One of the essential features a building must have is a properly working HVAC system, or heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. It keeps people from freezing, sweating too much, and supplies just the right amount of air. That is why a project manager for construction, among their many other duties, carefully plans this system. From thoughtfully designed it for maximum efficiency to working out the details of safety, it is their job to ensure that there will be little to no problems with this system.
As HVAC systems are a critical part of any building structure, project managers need help to choose the best options to install and the best people to work on them. So, when people need help with project management and increasing efficiency, a useful tool manager can always count on is construction scheduling software. Platforms like Pro Crew Schedule can take quite the load off of a project manager’s hands. With it, they can keep things organized and ensure a smooth-flowing project by easily keeping track of the building progress, store valuable photos and documents, and even create a crew schedule with just one tool.
Why is HVAC System In Demand?
When natural heating, ventilation, and cooling fail, it is the HVAC system’s job to supply the people of the building with indoor comfort through thermal control. Without it, the building’s interior will not be very conducive to anyone. With efficient construction crew management, the structure and have a stable and reliable HVAC system.
The HVAC air ducts market is expected to grow by more than $900 million from 2020 to 2024, as reported by GlobeNewswire. This means its demand increases as more and more people see the significance of this system to their buildings. Additionally, in a 2018 article from Warner Service, about 84% of homes in the United States have some sort of air conditioning.
But why are the figures rising? It’s simply because people want to be comfortable in any building structure they step foot in, whether residential or commercial. With control over the temperature indoors and airflow, the building’s occupants can adjust it to however they want so that they are not too cold or too hot.
In addition to that, an HVAC system that is properly working and well-maintained also has some health benefits that come with it, especially in a warm and damp area. The cooling component of the system can prevent mold from spreading, which can cause health issues as small as a stuffy nose or something as severe as an asthma attack.
How to Choose the Best HVAC System
To be considered a good HVAC system, it needs to be designed using the principles of heat transfer, fluid mechanics, and thermodynamics. But choosing the right components is not as simple as it sounds.
General contractors and project managers need to take in the whole building before deciding on the best system– the building’s design, purpose, occupancy, and location need to be taken into account. There are even times when an entire building would require different systems for each of its parts.
Plus, energy plays a significant role as 39% of the energy used in a commercial building. But just by upgrading equipment or improving its controls can lessen energy consumption by about 10% to 40%.
Luckily, some things can be done to pick the best HVAC system for the building.
Keep your eye out for oversize systems
If you choose the right size for the building, then you’ve already made the most important decision with regards to an HVAC system. Opting for oversized equipment would cost a lot to install and can prove to less energy-efficient.
To give a clearer picture, you may think that a bigger cooling system would condition more areas. However, that is not always the case; sometimes, an oversized system will not properly dehumidify the air, leaving some rooms cold but damp.
1.Take the entire building into consideration.
Factors such as natural ventilation, lighting systems, and natural light will interact with the HVAC systems. This will, in turn, affect the heating, cooling, as well as the building’s energy requirements.
As an example, mechanical and natural ventilation is highly dependent on the building’s activities, location, and outdoor conditions. Is it an office building where people are mostly stagnant? Is the building in a warm or cold area? Is the outside air clean and free from pollution?
Taking all these into account will surely guide you in choosing the right system and save energy along the way.
2. Choose a system that can shift electric loads.
If the system can be programmed shift electric loads, you will be able to save energy while also cutting down on the system’s cost. For instance, you might be able to program the system to shut off some features and run other tasks at night when rates are lower, like running chillers. The cold water supply can then act as the cooling component for the next afternoon when rates are higher.
3. Think of the air filtration and humidity control requirements
Choose a system that answers the building’s and occupant’s needs, which include what must be filtered from the air. Some of the things that must be considered include:
● Animal hair;
● Indoor air contaminants; and
● Bacteria and viruses.
As for humidity control, the prime factor to think of is comfort.
4. Keep in mind the federal and local guidelines.
Besides functionality, design, and cost-efficiency, your HVAC system must conform with local guidelines, including building codes, and federal guidelines.
If the building engineer and contractor fail to meet the criteria, you might run into significant problems when an inspection of the building happens. If that happens, you could be met with consequences such as fines or even delays in construction.
Types of HVAC Systems
1. Split HVAC Sytems
A split HVAC system is made up of two central systems: a heating system and a cooling system. More often than not, one indoor unit is installed in one area of the structure and one outdoor unit placed on a level cement foundation.
With the use of air compressors, evaporator coils, and refrigerant fluid, the central air unit will decrease the air’s temperature; then, a fan expels the hot air. To manage the process, a central control thermostat is used.
Being the most flexible and affordable option, this is the most common of the systems.
2. Hybrid Split Systems
Similar to split systems, hybrid split systems are made up of two units and controlled by a central thermostat. The difference is that either electricity or gas powers it with a “hybrid electric heater.”
While these systems are more expensive to install than other HVAC systems, running this would cost less in the long-run as they are more energy-efficient.
3. Ductless Split Systems
Ductless split systems do not need any ducting for it to be installed. Instead, multiples units are placed in each room that needs temperature regulation. These units are mounted on walls and are connected to a compressor unit outside.
Unlike the split system and hybrid split system with a central control thermostat, individual units in a ductless split system have their thermostat for climate control.
Aside from being convenient and easily installed, these systems are also cost-effective and energy-saving.
4. Packaged Systems
Packaged systems are commonly used in larger, commercial buildings as they comprise all HVAC components in a single unit. The parts are:
● Compressor; and
This HVAC system can found near home foundations but is usually placed on the roof of a structure with ducts running throughout the building. To control this type of system, there is a thermostat installed within the building.
Packaged systems are a good option for establishments who want a relatively silent system because all of the components are found outside the property. The downside is that, because the parts are outside, they are more vulnerable to damage from being exposed to the elements. Plus, they don’t have a lot of options when it comes to design.
5. Geothermal HVAC Systems
Temperatures deep in the Earth stays the same no matter what area you are from. With a heat pump powered by electricity, geothermal HVAC systems utilize the heat from underground. This system processes fluid from underneath the ground using pipes to exchange heat.
When the cooling mode is enabled, the heat extracted from the structure is released into the ground, then is absorbed by cooler areas and is then cycled back up as cold air.
Like the hybrid system, geothermal HVAC systems are environmentally friendly and can save money in the long run, but it will cost a lot of money to install.
As HVAC systems are an integral part of any building structure, the right one must be installed in a building– they supply proper airflow and regulate the indoor climate. If the building has a faulty or system that fails to heat, dehumidify, and provide ventilation, the occupants of the structure will be uncomfortable, which won’t be conducive for anyone. So, to attain a well-functioning building, there should be a well-functioning HVAC system.