How Your Commercial HVAC System Works

Heating, cooling, and ventilation are essential processes in your commercial facility. They maintain indoor air quality and temperature, which is key to your tenant satisfaction as well as your overall operational efficiency. Have you ever wondered how this essential system functions? Or better yet, have you ever analyzed what causes it to perform or malfunction? 


The primary job of the HVAC system is to maintain temperature, humidity, and air cleanliness. The typical commercial facility should stay at 72°F and have a humidity level between 40-60% on any given day. This should remain consistent between the seasons and changes in weather. Indoor air quality must also be maintained, which is where things like your air filters and health of the ventilation system come into play. 


A Basic Synopsis of How The HVAC System Works


Your typical AC cools the temperature by circulating through a refrigerant or water-cooling system. Heaters work in the same way, except they use water, radiator coils, or gas to heat the air instead of cool it. In this way air is constantly circulating through the system and being forced through the vents, until the air in the atmosphere reaches the desired temperature. 


The ventilation system works in tandem with the AC or heater by circulating the air through a system of fans and filtering out unwanted particles. This helps to keep their air clean and free from dust, germs, or bacteria. Together, these systems comprise the HVAC unit, and are full of moving parts that can easily become problematic without proper maintenance. 


Types of Heating and Cooling Systems

The type of system your facility has and needs will depend on the size, design, and age of the building, among other things. Below are some of the most common types of heating and cooling for commercial facilities. You can ask your MaintenX HVAC technician to tell you more about the one installed in your facility. 


  • The single split system – This is the most affordable and most common type of HVAC system for residences and small office buildings. While these are low-cost and allow for individual control of a single area, they require considerable maintenance. For each area with individual heat and cooling control, you will have a separate outdoor unit. 
  • The multi mini-split system – These systems are similar to the single split system, but they are much more energy-efficient. They allow you to connect separate indoor units to one outdoor unit, making maintenance easier as well. 
  • Heat pump – Heat pumps are a special type of heating system that is more efficient for commercial buildings than traditional heaters. It transfers heat from the environment and turns it into heating for the building. This process can also be used for air conditioning. 


  • The VRF (variable refrigerant flow) or VRV (variable refrigerant volume) – These systems are ideal for mixed-use buildings such as large office buildings, hotels, or large corporate buildings. These provide heating and cooling to different areas by diverting heat and circulating it to where it is needed. 
  • Water-heating systems – Heating, like air conditioning, can be achieved by using hot water in a boiler. These are not as common, but can be found in older buildings. If you have a boiler in your building, you should ask your MaintenX technician about tips for proper care. 


Your MaintenX technician can help you better understand the type of HVAC system in your building, and what maintenance practices will bring you the best long-term results. For more information, contact us today!

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