As a small-business owner or owner of commercial real estate, you should know about the operation of your property’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (commonly referred to as HVAC). Commercial HVAC systems are true engineering feats! While you don’t need to be an expert on your building’s HVAC system, having a basic understanding of how they operate can help you communicate with HVAC technicians if you call them in for service and repair.
What Is A Commercial HVAC System?
A commercial HVAC system provides heating and cooling within a larger space, such as businesses, large enterprises, restaurants, warehouses, etc. These systems are complex and are comprised of many parts, including the following:
- Heat exchanger
- Refrigerant lines
- Ductwork and vents
How Does A Commercial HVAC System Work?
A commercial HVAC system is responsible for three separate processes within your property:
- 1. Heating: When you raise the temperature on your thermostat, a gas valve within the furnace will ignite the gas burner. The burner will warm up the heat exchanger. Air is then warmed up as it flows through the heat exchanger. A fan then pushes the warm air through the ductwork to heat up your building.
- 2. Ventilation: Ventilation brings fresh air from outside into your commercial space. Without proper ventilation your commercial space would develop mildew, mold, and bad odors. A system of flues and vent pipes releases old, stale air while letting in a controlled amount of fresh air.
- 3. Cooling: When you lower the temperature on your thermostat, the AC part of your system kicks in and cools air with gaseous refrigerants that absorb heat from the air. A compressor then compresses the gas, which in turn causes its temperature to rise. The pressurized gas is transferred into a condensation coil, which turns the warm gas into a cooler liquid. A blower takes in the warm air from your commercial space and directs it over an evaporator that absorbs the heat. The air is now “conditioned” and released through the ductwork to cool down your commercial space.
How Does A Commercial HVAC System Differ From A Residential System?
While they essentially perform the same jobs, commercial HVAC systems differ from residential systems in several important ways:
- 1. Size: Most obviously, a commercial HVAC system is larger than a residential HVAC system. Typically, the larger the building, the larger the HVAC system needs to be. And the larger the system, the more power it will require to run effectively and efficiently.
- 2. Complexity: A residential HVAC system is usually operating only to heat and cool a single-family home. A commercial HVAC system has to accommodate buildings that may be segmented into different offices, floors, or departments that have different heating and cooling needs.
- 3. Drainage: Typically, a residential HVAC system will drain into one pan located outside the home. A commercial HVAC system has a detailed drainage system with multiple pans and pipes to ensure that the system is draining properly. Proper drainage is important to prevent overflowing.
- 4. Location: A residential HVAC unit is placed either in the backyard or against the side of a house. A large commercial HVAC system is typically placed on the roof of a building. The roof offers easy access for maintenance and repairs without disturbing those who are using the building. It also keeps it safe from vandalism or accidental damage.
How Do I Maintain A Commercial HVAC System?
Although commercial HVAC systems are complex, there are a few tasks you can take care of yourself to ensure it runs properly. These tasks include changing filters, testing the thermostat, and clearing the vents.
Beyond that, however, it’s recommended that you call in an experienced HVAC technician. During the inspection, the HVAC contractor will check all belts, safety mechanisms, pulleys, pumps, and shafts. He’ll lubricate all moving parts, clean out valves and holes, adjust pressure control devices, and ensure all pans and pipes are draining properly. Plus, he has the expertise to catch and repair minor issues before they turn into big expensive problems.
Who Do I Call To Schedule Commercial HVAC Maintenance?
If you need someone to inspect your commercial HVAC unit, then contact Cool Works Co. based in New York City. Cool Works is a full-service heating and cooling contractor specializing in the design, installation, and servicing of HVAC systems. Their team of technicians has been servicing the New York City area for 25 years, so they know all of the city’s codes, regulations, and requirements for HVAC installation and upkeep better than anyone.
Cool Works serves the entire Manhattan area, including but not limited to: New York City, Hell’s Kitchen, NoHo, Soho, Tribeca, Union Square, the Upper East and West Sides, the Flatiron District, Greenwich Village, Gramercy, and the Meatpacking District. Contact Cool Works today to discuss your commercial HVAC maintenance needs.