Do you need to choose a new HVAC system for your office? To some, this might seem like an easy task. And HVAC system is an HVAC system, right? Well, yes and no. While office HVAC systems are commonplace, you do still need to educate yourself on the various HVAC systems available (and the HVAC alternatives). If you’re asking yourself, “how do I choose the perfect HVAC system for my office,” this this is the right place to start.
Understanding Different HVAC Systems
The right HVAC system for your office will be dependent on a variety of factors: how long you plan to run the unit, square footage of your office space, desired temperature, whether or not you work in an industry that needs heavy air filtration and purification, and more. But first, you need to understand the different office HVAC systems available and how they differ from one another:
- Single-stage – if you want an office HVAC system that just covers the basics, then a single stage is for you. These units have only an on or off setting, with no options to customize speed ore temperature. These systems have specific applications, and aren’t very practical as you’ll end up using more energy than needed in order to keep your building at a stable temperature.
- Two-stage – two stage HVAC systems have different fan speed settings, usually off, low, and high. This added customizability makes for a more efficient heating and cooling situation, keeping things simple and also more cost effective.
- Modulating – modulating, or variable speed, HVAC systems are what you’ll find in most offices. These HVAC units allow you to customize temperature, run time, and fan speeds, allowing for your office to maintain a stable indoor temperature at a reasonable cost.
- Pre-assembled rooftop units – it’s common for office parks to utilize pre-assembled rooftop units for heating and cooling. These rooftop systems are great because they save space, are easily installed, and they aren’t an eyesore outside your office building. Be careful, though, because these systems do require different maintenance than a traditional ground mounted rooftop unit.
HVAC Alternatives for your Office
- Heat pumps – heat pumps are an HVAC alternative for your office that could provide adequate heat and also some additional cost savings. These systems require specialized maintenance, so make sure to do some research before opting for a heat pump for your office.
- Ductless mini split systems – do you have certain areas of the office that need heat while other areas need to remain cool? If so, a ductless mini split system might be right for your office. These units don’t require ductwork, meaning less expense and less equipment to inspect and maintain. There are limitations to ductless mini splits, and they can get quite expensive if you’re installing multiple units in the office. Ask your HVAC specialist if these are the right HVAC solution for your office.
The Size of Your Office Affects the Size of Your HVAC System
A large factor in determining the right HVAC system for your office is square footage. If your office is small, you might be able to get away with one or two ductless mini split systems. If your office is large, with a series of rooms and buildings, then you’ll need to explore more commercial grade options such as a rooftop unit.
Bigger isn’t always better, and can actually post problems if you buy an HVAC system that is too big for your office. A unit that is too big won’t run very often in order to maintain temperature, which might save you money but will also lead to poor indoor air quality and high humidity. Ideally, your office HVAC unit will run often, but it won’t be constantly on without any breaks. On the other hand, your HVAC unit won’t just sit stagnant all day, either.
Need more help? Talk to your HVAC specialist to determine how to choose the right HVAC system for your office.