As an integral part of modern commercial buildings, the heating, cooling, and ventilation (HVAC) systems keep your premises cool through the summers and warm through the winters, helping your building occupants breathe easy and remain comfortable. For facilities managers or administrators, regulating the indoor temperatures and achieving enhanced Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) are key priorities.
Understanding the basics of HVAC systems and their critical components will help you extract maximum performance and efficiency from your commercial ventilation systems. The experienced professionals at TRI-AIR Systems offer an overview of commercial HVAC systems, along with a checklist for inspecting and maintaining your building ventilation.
Key Components of Commercial Ventilation Systems
Commercial HVACs are complex air ventilation systems with hundreds of moving parts. Here are just a few of the key components that drive the heating or cooling processes:
- Compressor: As the heart of the HVAC system, the compressor, true to its name, compresses and raises the refrigerant temperatures before passing it through the condenser for initiating the cooling cycle.
- Heat Exchanger: Part of the housing on your furnace, the heat exchanger absorbs the heat and warms cool air when your furnace is active.
- Blower Motor: Once the heat exchanger reaches a pre-set temperature, the electric blower motor powers a fan that forces the warm air into your building’s ductwork, through the air registers.
- Thermal Expansion Valve: Regulating the refrigerant flow control into the evaporator coil of the condenser, the expansion valve essentially converts the liquid refrigerant into vapour.
- Air Handlers: Essential for circulating air through the system, air handlers in most types of HVAC systems directly connect to the ductwork and blow heated or cooled air into the building.
- Terminal Units: Comprising air filtering mechanisms, blowers, and coils, most commercial premises feature the mid-sized rooftop units (RTUs) that control the temperature to specific rooms/ sections of the building.
- Chillers: Designed to remove heat from the liquid that passes through the ventilation system’s pipes, chillers come in two main varieties.
- Air-cooled chillers: Fan-driven air cools the condenser coils
- Water-cooled chillers: Water goes through a constant recirculation process via an exterior cooling tower
Within commercial ventilation systems, ductless applications have become increasingly popular due to their many benefits over other types of systems:
- Building occupants enjoy personalized local comfort control due to flexibility of zone creation and zone-based cooling and heating.
- Building managers get useful insights on energy and performance that offers better control over HVAC usage and operating expenses.
- Ductless systems offer higher energy efficiency and are quieter than traditional systems.
- Ductless units have a smaller footprint, which can save costs on premium real estate.
The three main categories of ductless ventilation systems used in commercial premises are:
- Single Split System: Ideal for smaller commercial buildings that need the flexibility of controlling heating or cooling to individual spaces.
- Multi-Split Systems: Offer higher energy efficiency and allow you to connect up to 9 indoor units to one outdoor unit in order to create a much smaller outdoor footprint.
- Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) or Variable Refrigerant Volume (VRV) Systems: Ideal for large, mixed-use commercial buildings, heat recovery VRF systems can provide cooling, as well as heating to different spaces at the same time. Typically, these are installed on the roof of the building.
While most commercial HVAC units offer a lifespan of 10 to 15 years, they require regular preventive maintenance services to maintain optimum performance and energy efficiency levels. Your building ventilation inspection checklist should include:
- Monthly visual inspection of the drip pans, thermostats and drain lines
- Frequent cleaning or changing of the air filters
- Professional cleaning and tune-up services that check other critical components, such as the blower belts, evaporator coils, outdoor units, refrigerant levels, burner assemblies, ignition systems and more.
Let the Experts at TRI-AIR Help in Maintenance of your Commercial Ventilation Systems
At TRI-AIR Systems, we specialize in maintaining commercial ventilation systems, keeping them in top shape for years to come. From rooftop units, chillers, and cooling towers, to make up air units, boilers, and heat pumps, we provide installation, servicing, and repairs for all components of your heating or cooling systems. Our qualified and experienced technicians ensure preventive care on the system components in order to keep your equipment energy-efficient and problem-free. We don’t just inspect your commercial ventilation systems, but also identify potential issues and discuss solutions that will help you minimize operating costs and avoid expensive repairs. In addition to custom scheduled maintenance programs, we offer 24/7 emergency ventilation care, as well as a range of products that enhance IAQ in commercial premises. This includes Sanuvox UV air sterilization systems, Fresh-Aire UV air purifiers, and UVMatrix 4X air purifiers.
For reliable and affordable servicing of commercial ventilation systems call 905-470-2424. You can also contact us online to schedule an inspection or testing, or to discuss other ventilation related requirements.