HVAC is an acronym that represents the terms heating, ventilation and air conditioning. An HVAC system is one of the comforts that are taken for granted until it stops working properly. Often unnoticed, these systems provide comfortable air to buildings of any size but are usually used in medium to large office buildings and industrial buildings. By examining the aspects of an HVAC system, you can better understand how it works and why it is needed.
The first aspect in this type of system is heating. The air is heated by a furnace, boiler or heat pump and then forced through the building via ductwork or pipes and radiators. Typically the heating element (boiler, furnace, etc.) is housed in a mechanical room that is isolated from work areas as it tends to be a noisy location. The heating aspect of this system is vital to maintaining comfortable temperatures during the warm summer months. Additionally, the heating system supports the rest of the building by preventing frozen pipes and various other challenges that occur when a heating system is inadequate.
The next aspect in this type of system is ventilation. Ventilation is very important in office buildings and industrial spaces, as stale air can affect work performance and the overall health of the employee. You can ventilate a space either mechanically or naturally. Mechanical ventilation uses force (like a fan) to move air. Additionally, fresh air is sometimes mixed with the interior air to improve humidity and quality. Sometimes, this is the easiest way to reduce odors and humidity indoors. Natural ventilation is the process of freshening the air without using fans or other devices. Typically, this is a simple as opening windows to allow fresh air to circulate.
Air conditioning is the final aspect in this type of system. In warm months, air conditioning is essential for both cooling the air and removing humidity from the air. Adequate cooling is essential for keeping employees (and customers) comfortable on warm weather days. When temperatures rise, large buildings can often become overly warm in a very quick manner. While cool air is important, reducing the humidity in the air is just as important. Excess humidity is not only uncomfortable, but it can cause major problems with mold and other contaminants that thrive on warm moisture.
When it comes to businesses, the question is usually not “will we have an HVAC system?” but rather “what kind of HVAC system will we have?” Contacting a licensed professional is the best course of action when you reach this stage in your business planning and preparation.