HVAC Fundamentals: What You Need to Know

Commercial HVAC condenser fan units

The modern commercial building contains several sophisticated systems, including electrical and lighting, plumbing fixtures, and the Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning or HVAC system. If you’re putting up a commercial building, you need to understand what the basic functions of the HVAC system are.

HVAC systems are complex, especially in commercial structures, which is why they require professional commercial air conditioning installation. Furthermore, your installer would also provide you with maintenance services and expert advice throughout your HVAC’s service life, if you so choose.

There are different types of commercial HVAC systems. If you’re not sure which one is best for your building, here is a short guide to the three major categories of HVAC systems.

The Single Split System

Probably the most popular type of HVAC is the single split system, as it is affordable. This makes it the ideal choice for most small commercial or office buildings, such as small offices, shops, restaurants, even server rooms. With this system, heating and cooling control may be achieved in each room.

Included in the single split system are:

  • an air-conditioner unit to cool the refrigerant
  • a furnace for the heating component
  • an evaporator coil that converts the refrigerant and circulates the cooled air throughout the entire building through a system of air ducts

A thermostat is used to control the system. Another major advantage is its ability to function independently that even if one system malfunctions, the others will continue to work since each system is self-contained.

Multi-Split System

Commercial HVAC

This is very similar to the single split system, except that it allows up to nine indoor units to be connected to one outdoor unit. Inverter technology allows the compressor to be operated at different speeds.

Typically, in operating a forced-air HVAC system, a large amount of energy is used each time the compressor automatically turns on and off, which occurs all day long, because the system sensor will make temperature adjustments to achieve the correct temperature. With a multi-split system, less energy is consumed because of its integrated sensor that detects minute temperature changes, which would then make minute adjustments only when necessary.

Moreover, the heating requirements are met more efficiently because it directs heat towards the cooler areas only, enabling cost cutting in the energy department. With the multi-split system, there’s no need to install multiple outdoor units, as its design allows it to serve several indoor units simultaneously. Multi-split systems also allow for the use of both wall and ceiling-mounted air conditioning units, as well as an air curtain.

The VRV System

VRV is Variable Refrigerant Volume, which is ideal for medium to large structures, such as multi-purpose buildings that house retail stores, large offices, hotels, hospitals, etc. Opting for VRV allows you to use two systems—heat pump and heat recovery.

The Heat Pump system functions to provide the building with both cooling and heating, which is suited for open plan areas. But if a building has multiple smaller rooms, the Heat Recovery system is recommended, as it can provide cooling and heating simultaneously. The Heat Recovery system also recycles energy by collecting waste heat from other parts of the building. Then it heats other rooms with it as well as the water.

The VRV system is reliable, highly efficient and easier to control. Installation is fast as well, and no disruption in operations need to occur during installation.

There is no replacement for having a professional HVAC installer give you the best advice for your building. After all, there are many factors to consider when deciding which system to go for. Choosing the correct system to install in your building is a big decision, and you wouldn’t invest in anything without good advice.