Proper heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) in office spaces are essential for employees’ comfort and productivity during the hot and cold seasons. As an employer, you want to select a product that will keep your workers productive irrespective of climate conditions throughout the year.
For this purpose, there are different types of commercial HVAC units to choose from, based on your business’s specific size and needs. Whether you need help deciding what type of system is best for your office or want to learn more about how they work, here is how to choose the right system for your commercial premises.
Choose the Right Type
Commercial heating and air conditioning systems come in three basic types: Gas, electric resistance, and heat pump. Each type is quite different in how it works, but all have the same goal of providing employees with a comfortable and productive work environment.
Gas- or Oil-Fired Furnaces – These provide both heating and cooling and are more energy-efficient than other types of large commercial HVAC units. They also require minimal maintenance and offer a long lifespan. Most gas furnaces come with an AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) rating of 85% or higher, making them highly efficient compared to other systems.
Electric Resistance Heat – These provide supplemental heat during the winter and will cool the space as well. Electric resistance systems are usually less expensive to install than gas- or oil-fired furnaces, but they run at a higher cost for each BTU of energy used.
Heat Pump Systems – It can provide both heating and cooling, but it may need to be supplemented by auxiliary heaters or air conditioners in extreme weather conditions. A heat pump is relatively more expensive than an electric resistance heater or furnace.
Determine the Size
HVAC systems are available in sizes that range from 15 to 60 tons. A ton is equal to 12,000 BTU/hr. So, a 50-ton unit can provide up to 600,000 BTU/hr of heating or cooling power.
Smaller spaces should use the 15-ton system, while larger facilities require more advanced technology. If you are not sure how much capacity your office needs for heating and cooling, it would be best to hire an HVAC technician to perform a load calculation on your premises.
Choose the Right Features
Some commercial HVAC units include several desired features that can reduce energy costs and provide consistent comfort to employees. Some of these features include:
Variable-speed fans – This allows the HVAC unit to operate at variable speeds, which helps reduce the amount of energy needed to maintain cool or warm air inside the building.
Variable-speed compressors – This ensures better temperature control and increased savings on energy costs since it does not use as much power at low-demand times.
Auto-restart – After a power outage has occurred, this feature allows the HVAC unit to restart when power is restored. This keeps the business comfortable during blackouts and ensures there is no costly equipment damage in the event of an outage.
Computer controls allow for centralized control and monitoring of HVAC systems by technicians or building security personnel.
Ductless systems use small wall-mounted or window units to provide heating or cooling to targeted areas instead of central HVAC systems. This minimizes energy costs and saves space in the office.
There are several different commercial heating and air conditioning units on the market that will suit nearly every office type. Choosing the right system for your space can increase comfort for employees and reduce energy costs over time.