If you’re in line for a new HVAC system installation, there is important information to digest before you undertake such a considerable capital investment. Your comfort along with your employee’s comfort and productivity depends on your comprehensive review of the myriad of options for your HVAC replacement; not to mention its impact on your wallet upfront and down the road. Let’s take a look at some of the things business owners and facility managers should take into account when sizing up a HVAC replacement project.
HVAC system installation: Don’t throw caution to the wind
If your anticipated HVAC system installation is part of a larger renovation project, you might be tempted to embrace the one-stop-shopping method and use a building contractor for the HVAC system installation. However, an HVAC system installation isn’t just merely a matter of connecting pipes and wires, but a complex undertaking. Doesn’t it make sense to pick a company with expertise in HVAC system installation and HVAC replacement, rather than hiring a jack of all trades?
A qualified HVAC contractor can guide you through the many decisions that must be made for a new HVAC system installation or HVAC replacement. These decisions are critical to ensure you have the proper system to heat and cool your space today and for the years to come. Here are some of the things an HVAC system installation expert should discuss with you before the system design process gets underway.
1. Make sure your HVAC system installation contractor performs load calculations
If you’re renovating your business, you may be adding square footage or reconfiguring existing space. Don’t be content with a HVAC installer who skips the important step of performing load calculations and instead recommends installing the same size and type of system you had previously. Even if you’re not significantly changing your business space, more efficient options are likely available since your current HVAC system was installed.
It’s not uncommon for older HVAC systems to be oversized, and oversized units don’t to remove enough humidity and tend to break down more. Newer windows and doors are more energy-efficient, insulation has improved over time and modern lighting produces less heat. All these factors should decrease your load demands. Proper load calculations, usually performed by utilizing computer simulation programs, should result in an efficiently designed system that will cost less to maintain and result in lower energy costs.
2. Don’t overlook the “V” in HVAC
A proper ventilation design is essential with a new HVAC system installation. Sure, if you’re like most people, your primary concern is climate control for consistent comfort, but a good HVAC system does more than that. Don’t forget an HVAC system is also called a comfort control system. Besides you not feeling too hot or cold, you also want to breathe fresh air.
An appropriately designed system will adequately regulate the intake and distribution of outside air within your space and properly distribute your conditioned air. Your HVAC system installation should provide sufficient humidity control, eliminate odors and remove dust. It also must remove more dangerous contaminants from the air, including excess carbon dioxide, bacteria and viruses, which can be the culprit behind spreading illnesses at your workplace. While designing the ventilation component of your HVAC system, your installer should take into consideration your building layout and how many people occupy your space.
3. Make sure your HVAC system installation contractor zones in on saving energy
Your design for a new HVAC system may include multiple independently-controlled zones within your business not just for comfort, but also to promote energy efficiency. Often within a business, there are varied heating and cooling needs in different areas. A computer room or a refrigeration room has different climate control needs than other parts of your building.
Weather could have a greater impact on indoor space adjacent to your building’s exterior and should be controlled separately to better address these conditions. Conference rooms and other rooms that are intermittently occupied by a large number of people are well-suited for an independently controlled zone that can regulate temperature depending on the number of occupants or absence of occupants.
Zones can be a tricky proposition for those who are not HVAC experts because of the nuances of many office buildings, which can be devoid of traditional walls and predominately contain open space.
4. Choose a company for your HVAC system installation that is knowledgeable about the latest technology
Like with most other products available to consumers, advances to HVAC systems have prevailed thanks to evolving technology. While General Motors may have popularized the “It’s not your father’s Buick” advertising campaign in recent years, the same can be said of HVAC systems installed today. If your HVAC installer is unfamiliar with the latest and greatest, you could miss the boat when it comes to upgrading performance, boosting workplace comfort and at the same time reducing energy costs.
Today’s systems come with more accurate, digital controls and designs that can adjust heating and cooling to specific rooms or locales with the space. If your contractor hasn’t mentioned a VRF (Variable Refrigerant Flow) system when discussing your HVAC system installation, then you could be missing out on newer technology that might better match your business’ needs.
The VRF is a popular choice when considering a HVAC system installation because it can provide both cooling and heating. The VRF is efficient and quiet, which is desirable for the work climate. It also features small, individually controlled air handlers rather than a large centralized unit, which is a plus if you’re cramped for space.
Learn more about the best HVAC technology for your specific type of business with this informative guide: The Ultimate Guide to NYC Light Commercial Air Conditioning.
5. Not all extras are extraneous
When reviewing HVAC system installation options, your contractor should make you aware of some add-ons that can enhance comfort and bolster indoor air quality. Some of these options include electrostatic air filters, ultraviolet (UV) air purifying systems and humidification equipment.
Electrostatic air filters are reasonably priced and clean the air by using static electricity. An electrostatic charge is generated by air flowing through a network of static-prone fibers. Airborne particles are grasped by the static charge and trapped until the filter is washed.
UV air purifiers are designed to substantially improve air quality and remove health-threatening microbial particles that may be in the air. These advanced purifiers kill dangerous particles without any actual filtration, but with rays of ultraviolet light that incinerate these potentially unsafe particles.
Central humidifiers can be attached to your central unit and plumbing to monitor humidity in the air. If the air becomes too dry, the humidifier will add moisture to the air being circulated by your HVAC system.
6. Get control of your HVAC needs
Many buildings today have a system that centrally controls the HVAC, lighting and other systems, known as a building automation system (BAS). It’s critical that your contractor is adept at working with a BAS when completing your HVAC system installation. Your contractor must be able to integrate different controls with a BAS.
A remote monitoring system helps facility managers troubleshoot their building systems and controls for improved operations and energy efficiency. A remote monitoring system utilizes computer technology to continuously monitor the general condition and efficiency of an HVAC system and notifies a central computer when the condition or efficiency of the HVAC system falls below acceptable operational standards.
The smart technology for HVAC systems today also includes sensors, which can achieve energy savings and be integrated with your HVAC design. Light sensors sense available daylight in a space and adjust lighting accordingly. These sensors can be linked to the HVAC system to adjust heating and cooling in a coordinated fashion. Occupancy sensors can detect how many people are occupying a room at any given time and transmit messages to the HVAC’s controls to adjust room temperatures.
As you can see, choosing a high quality HVAC system to meet your needs is a complex process and advice from a professional HVAC company is invaluable. Arista Air, experienced in all areas of HVAC system installation, can provide you with the expertise to select the right HVAC system for your business, detail the costs upfront so there are no surprises and develop a maintenance plan to help prevent costly repairs in the future.