Commercial HVAC Design Efficiency Considerations

Posted on: 9 March 2017


The average commercial property tends to come with heating and cooling costs that are through the roof—a fact that is causing more and more distress as energy prices soar. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to help minimize the amount you spend on ensuring optimal HVAC comfort conditions. If you own a commercial property and would like to learn more about how to save on heating and cooling costs, read on. This article will discuss three simple yet effective strategies.

Switch to a zoned HVAC system.

Standard HVAC systems operate by pumping a theoretically equal amount of conditioned air to all parts of a building. This often leads to unnecessary heating and cooling, since not all parts of your property experience the same heating and cooling needs. For instance, rooms with a western exposure tend to require a greater amount of cooling during summer months.

To help account for such differences, while lowering unnecessary heating and cooling costs, consider switching to a zoned HVAC system. The operating principle here is simple: your building's duct system is split up into different zones. Each of these zones can be controlled independently of the others, in terms of how much heated or cooled air it receives. The benefit of such a system is both more a ideal comfort level and a high degree of energy efficiency.

Have your building's load carefully calculated.

Ensuring optimal HVAC efficiency requires that your system be properly sized to your building's needs. Here the Goldilocks principle applies: the best system must be neither too small, nor too large. Unfortunately, when designing a commercial property, many people still fall guilty of assuming that an oversized system will serve them better. This generally leads to an HVAC system that falls prey to the problem known as short cycling. Short cycling makes it harder to achieve desired comfort levels, while also increasing—often dangerously—the amount of system wear and tear.

Therefore, unless you happened to be the building's original owner (and designer), it pays to have an HVAC professional calculate your building's load. Load is a term that refers simply to the energy required to ensure optimum temperatures throughout the year. Such a calculation takes into account factors such as:

  • building's square footage
  • type of building materials
  • type of insulation used
  • R-value of the insulation
  • amount of daylight
  • presence or absence of Low-E window glass
  • indoor lighting systems installed

It is common to find that, after having your building's load calculated, that the HVAC system currently installed is not the ideal size. Implementing a more appropriate system can greatly help to lower your costs as time goes on.

For more information, contact a company like Crystal Coast Heating & Air LLC.