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Choosing the Right Sized HVAC Unit for Your Building

When it comes to choosing the correct HVAC unit for your building, there are multiple things you should consider. Size matters, and there is such thing as too big. Taking the time to calculate what size unit your building needs is important to get your needs satisfied effectively and can even save you money in the long run.

A unit that is too small will be not be able to condition your building properly and break down faster, while a unit that is too large will waste energy and cost you more in energy bills.

Comfort, energy usage, and expenses are the three main factors effected by your unit’s size. The perfect sized system will comfortably manage temperatures at peak efficiency at the lowest cost. To accurately choose a system for you, a HVAC contractor can do a commercial load calculation to help you.

So, what goes into consideration when determining the perfect size?

Square footage is the most obvious factor considered when determining the size unit you need. A 900 square foot open concept office suite is not going to need a 5 ton unit, and a massive 2000 square foot warehouse is going to need more than a 3 ton unit to proper regulate the temperature. Climate also plays a role in which size unit you’d need. A hot, humid climate is going to require a system that can efficiently remove heat and humidity. A system that is too small will underperform, and an oversized system will short cycle.

The construction of the building also plays a factor in your decision. Is your building made out of concrete, brick, or wood? A concrete building will require __________________________, while a wood building is going to need ______________________________________. Insulation also something you should consider. A poorly insulated building is going to need a system large enough to sustain its temperatures.

The amount of sun exposure your building gets is also important to take into account. If a building is exposed to the suns rays and never gets any shade, it’s going to require more cooling. A shaded building is going to remain cooler

What’s Causing Your Air Pressure Issues in Your Office?

While everyone in the office may be convinced the ghost of a disgruntled ex-coworker is what is opening and shutting doors, brushing by you when you feel a draft of air, or whistling and making those weird noises- have no fear.

 

It’s just your HVAC.

 

Air pressure imbalance can cause these odd things to happen and can very well convince you of a paranormal entity in your office. Positive and negative air pressure are to blame. Let’s talk about what that means and what your solution might be.

 

What causes air pressure imbalance?

 

Hot air rises so this may cause lower pressure in lower floors of your building. Exhaust fans can expel too much air and create an imbalance as well. The fan motor may be running too high and drawing to much air. Poor ductwork can lead to both negative and positive air pressure resulting in weird unexplained noises and drafts.

 

What does negative and positive pressure mean?

 

Negative air pressure means that the air pressure inside your office or building is lower than outside, which will make the air from outside to be sucked in. This is what causes doors slamming shut and doors that are nearly impossible to open. This will cause your HVAC to have to overexert.

 

 

By now, you may be relieved to know that there are no ghosts haunting you and your office. Leave it to the professionals to take care of any air pressure issues you may be facing.  Whether you need to fix a motor, more ventilation, or some ductwork, a trusted HVAC contractor should be your first call in order to square away any problems you have in your space.

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Duct Issues and How they Affect Your HVAC Unit

Issues with your ducts could very easily explain why you are having problems with air quality in your building. Noise, improper cooling, and stale air are all caused by duct issues. Ducts are responsible for delivering and moving air throughout your building. Here are some signs of duct issues:

 

 

Uneven heating and cooling

While some rooms in your building are at the perfect temperature, you may notice that other rooms do not have this same luxury. Holes along your duct system are the culprit to uneven temperatures.

Unpleasant smells

Moisture that builds up in your ducts can grow nasty molds and mildews that can cause odors to travel into your building. Ducts that are dirty from buildup from rodents and other pests can also contribute to this issue.

Restricted airflow

Clogged and dirty ducts trap cool air in and prevent it from reaching your building space. Leaky ducts also do not allow air to travel properly. Not only will you not feel cool air blowing out your vents, you may notice the air to be stuffy. Clogged ducts will make it hard for you to be able to enjoy cool and fresh air that your HVAC unit is supposed to be delivering.

Noises

Cracks and opening along the duct work of your HVAC system can lead to annoying noises in your building. Older buildings are especially susceptible to whistling noises as the duct work is older and has developed leaks throughout the years.

Frequent Filter Replacement

Filters that clog frequently are more than likely due to ducts that are full of debris. Clogged filters can lead to poor temperature and air quality, so its important to tackle the real issue underlying in the duct system rather than simply replacing your filters on a frequent basis. This can become costly when your fix could be a simple duct cleaning.

 

 

Thankfully, there are several things you can do to get your duct issues taken care of. Start off with an inspection done by a trusted commercial HVAC contractor. A thorough cleaning is a sure way to eliminate some problems you may be facing. Reparation of any leaks will fix airflow issues and noises. A revaluation of your duct design may also help with any issues as well. Removing longer tracts and sharp bends can help your system better deliver air to your building.

To get started in tackling your duct issues, be sure to get into contact with a trusted HVAC service provider. They will be able to identify any needs you have and get your system on the right track.

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Property Managers: The Most Expensive HVAC Unit Repairs

As a property manager, it is your duty to oversee your property’s components and keep everything up and running. With the HVAC system being one of the most important, its something that you must take seriously. Many property managers overlook proper maintenance of their heating and air components and this leads to expensive repairs. While breakdowns and repairs are inevitable, they can be prevented by having a preventive maintenance agreement with a commercial HVAC contractor. Below we will discuss which HVAC repairs are the most expensive.

 

 

1.       Boiler Repair

a.       Boiler repairs are among the costliest. Components of boilers are very expensive to replace. Not only are the actual repairs going to cost you, but additional heating costs to make up for the boiler not working properly will increase. Boiler maintenance services are significantly cheaper than repairs.

2.       Chilled Water System Repairs

a.       Cooling tower, chiller, and pump repair are easily the most expensive HVAC repairs. While these components are inexpensive way of providing cooling, repairing them is a high dollar task. For them to work efficiently, they must be regularly maintained. If they are neglected, they will not be able to serve your building effectively and then lead to repairs. The downtime that comes with repairs will pile on top of the cost of said repairs. Just like boiler maintenance, having chillers serviced on a schedule will be cheaper than waiting for them to breakdown.

3.       Duct and Vent Repair

a.       Clogged ducts and filters make your HVAC unit work harder than it needs to. This overexertion will lead your unit to breakdown and will cost you. Rather than neglecting your unit and waiting for a breakdown to happen, be proactive and maintain ducts, vents, and filters. Ducts should be inspected to make sure they are clean, and no pests have damaged them. Vents should be cleaned from debris, so air can flow freely through them. Filters should be cleaned and replaced so air quality isn’t affected. These tasks can be covered under a preventive maintenance agreement with a trusted commercial HVAC contractor.

 

 

Chances of needing any of these repairs are greatly reduced when you take initiative and get your HVAC system on a preventive maintenance program. Even an annual full inspection can make a difference. Instead of waiting for something to happen that is going to cost you and potentially exceed budget, talk to your higher ups about a preventive maintenance agreement and how it will save them money in the long run.

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Common HVAC Installation Mistakes

If you are a business owner or facilities manager, you will eventually have to make the decision to renovate your HVAC system. Your HVAC is such a vital component of both your building and business operations. So, while you are planning the installation of your new unit, make sure you do not make these common mistakes:

If you are a business owner or facilities manager, you will eventually have to make the decision to renovate your HVAC system. Your HVAC is such a vital component of both your building and business operations. So, while you are planning the installation of your new unit, make sure you do not make these common mistakes:

  • Neglecting other improvements

  • Do not go half way with the improvements you are making. While you are at it, go ahead and revamp other essentials around your building. Add insulation and fix any windows that leak air to increase your buildings efficiency. Since you are installing a new HVAC that is more efficient than your last one, be sure to make it worth the investment.

 
  • Partial replacement of your HVAC system

  • Do not take the easy route and only replace certain components of your system. This will lead to a mismatched system and will cause problems later down the road. Heating and cooling will be off, repairs will be frequent, and efficiency will take a hit. An HVAC tech’s job will be made harder as your unit would not be uniform throughout and cause for even more trouble.

 
  • Failing to Invest in a Maintenance Plan

  • Do not forget to talk to your contractor who is performing your installation about a preventative maintenance plan. Plan to have your system serviced at least twice a year. Also keep in mind how you place the component in terms of ease of access. Keep coils and air handlers easier to reach. A lousy tech will not make the effort to find the components and may neglect to service components that are not easy to reach.

 
  • Buying the same unit

  • Your past unit may have treated you well but consider investing in a unit that can better suit your needs. Technology in HVAC units has changed over the years and chances are, there is a better unit out there for your building. Do your research or talk to an HVAC expert about which unit is best for you and your needs.

Be sure to make all the necessary improvements, replace your entire HVAC system, and get the best technology available for your needs. An HVAC renovation is a big but important investment that you will benefit for the years to come. If you have any concerns, get in contact with a trusted HVAC contractor. They will be able to guide you in your HVAC renovation process.

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How a VFD Can Improve your HVAC System

Variable Frequency Drives are proven to advance energy costs when combined with your HVAC components. VFDS have been around for more than two decades and have improved and are said to be the most effective energy management tools to supplement HVAC units. Before, application was limited based on the horsepower of a system. But with time, they can now be applied to most commercial and industrial components. As VFDs continue to evolve, they become more and more powerful in energy management.

 

What is a VFD?

 

Variable Frequency Drives are a motor type that drives an electric motor by varying the frequency and voltage supplied to the electric motor. Frequency goes hand in hand with the motors speed. A VFD is helpful in managing the frequency and voltage of an electric motor’s load. This is helpful in applications that do require its electric motor to run at full speed.

 

 

 

How does this work in conjunction with an HVAC system?

 

HVAC systems are designed to operate at a consistent speed no matter the demands that are needed by its user. Building load, as you may know, is never constant. The drive motor continues to work at full capacity no matter the demand. Mechanical throttling provides a good level of control, but it is not efficient by any means. HVAC systems are designed and sized for peak load conditions but are needed less than 5% of annual operating hours. But, a VFD can be used to adjust the drive motor to gradually operate when the demand is needed rather than at full speed when it’s not appropriate. This means energy efficiency is directly affected as energy expended is dependent on the motor speed. A VFD, in short, can help the system match the load.

 

Which equipment in an HVAC can a VFD be applied to?

 

Chiller pump motors benefit from a VFD because it can moderate water flow for cooling demands appropriately by increasing or decreasing gallons per minute. Cooling tower fan motors can be manipulated by dropping speed of the fan motor to better meet the process requirements of a building.

 

What are the direct benefits?

 

Energy savings! As previously discussed, since peak load performance has been choked by the VFD, the system is not longer wastefully working at full capacity. This directly effects energy output. This will be reflected in your energy bills being drastically reduced.

Reduced stress on motor. Early motor failure is eliminated since the start/stops on the motor are reduced.

Matching of process requirements. Since most HVAC systems are designed for worst case, they are oversized for normal conditions. A VFD can help motors match load requirements more appropriately.

Noise reduction. Since fans and motors aren’t working at max capacity, you’ll notice less noise coming from your HVAC components.

 

 

Implementing a VFD to your HVAC system is a complicated process. You must first do an analysis of your existing system. For a VFD to be effective, it must be applied to a system that delivers variable flow through applying constant speed motors with mechanical restrictions. Systems that require constant flow will more than likely require a mechanical redesign for a VFD to be useful. A system that is a good candidate for VFD implementation is a pump and fan system that already has the mechanical means of reducing flow. But these means, whether they be dampers or valves, will need to be removed in lieu of VFD installation.

 

 

 

VFD use in retrofitting a HVAC system comes with many opportunities for a system and energy efficiency. Implementation is a detailed process that must be approached carefully in order to reap the benefits of its addition. It is important to ensure that the retrofit will yield expected savings. None the less, VFDS have rightfully earned their reputation as powerful energy savers.

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Is it Time to Replace Your Commercial HVAC Unit?

Is it Time to Replace Your Commerical HVAC Unit?

With summer approaching, this is the best time to decide whether it's time to replace your current HVAC unit. A properly functioning unit is essential not only for you, your customers, and employees, but also vital in keeping expenses at bay. When deciding on whether you should keep your current unit or replace it with a new one, consider the following:

   

1. Age: How old is your unit?

  A HVAC unit typically has a life span of 10-15 years with proper maintenance (according to ASHRAE). If your systems are approaching 20 years, it may be time to consider replacing them. Fixing an older unit can become costly in the long run and difficult as parts may be discontinued. Also note that R22 refrigerant that is used in older units is facing a complete phase out by 2020.    

2. Costs: Are you really saving money?

  You may be more inclined to continue to pay for repairs throughout the year for a lesser cost than buying an entire new unit. Take the time to calculate repairs you've made on your system. Constant repairs add up eventually and can even cost you more than replacement. Rule of thumb: If repairs exceed 50% of the cost of a new unit, its time to spend wiser and replace it.    

3. Energy Efficiency: Are your energy bills unnecessarily high?

  Roof top units consume up to 30% of a building energy consumption when running at optimal efficiency. Running a low efficiency unit is extremely costly over time along with the miscellaneous repairs you may already be making. A newer unit can save you thousands in the long run. Ask your mechanical contractor about the different energy efficient options that may make sense for your building and organization.       Of course, also use your own judgement and common sense. Does your unit look rusty and old? Are you constantly replacing parts and making small repairments? Are your employees complaining about noise and uncomfortable temperatures? These are likely signs of a bigger problem. Putting a band-aid on these things will only increase your expenses. If you reach the decision that it is time to replace your HVAC unit, get in touch with a technician so they can recommend the best unit for you and your building.

Willis Mechanical

  • Phone
    (678) 966 0094
  • Fax
    (678) 966 9420
  • Address
    1850 Beaver Ridge Cir
    Suite E
    Norcross, Ga 30071

Willis Mechanical

1850 Beaver Ridge Circle
Suite E
Norcross, Ga 30071

 

24 Hours: (678) 966 0094