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HVAC System Selection

Clearing the Air: Maximizing HVAC Efficiency

Thermal comfort has a profound impact on the way a person experiences the environment around them. The level of comfort that a building will provide for its occupants is one of the most important considerations in HVAC design. If an HVAC system is not selected properly, the system will not be balanced and can negatively affect the productivity, mood, and performance of the building users.

HVAC systems are selected based on 5 main factors:

  1. Building type

  2. Building size

  3. Efficiency

  4. Cost

  5. Owner requirements

For buildings such as retail, restaurants, and offices, typical HVAC selection includes Packaged Rooftop Units (RTUs) for single-story and Split Systems for multi-story. RTUs and Split Systems are suitable and affordable options that can be installed to accommodate building capacity temperatures as needed.

Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) systems are a more expensive option but have an added element of control. VRFs have zoning requirements and diverse occupancy types. This means users are able to adjust temperature in different rooms of the building to suit their needs.

In larger buildings such as warehouses with higher cooling needs, Evaporative Cooling is a favorable option since it is cheaper to run and install. It's common to install high volume, low velocity fans in warehouses to assist the system in keeping the space cooled.

When an HVAC system is reaching the end of its life expectancy, there are telltale signs that will indicate the system may be in need of an upgrade. Some signs you might notice are:

  • Space temperature is not reaching your set point for a long period of time.

  • Your system is running for longer than it normally would.

  • There is an increase in the amount of noise coming from the equipment.

  • You notice a drastic change in your power bill.

If you notice your HVAC system not operating normally, the next step you should take is to consult an HVAC technician to perform an inspection on your equipment.

Legal Disclaimer: All information contained in this article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional, engineering, financial, real estate, tax, or any other type of advice. The information and opinions contained in this article reflect only the personal opinions of the author of the article, and are not the professional opinions of TJK Consulting Engineers, Inc. (“TJK”). The use of any information in this article for any purpose will be at the reader’s sole risk and without liability to TJK or the author of the article. TJK does not represent or warrant that the information contained in this article is accurate as of any particular date and notes that rules, regulations, codes, and procedures are constantly changing and evolving. TJK undertakes no obligation to confirm the accuracy or completeness of this information as of any particular date and TJK makes no representation that this information will be current or up to date as of the date the reader is reading it. The reader (i) acknowledges and agrees that there is no substitute for consultation with a licensed, qualified professional that can take into consideration all relevant facts and circumstances for the reader’s specific needs, and (ii) understands that no professional-client relationship exists between TJK and the reader without signing all of TJK’s engagement materials and agreements. All regulatory and governing bodies having jurisdiction over a particular matter or project should be consulted to ensure that all applicable and up-to-date rules, regulations, codes, and procedures are being followed.


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