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Whether it’s about rebuilding an existing structure or constructing and designing a skyscraper, today’s buildings need sustainable solutions.
There has been a significant rise in demand for heating and cooling systems with increasing market competition.
To stay ahead of the competition, contact an HVAC contractor to keep your workspace comfortable and relaxed.
RLD heating & cooling services are always there to help you out! We carry out all types of commercial HVAC services:
Air Conditioner Services Los Angeles, Heating, Thermostats, Ductwork etc
- Installation or replacement.
Also, there is a need to get some vital knowledge about these systems and their functionality.
So in this blog, we discuss everything related to commercial HVAC systems to keep you updated.
What is a commercial HVAC?
A commercial HVAC system works the same as a residential HVAC system- heating, cooling and ventilation system and keeping the people cozy with high-quality air with humidity ranging from 40-60 percent.
Both the heating and the cooling processes are done differently. The heating of the air is carried out by burning fuels like gas, oil, electricity etc. On the other hand, the cooling process includes pushing out the hot indoor air from your house and cooling the air through refrigerants or water-based systems while also eliminating the excess humidity.
The ventilation systems include fans to bring the necessary outdoor air into your house and the smooth passage of indoor and outdoor air through filtration.
It is essential to have adequate ventilation to reduce odors, dilute gases and prevent respiratory diseases from spreading. Without it, the air would be stale, leading to an increase in mold and mildew growth.
How does a commercial HVAC work?
Keeping a check of the temperature in commercial buildings is all about three things:
- Hot and cold air.
- Distribution method.
The thermostat regulates the cool and the hot air that flows through the same ducts, just the source differs.
Hot or cool air
When you activate the heat in a commercial HVAC, the burners create combustion and transfer it to a heat exchanger. The combustion, however, warms up the air that passes through. Sometimes, the heat pumps also shift the outdoor heat inside.
The air conditioners also function similarly, but it transfers heat outdoors.
Many commercial buildings use boilers to heat the water, and then the warm water is transferred through pipes installed on various walls, floors and ceilings.
The structure might confuse you, but you’ll feel the heat in the room.
The mechanical systems spread the building’s air through ventilation while depending on the principle that warm air rises and cool air falls.
To control the functions, you can install simple programmable thermostats in your commercial buildings that send different heating and cooling signals throughout the day, just like the residential HVAC systems.
If you own a commercial HVAC, you can also install direct digital control (DDC) as it is more advanced. The more advanced the controls, the better the energy efficiency. A central computer has sensors installed to monitor the temperature and even the lighting operations. The staff can manually control and adjust the settings from a workstation.
The manual control eases out the ability to get performance updates and helps with quick maintenance of the system. Because of this flexibility and sophistication, DDC is a pricey option.
HVAC systems for commercial buildings
There are three types of commercial HVAC systems that are considered the best for commercial buildings:
- Packaged systems
- Split systems
- VRF systems
So let’s get to know about them in detail.
Commercial HVAC type #1: Packaged systems
Packaged units are a swiss army of commercial HVAC systems. It consists of the evaporator, compressor, condenser and fan coil. Packaged HVAC systems are an excellent option for buildings or spaces that can’t accommodate bigger units.
The air conditioners are often fitted above the windows in hospitals, hotels, offices, etc. People can easily control and regulate the temperature and air quality of the room.
The terminal heat pump heats and cools your space by transferring the outside heat inside and vice versa according to the weather conditions.
Rooftop HVAC units are packaged systems located on the roof. Because of their installation on flat roofs, it protects the significant parts of the units. These units are compact and are all in one. The units contain the compressor, condenser, boiler and evaporator.
It comes in a fully assembled form, and all you have to do is place it up. You can even call it an air handler as it alters and circulates the air through the duct system. However, some RTUs only do the heating part, some units only do cooling, and others do both.
Commercial HVAC type #2: Split systems
Split systems are connected to your house’s ductwork, just like residential units.
They are ideal for residential units; they also work like magic for small commercial spaces like restaurants, small stores, offices etc. Every area can be monitored and controlled through a thermostat or a DDC.
The only disadvantage is that you’ll need separate HVAC units for every space you want to heat or cool. It will clutter up your rooftop and the space around your building. You can also add Zoning to control different spaces, but it is costly.
Commercial HVAC type #3: VRF systems
VRF systems are quite a new technology in the US. These are futuristic commercial HVAC systems.
In simple words, VRF systems are ductless systems and function on heat pumps or heat recovery systems. It sends refrigerant signals from the central outdoor unit that hubs the condensers and the compressors.
The indoor equipment in a VRF system is relatively compact, which means easy installation and no ductwork is needed.
The best thing about VRF systems is that they are 30 percent more efficient than ducted HVAC units. The reason is that the diverse compressor speed gives you more accurate temperature adjustment settings. So, no energy is wasted through the ductwork like the traditional systems.
But the only pain point is that VRF systems are entirely on the expensive side.
What is the difference between commercial and residential HVAC?
The commercial and residential systems are different in many ways.
Here are some of the factors:
Commercial HVAC systems are meant to ventilate and condition larger spaces and structures compared to residential HVAC systems.
Therefore its components are more significant and require more space.
Also, the commercial unit is modular, while the residential one is a standalone unit. However, the parts and components of the commercial units come together for ease of installation and maintenance.
Additionally, the size of a residential HVAC system in the US can go up to 5 tonnes, while that of modular units can be 25 or even 50 tonnes.
If you take a closer look, you’ll understand that there is a massive difference between the location of your home’s HVAC unit and that of your office. The indoor units are placed in the basement, whereas the outdoor unit is located in the backyard.
However, in the case of commercial buildings, the units are located:
- In the basement
- On the rooftop or beside the building.
These are the all-in-one or packaged system types of HVACs.
Economizers are known for pushing out the building’s heat and bringing in the cool air from outside with the help of logic controllers and sensors like thermostats. These sensors help with:
- Low energy usage
- Minor wear and tear on your HVAC
- Improved ventilation.
But these are only available for commercial units and are not meant for residential systems.
Unlike residential HVAC units, commercial HVAC units come in many packaged units having their thermostat so that various temperatures can coexist in one building. It helps individual rooms and areas to maintain different temperature customization.
Also, during maintenance, the technician can repair one unit at a time.
The larger the commercial building, the more problematic the ventilation.
The reason is- There are more windows per square unit for smaller commercial buildings, and you can open them anytime you feel that the air inside is suffocating; you can open them up.
However, in the case of larger commercial spaces, mechanical ventilation is required because many businesses like restaurants, laboratories, and fitness areas need vital ventilation to maintain the necessary air quality levels.
HVAC systems withdraw humidity from the air during the conditioning process. The humidity is drawn out through the drainage pipes and is collected in a tray.
The difference between the commercial and residential systems in the case of drainage systems is that commercial systems have a more extensive and elaborate network of pipes and drains than residential ones.
Several factors influence the cost of the commercial HVAC:
- Type of unit.
- Installation cost.
- Type of business activity.
But usually, one cooling zone for your small business will cost you around $3-$4 per square foot, and for a more significant business, it will cost you around $7-$10.
The commercial HVAC units are more complex and therefore expensive to repair than the residential units.
The commercial units call for enhanced and expensive tools, and the technician performing the tune-up needs to be an expert.
Apart from that, the commercial HVAC units demand frequent maintenance, as you have to get it serviced every quarter, while in the case of residential units, you only need two services every year.
Also, the system is more extensive and sometimes located in an area that is difficult to access.
Is there an industrial HVAC installation guide?
Many of us know that our business demands a new HVAC system, but we barely know what suits us the best.
If you are also stuck in the cycle of not knowing enough about the HVAC systems, you have landed on the right page.
Here are some points to remember that will help you become confident regarding what to choose when it comes to commercial HVAC systems:
- Ask your contractor for the cost break up and understand every nitty-gritty. Get a price quote covering the entire installation cost from the beginning to the end.
- Learn about the latest systems, degradation in the heating and cooling technology and manufacturers. Compare various systems, their costs and benefits.
- When you make your budget, do include the cost of the ductwork. Ductwork and piping can be costly and can substantially shoot up your installation amount, so it is better to include the ductwork in the budget if you’re thinking of changing the existing pipes.
- Include thermostats or system controls in the budget. It might be dicey regarding how many you need because it depends on the size of your building.
- Have a talk with your contractor about the maintenance plan. Complex systems require regular maintenance; else, it will shoot up the repair costs. Ask your contractor about guaranteeing the parts they are using and whether it includes maintenance services.
Common commercial systems problems
Here are some of the problems the commercial units usually face:
Commercial HVAC problems #1: Leaking refrigerator
Refrigerant leaks are a common issue and you might might it in many commercial HVACs.
But what are the signs that your refrigerant is losing it?
It can be anything like oil around your valves, AC connections or the service ports, or your AX has stopped blowing cold air.
If the refrigerant leaks are not given timely attention, it can be a more significant issue.
Commercial HVAC problems #2: Short cycling
Short cycling is another common problem a commercial HVAC experience.
Usually, the AC or the heat pump signals the thermostat to stop, but there are specific reasons behind short cycling like:
- Blocked air filter.
- Low refrigerant levels due to possible leaks.
Commercial HVAC problems #3: Dirty filters
It would help if you changed the air filters of your HVAC regularly. You can confirm the actual frequency with your HVAC contractor depending upon the type of your system.
The air filters shield you against dirty particles and protect the evaporator coil.
Dirt and dust clogs the filters and won’t let the air pass easily and put a lot of pressure on the system. It will lead to wear and tear on the system.
Commercial HVAC problems #4: Dirty condenser coils
You can easily spot a dirty condenser coil a mile away.
In your split system commercial HVAC, the evaporator coil is inside, and the condenser coil is outside.
Even in the packaged rooftop units, you can place both the coils together in the containment on the roof.
The condenser coils can be dirty due to the pile-up of dirt, dust, debris, animal hair, grass or other things. And a dirty condenser coil means disrupted heat transfer.
Commercial HVAC problems #5: Noises
It is normal if your commercial HVAC is making a whirring noise that’s not too loud.
However, it is time for you to pay attention if you’re hearing a series of sounds and noises that are not just limited to whirring and squeaking.
Some possible auditory indications include noises like:
- Squeaking noise coming due to lack of lubrication and oiling in the motor.
- Vibrating noise due to unbalanced fan.
- Hissing or buzzing sound due to leaks in the refrigerator.
- Rattling noise from loose ducts or blower.
- Booming noise from a pilot light.
- Whistling noise from a boiler because of trapped air or blockages.
So, if you hear any of these weird sounds, switch off your HVAC immediately and call a technician.
Commercial HVAC problems #6: Clogged drain
The coil collects the heat and humidity captured from individual spaces and the moisture passes through the drain.
If there is dirt and slime in the drain, it will clog it and obstruct the free passage of water.
And if this happens, you’ll smell slaty or muddy air coming from the vents.
It will degrade the air quality and might also rust the building.
Commercial HVAC problems #7: Loose evaporator belt
A loose evaporator belt puts up a lot of pressure on the pulley, reducing the fan’s speed and freezing the coil.
But how do you check if the evaporator belt is loose?
Well! Check if your system makes weird noises or if the airflow is not up to the mark.
Commercial HVAC maintenance and its benefits
Maintaining a commercial HVAC is as essential as maintaining any other electrical appliance. And like all maintenance services, maintaining a commercial HVAC will save you from spending on unnecessary repairs.
Here are a few advantages of maintaining your commercial HVAC
The most significant benefit of HVAC maintenance is that it enhances the lifespan of every component of your HVAC system. Since the functions of every component are interdependent, damage in one part can cause the whole system to shut down. Also, the malfunctioning or clogged parts in an HVAC can put a lot of pressure on the heating and cooling unit’s performance.
When this happens continuously adds to normal wear and tear and can reduce the life of your commercial system by 8-10 years.
Better indoor air quality
Indoor air quality is an important parameter to judge if your HVAC needs maintenance or not.
Do you ever walk into an old structure or building and feel that you have difficulty breathing? It might be the polluted air or the dirty blowers, air ducts, and filters causing the issue. And the only way to clear this problem is to get a maintenance check. This way, you’ll find what is causing the problem.
Reducing costs is an essential element for every business.
And be it any expense, you need to check for a cheap alternative unless it puts the quality at stake.
And when it comes to your commercial HVAC, you would always want to opt for better energy efficiency and wouldn’t want higher energy bills.
Regular and timely maintenance can save you from these unnecessary expenses and lower your energy bills significantly.
Various HVAC equipment loses efficiency due to poor maintenance, so don’t let this happen to your commercial HVAC and take timely steps.
Get all commercial HVAC-related services at RLD
Looking for Commercial HVAC service? RLD is there to help you out.
We understand how a properly functional commercial HVAC can improve workplace productivity, and that’s why we are a full-service HVAC company providing all kinds of services to our commercial clients in Los Angeles and the surrounding cities.
Our Commercial HVAC experts specialize in HVAC installation (1), repair, replacement and maintenance of all brands of commercial heating and air conditioning systems.
Apart from that, we also deal in indoor air quality control and check.
A properly operating Commercial HVAC System is a crucial component to higher workplace productivity and the comfort of your clients.
Here are some of the questions people usually ask:
What are commercial HVAC systems?
Commercial HVAC system provides heating, ventilation and air conditioning for more considerable paces like businesses, restaurants, large enterprises etc. These systems are much more powerful and come with different parts. The only difference between commercial and residential systems is that commercial systems are meant for larger spaces like businesses and hotel buildings. In contrast, a residential HVAC system is meant for houses.
Which type of AC is best for commercial use?
Both Centralized AC units and Single split systems are great for commercial HVAC use.
Centralized units are built so that you can place or install all their parts and components outside. So, it doesn’t take any space in your room. It only sends the conditioned or heated air in your room through the vents. This type of system is practical and efficient, especially for larger spaces like hotels, commercial buildings etc.
Single split systems are quite affordable types of HVAC systems. They are suitable for small commercial buildings. The best thing about getting a single split system is- They heat and cool individual rooms, therefore suitable for cafes, shops, server rooms and small offices.
What are the types of commercial air conditioning?
There are four types of commercial HVAC systems:
- Single split system.
- Multi-split system.
- VRF systems.
- Rooftop units.
What is the average life of a commercial HVAC system?
Usually, the lifespan of commercial HVAC units lasts anywhere between 10 to 15 years. It points toward the fact that by following the best practices and properly maintaining your system, you can quickly expand the system life by 33%. Apart from that, several factors increase longevity, and you must use all the options.
Why Us? SEE WHAT OUR FRIENDS HAVE TO SAY
I purchased a small building because we wanted to set up our office. And the first thing that hit was the need for an air conditioning system. After researching for a bit and taking our friends’ reviews, We got to know about RLD services. We were pretty hesitant this time because we wanted everything to go well. But RLD didn’t disappoint us even a bit. I called customer care to book an appointment, and at first, they took some time to communicate back. But that’s completely understandable because of the seasonal rush. But then they scheduled an appointment and paid a visit. They told us everything as it is and didn’t sugarcoat anything. After two days, a team of 5 came up to install the HVAC, and it took them the whole day to finish the work. They finished the work and cleaned everything, and both I and my wife were surprised. Plus, the charges were very fair. Great job, RLD; I just loved their services. Five stars from my side.
– Emanuel K.
Excellent service cleaned my rooftop unit and fixed our one-month-long problem in a minute. Technicians are RLD are not just technicians; they are legit magicians. Their work is impeccable, and the charges are decent. I recommend everyone to give RLD services a try!
– Maggie H.
Amazing services, prompt responses and great employees. Thumps up RLD. 10/10. Highly recommended.
– Cindy Y.
Outstanding work, skilled technicians, fair pricing, and customer satisfaction. That’s all it needs to be a good company. If that’s so.. RLD is not just good but a great company. Top-notch services, polite and excellent employees and affordable pricing. Love you, RLD.
– Kate A.
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