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Types of Commercial HVAC Systems
There are three primary types of commercial HVAC systems that are normally installed in commercial buildings: single split systems, multi-split systems, and VRV or VRF systems. Among these three categories of HVAC systems is a wider variety with slight differences in performance or design. A single split HVAC is the most popular commercial air conditioning system because of its affordability and the fact that it’s great for smaller commercial buildings. A split system includes an outdoor unit that’s attached through a wall to an indoor unit. When using this type of system, the air is handled in a single interior zone.
A multi-split system can connect as many as five indoor units to a single outdoor unit, which allows you to provide air conditioning to five zones within your commercial building. The occupants have the ability to control each individual unit separately for differing conditions in each zone, for example, a roomful of computer equipment can generate quite a bit of heat and needs more cooling than a room with windows on a northern exposure. For both single split or multi-split system, the outdoor unit will typically be kept on the roof.
If your business is housed in a large commercial building, it may be necessary to consider a VRV (Variable Refrigerant Volume) or VRF (Variable Refrigerant Flow) system. These types of HVAC unit are designed specifically to be used in larger spaces and don’t require much ductwork. It works much like an actual refrigerator- a supercooled liquid refrigerant is piped into the building spaces and the air is moved over the surface of the coils, providing a cool breeze to the room while transferring heat to the cold coils containing the liquid refrigerant. The cycle repeats as the liquid is then evaporated and condensed and sent back through the plumbed system. The VRF system is known to be efficient and reliable. The installation process with this type of unit is a quick one that should be handled without issue as long as you choose the right installation provider.
How HVAC Units Work
Commercial HVAC systems are substantially more complex than ones that are installed in residential buildings. No matter which type of commercial HVAC unit you purchase for your business, they all have some standard components in common. When the cooling function of an HVAC system is turned on, the compressor inside of the unit will compress the refrigerant, which will cause a spike in the pressure and temperature of the refrigerant. The compressed refrigerant is essentially turned into vapor, at which point the hot air from outside will spread over the vapor and turn it into liquid, which is a process that occurs via a condenser that’s housed in the system. When the refrigerant is converted into a low-pressure liquid, the liquid becomes cooled. Heat is then transferred into the evaporator so that the cold liquid can be changed into a slightly warmer gas. Moving air is usually used to distribute the lower temperature through the building, so there’s normally a blower and ductwork system involved- with the exception of the VRF type configuration.
Best HVAC Brands
When you’re searching for the right HVAC unit to place inside your commercial building, it’s important that you select a reputable brand that you can be confident will provide you with a high-quality air conditioning unit. On that front, there is a wide range of great HVAC brands that will deliver exactly what you’re looking for. Trane is a highly reputable brand that has been offering commercial HVAC units for many years. Their systems are considered to be well built and long-lasting, which should give you confidence about your investment.
Another top brand for you to consider when in the market for a commercial HVAC unit is Carrier, which is a strong brand that provides HVAC units in a large variety of different shapes and sizes to fit the needs of any business. The York HVAC are also considered to have some of the best operational efficiency on the market. Some additional brands for you to consider when shopping for a commercial HVAC system include Lennox, Goodman, Daikin, and Mitsubishi. When choosing a unit, the most important aspect that you need to determine is whether or not the unit will accommodate the layout of your building. You should also focus on efficiency if you want your investment to pay off. There a LOT of variables, so consulting a professional with the experience of many commercial installations is a good idea when it comes down to matching a specific model or design to your needs.
The HVAC Installation Process
Once you’ve selected the right HVAC system, it’s time for the unit to be installed, which is arguably as important as the quality of the unit itself. The quality of the installation will be the difference between an HVAC unit that performs poorly and one that provides you with reliable and efficient cooling for years on end.
Any installation process starts when you request the services of a professional HVAC installer. Before you hire this company, make sure that you request a detailed cost estimate, which will allow you to avoid any issues with a company attempting to charge hidden costs. Once you’ve selected the company that’s provided you with a fair estimate, the trained technicians with this company will complete a layout and design configuration to make sure that your building can properly accommodate the air conditioner of your choice. Unless this is a new building that your company is just moving into, you’ll also need to have your old system removed, which is a service that the install team will typically provide.
Once the system has been placed into the building and all of the units connected, the system will be tested and inspected to make sure that everything works properly and efficiently. You should also be provided with a detailed explanation of how to operate the system, which should keep you from experiencing issues with the unit in the near future. Follow up is critical, especially for new construction as the shakedown period for large units can last a few weeks, and when the seasons change, you may need another visit from a technician to fine-tune the system as it changes modes.
How These Systems Are Maintained
As long as you choose a commercial HVAC brand that’s reputable and well regarded by other customers, your commercial unit should last for many years. These units are substantial investments, which is why it’s important that they are kept in good condition. In order to do so, you should have the system maintained on a regular basis. Routine maintenance will ensure that your system remains highly efficient and will also help you detect small problems before they turn into costly repairs, the latter of which is the number one benefit of receiving regular maintenance.
The quality of your HVAC unit doesn’t matter if it’s not well maintained. If small issues are fixed before they turn into larger problems that require costly repair work, you’ll be able to lessen the amount of wear and tear with the system itself, which should help to extend the life of the unit. You should consider having the company that installed the unit to also provide you with maintenance services, especially if there’s a warranty offered. They will be familiar with the unit and should be able to identify issues quicker than companies that have no experience with your HVAC system.