit comes down to the application and building design. The benefits and drawbacks, along with costs, tend to come out even after all things considered.

Traditional Duct Systems

Just like in a residential setting, ducted systems have an indoor heat pump, outdoor compressor, ducting throughout to deliver the conditioned air, and use a refrigerant and a coil system to deliver cool air. Traditional air conditioning systems are compatible in commercial spaces as well. Choosing a traditional air conditioning system versus other types for commercial purposes really depends on the space size and cooling needs of the building.

Commercial Ductless

Ductless ac units are great options for both residential and commercial applications. Because ductless mini split systems can be easily installed in spaces without ducting, they make wonderful options virtually anywhere. The commercial ductless applications have the same great efficiency and zone control as residential applications as well and provide a high-efficiency cooling solution. Ductless mini splits are the best commercial choice for multiple zone buildings, green buildings, and even smaller spaces where cooling is a must, but space is limited.

Variable Refrigerant Flow

VRF systems operate much like ductless split systems. VRF allows the refrigerant flow to adjust to each indoor unit, with multiple evaporators and condensers, all utilizing a single outdoor condensing unit or heat pump.

VRF systems provide significant control to indoor temperature throughout larger spaces while also operating at a higher efficiency using less energy. With the variable refrigerant and control, it is also possible to provide heating and cooling within the space simultaneously. VRF systems have been successfully used for larger building; however, they are limited and would not be ideal for larger manufacturing type spaces or industrial buildings.

Because of their higher efficiency and control, consumers may see a lower operating cost than with traditional ducted systems or package units; however, the initial installation cost for VRF systems will be higher. VRF systems require more time and materials, and the initial cost is sometimes a factor in choosing to go with a traditional type of air conditioning unit.

Package Unit

A package unit houses both the heating element and cooling all in one. Most often seen installed in warehouses, package units are installed on the roof. Package units are great options that make maintenance and installation easy and are often less expensive than a traditional split system. Package systems can also be found in many condominium complexes.

Sizing & Capacity

Type and brand of a new commercial air conditioning unit will not mean anything if the system is improperly sized. When getting quotes, make sure that the commercial air conditioning contractor does a thorough analysis of the building size, space layout, needs and operating costs. Systems should not be sized by square footage alone.

Air Conditioner Design

Just like properly sized systems, the layout of the building and configuration of the system design is integral to an efficient and cost-effective cooling system. Estimators will look at the ductwork layout (or design this for ideal cooling), indoor air handlers, if going ductless, and many other factors when designing the perfect HVAC solution for your commercial property.


Installation quality is one of the most important factors customers should consider when installing a new air conditioner, whether commercial or residential. Poor or subpar installation work will be the difference between an optimally performing system and a system that will require service and repair throughout its lifespan.

Business owners and facility managers should research each contractor and make sure that they have commercial specialists with at least 5 years of experience and references within the community.

When getting estimates, ensure that the estimator is spending at least an hour, or more, determining the cooling needs for the building and its occupants; contractors that will do an excellent job will ask questions and tailor the system directly to your needs.

Bill Howe Heating & Air Conditioning has been providing quality installations in San Diego for over a decade. With over 40 years of experience within the team of specialists, commercial clients can rest assured that all of their cooling needs will be met and recommendations for the best commercial air conditioning units will not be the right choice. Call 1-800 BILL HOWE (245-5469) today, for your free installation estimate.


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What Joel C says about us

Very Satisfied. Michael is always on time, Michael has been doing all of the plumbing related to our remodel. He always does exactly what he commits to do within the estimated cost. He keeps me informed if any wrinkles pop up, and his plumbing skills are excellent as we have had no problems or issues arise after he has left. Very professional! Highly recommend.

August 2019


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We had other companies come out for estimates on what was considered a major job with jackhammers and replacing cast iron pipes under the house… having been stung before, we wanted another estimate just to make sure we were making an informed decision. The prior estimates went up to $21,000!
Bill Howe sent us an amazing veteran plumber, Dashawn and his co- worker Anthony. Dashawn did a thorough check of the problem, explained what he thought was needed … he did a final check and we were able to see for ourselves what was the problem. He recommended a complete cleaning to de-scale the pipes, and not the major work we dreaded. Thanks to his solid analysis and patience in making sure we saw what he saw, the issue was resolved completely, and saved us thousands of unnecessary work. None of the other estimates included the cleaning; only the major repairs. Thanks to Dashawn’s knowledge, professionalism and honesty, we’re Bill Howe customers.

August 2019


What Carolyn Housman says about us

This was our second excellent experience with Bill Howe. We had a blocked kitchen sink drain 8/5. I was able to get a same day appointment which is AMAZING. Person on phone was very courteous and set me up right away. Tony arrived at the house (called me 30 minutes out so I was able to be ready). He diagnosed the issue (blocked drain, not the garbage compactor) and was able to snake it and ran the water for 10 minutes to be sure the drains were clear. He cleaned up everything and you would not have known he was even there. Thank-you Tony and Bill Howe, you always know how.

August 2019


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Cory was our technician on this job. We had a time sensitive repair issue and Bill Howe understood and assisted with getting the job done quickly.
Cory was on time to start the job and finished it quickly. Upon his leaving our home he’s was courteous, very knowledgeable, explaining what the problem was and how he fixed it. Very good communication and this is the way it’s has always been when we use Bill Howe plumbing.
Great company to work with.
Thanks Cory.

August 2019

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I had a shower that would not drain. The employee arrived on time and fixed the problem quickly and effectively at a very fair price. I was very happy with everything. Thank you and I highly recommend your plumbing service.

January 2019


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I am extremely happy with the service we received from Bill Howe Plumbing. We were given an incorrect diagnosis of our main sewer line from another vendor, but Bill Howe’s servicemen came out for a second opinion, correctly diagnosed our problem and resolved our back up issues. We will continue to use Bill Howe for all our future plumbing needs!

Thank you Bill Howe Plumbing.

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