Understanding Your Commercial HVAC System

By February 11, 2016 HVAC Blog
Commercial HVAC

At their core, commercial HVAC systems aren’t all that different from the equipment that heats and cools your house. These critical systems control the indoor temperature to ensure our comfort all year round. But they also but bring in air from the outside, and expel indoor air. On top of it all, commercial HVAC systems are expected to use energy efficiently while they keep us comfortable!

To understand what’s involved in caring for a commercial HVAC system, it’s important to comprehend the requirements of the system.

Consider Heating and Cooling Needs During Construction

Virtually all of the most common complaints of the occupants of commercial buildings relate to the temperature and indoor air quality of their high-rise home or workplace.

People on low floors are wearing sweaters in the summer while people on the high levels are wearing as little as decency allows in the winter. Occupants just above a restaurant are complaining of cooking smells at every time of year. To prevent all of these protests, the best time to thoroughly consider the heating, cooling and ventilation needs of a commercial structure is during construction.

The comfort and safety of building occupants should be given at least as much consideration as any other element of building construction. Having said that, it’s never too late to consider changes and upgrades to a building’s heating and cooling systems.

Commercial HVAC Maintenance

The required maintenance of a commercial HVAC system will depend on the type of system that is in use. Property managers are well-served by understanding the terminology of commercial heating and cooling systems, such as:

  • Heat Pumps
  • Roof Top or Packaged Units
  • Water Source Heat Pumps or One-Pipe Systems
  • Direct Expansion (DX) Systems
  • Chillers
  • Heaters (gas, oil, coal, wood, radiant heat)
  • Fans and Ventilation

Each system and element of the overall system has its own expected lifespan and recommended maintenance cycle. For example, a heat pump is relatively inexpensive, but it can generally only be expected to last 6 to 8 years with proper care; whereas a rooftop unit is more expensive, but lasts longer. Your budget and total square footage will both be important factors in making informed decisions about climate control.

Far too many people think that the commercial HVAC system is the responsibility of “someone else.” If “someone else” means you, as a Kelowna property owner or manager, we can help. Call us today to arrange an inspection of your commercial HVAC system.

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