A professional HVAC engineer is highly trained in all aspects of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. Since these installations keep suitable indoor conditions for human occupancy, a correct design procedure is very important. There are also many opportunities to improve HVAC systems in existing buildings, especially if they have not been inspected recently.
HVAC systems are technically complex, and in most buildings they use both electricity and fuel. Heating and cooling equipment must have the right capacity according to building needs, and ventilation systems must provide an adequate airflow to distribute the heating and cooling output. Safety is also an important concern in HVAC design, since both electricity and combustion are dangerous if not used properly.
An HVAC Engineer Can Calculate Ideal Equipment Capacities
HVAC design achieves the best results when calculations are accurate. Undersized equipment cannot provide enough cooling and heating to reach a suitable indoor temperature, while oversized systems have a higher price and are more demanding in terms of maintenance.
A common but incorrect practice is using “rules of thumb” when sizing heating and cooling equipment. This approach can be tempting because it allows quick calculations, but it often leads to oversized or undersized equipment. HVAC installations can only be sized optimally if equipment is selected based on a detailed calculation procedure by an HVAC engineer.
Even if two buildings have the same indoor area, their heating and cooling requirements can be very different. Therefore, professional engineers do not recommend calculating HVAC loads based only on floor area. For example, assume a restaurant and an office have the same size; the restaurant will require more cooling due to the heat emitted by kitchen equipment and food.
An HVAC Engineer Can Design Upgrades for Existing Installations
Heating, ventilation and cooling systems in existing buildings can also be improved with the professional services of an HVAC engineer. The following are some common performance issues when dealing with existing HVAC installations:
- Older heating and cooling systems have less effective control methods. This causes temperature fluctuations and higher energy expenses.
- Also consider that outdated systems have a low nameplate efficiency. As a result, their operating cost is high even with optimal control settings and maintenance.
- Even newer installations can suffer a gradual loss of performance if HVAC installations are not serviced properly, or if equipment controls are configured incorrectly.
If you are planning a major building renovation, consider a detailed inspection of your HVAC installations to identify issues and opportunity areas. Building renovations present an excellent change to improve the performance of your heating and cooling equipment, since many promising upgrades are very disruptive for occupants when a building is operating normally.
HVAC systems are characterized by their variety, and there can be a wide range of possible upgrades for an existing installation. Since every building is unique, energy efficiency measures that work in one installation may be ineffective in another of the same scale. A professional HVAC engineer can identify the best upgrades for the heating, cooling and ventilation systems in your building.