Questions such as “does humidity affect AC performance?” are applicable to all types of HVAC systems. However, HVAC systems for large facilities pose unique challenges that property owners and managers must know how to address. In this blog, McMaster takes an in-depth look at these unique challenges.
Cold Air Sinks to the Bottom
Warm air rises, while cold air tends to sink. This can be easily remedied in small residential bedrooms, but the bigger the room, the harder it is to maintain consistent room temperatures. This imbalance often results in “cold pockets,” or spots in a room that are colder than others. An HVAC system that allows for proper airflow will aid in maintaining consistent room temperatures.
As described above, airflow is essential to maintaining consistent temperatures and HVAC system efficiency. It also helps control indoor humidity, which partially answers the question, “does humidity affect AC performance?” While most HVAC systems are equipped with blowers that help facilitate airflow, providing sufficient airflow in a bigger room or area can be a major challenge.
Setting a higher HVAC output doesn’t solve the problem, and generally only increases the temperature differences (the “cold pockets” described earlier), as well as energy consumption. A good combination of fans, blowers and wall or partition placement can help facilitate sufficient airflow.
Greater Susceptibility to Sick Building Syndrome
Large facilities have larger volumes of air. This means that when someone comes in sick with something contagious, it’s more difficult to stop the spread of pathogens, or the particles that cause disease. This makes building occupants more susceptible to sick building syndrome (SBS), which can negatively affect productivity and attendance.
Vulnerability to Air Leaks
The bigger the space, the harder it is to detect air leaks, which makes inspections to help detect potential problems more difficult to conduct. More often than not, such problems aren’t noticed until they’re fairly obvious. This, along with the other challenges mentioned above, are the reasons why it’s important to work with a knowledgeable HVAC contractor who has experience in commercial heating and air conditioning solutions.
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