HVAC Basics

Facility maintenance managers, HVAC contractors; HOA board members; estate and high-rise building managers; building and facility engineers; and commercial property managers all have one important responsibility to think about – running an HVAC.

Heating, cooling and air conditioning is vital to any part of real estate, whether for residential, commercial or industrial purposes.

Here’s a list of HVAC system fundamentals:

What is HVAC?

Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning systems are tasked with circulating fresh air within living spaces, while maintaining the optimal temperature to keep the occupants comfortable. Maintaining an efficient, working HVAC system is paramount to keeping management smooth and providing thermal comfort.

Parts of an HVAC System

Property managers should have an idea of how an HVAC system operates and what to do when complications occur. Here are the most important things to remember about each part:

Compressor

The heart of an HVAC system, compressors pump the refrigerant through respective components in a looping pattern. The refrigerant enters the compressor as low-pressure vapor and exits as high-pressure vapor.

Condenser Coil

This HVAC system component is responsible for rejecting the heat load absorbed by the evaporator coil. If the condenser oil is neglected, improper cooling will occur causing a high head pressure.

Evaporator Coil

This component absorbs the heat load to the condenser coil for eventual rejection. If the evaporator coil is impacted or dirty, then the HVAC will have improper cooling and low suction pressure.

Condenser Fan Motor

Condenser fan motors help in rejecting the heat load and maintaining optimal head pressure for optimal compressor operation.

Evaporator Blower Motor

Evaporator blower motor is designed to force or push manipulated air through the duct stream.

Thermostatic Expansion Valve

The TXV is a device that regulates the amount of liquid refrigerant flowing through the evaporator. It is designed to maximize evaporator efficiency while diverting the flow of excess refrigerant back into the compressor (called floodback).

Cooling Tower

A component of an HVAC system which rejects the heat load absorbed by either the heat pump or evaporator coil carried by water. The water in it transports the heat load which was absorbed by the evaporator coil, dissipating it in the cooling tower. The water that passes via the heat exchanger normalizes head pressure.

Chiller

This is a machine that provides chilled water, which is used in conjunction with the HVAC system’s cooling.

Pumps

These components are primarily designed to move water at the chill water and condenser water supply sections. Pumps move water chilled to 44 degrees to fancoils, and once the water reaches the fancoil, temperature rises to roughly around 47-52 degrees. Pumps that move the condenser water supply are rejected at cooling temperatures ranging from 90 to 100 degrees. Factors such as demand load, ambience, the cooling tower fill’s condition, and strainers can vary the temperature during circulation.

Duct System

This can either be rectangular or spiral, flanged or drive. The main trunk line is where the main HVAC air flows, branching out to distribution points that carry the cooled or warmed air into small office suites and large conference rooms in commercial buildings.

Boiler

The boiler is pressure equipment which heats water. The choices when it comes to selecting boiler types are either low or high pressure systems, or hot water and steam.

Energy Management Monitoring Systems

Also known as BAS (Building Automation Systems), this HVAC component helps schedule, control and monitor commercial equipment such as cooling towers, pumps, package units, air compressors and handlers, boilers, temperature sensors, chillers and VAV boxes within the office and in office living spaces.

What You Should Know About HVAC

HVAC systems are vital for property managers in a number of ways.

Whether for house rentals, apartment buildings, commercial complexes or large industrial settings, an HVAC system maintains optimal temperature inside working spaces.

Managers should consider regular HVAC system maintenance to keep it running smoothly and to ensure a longer lifespan.

How To Identify Different HVAC Equipment Types

Split Systems

A split system usually means cooling or heating products residing inside and outside the complex. This type is the most utilized among both air-conditioning and heating systems. You can see them in most commercial complexes, where the components are located both indoors and outdoors.

Hybrid Heat Split

The hybrid is a more advanced version of the split-type HVAC, with a more improved energy efficiency operation. It allows for adding a heat pump for electrically-fueled HVAC operations, going beyond the typical gas furnaces of today.

Ductless Split System

A ductless system has no air ducts to regulate optimal air inside homes or buildings. This type of HVAC system is most often used in room extensions, where ducts can’t reach it. Examples include garages, exercise rooms and home theaters.

Packaged Systems

Packaged systems usually include one or two heating or cooling units to maximize efficiency into one seamless unit.

The Roles and Responsibilities in HVAC Equipment

Building owners or commercial property owners should have their HVAC equipment checked and thoroughly inspected two to three times per year to make sure the tenants are maintaining the property well, and to see that there are no major issues within the complex. Property managers should include the inspection and maintenance of their HVAC systems during these checks.

Property management services will need to keep up with their tenant’s demands when it comes to heating and cooling. Complaints about insufficient cold or warm air should be worked on urgently.

It is necessary to work with an expert in HVAC systems, one who has intricate knowledge of their design and operation. They should be knowledgeable on repairs and installations and have the ability to service heating and cooling systems such as furnaces, heat pumps and air conditioners.

Prevention is still better than repair. An annual maintenance schedule should be drawn up to inspect, clean and repair the HVAC components for optimal operation. Here’s an example of a HVAC maintenance checklist.

The Most Important Things To Remember About HVAC

Commercial spaces often have utility as one of their largest expenses, but now there’s an option to be more energy efficient, thus lowering the overhead costs of operation.

Knowing the right type of HVAC system to use and keeping it running smoothly is good for all people concerned, be it building or property owners, tenants and contractors.

Regular maintenance of your HVAC system prolongs its life and raises the property’s asset values.