6 top tips to optimise your HVAC control system
Updated: Oct 19, 2021
Businesses are favouring open layouts that incorporate natural lighting and free-form workspaces that invite collaboration and flexibility. Certainly, we’re moving away from the traditional design found in offices after the recent pandemic.
Businesses will be forced to critically consider their design as hybrid-working becomes an en masse option. As a result, occupancy within the work premises will fluctuate far more and this can put a lot of pressure on conventional HVAC systems (heating, ventilation and air conditioning). Furthermore, with the main purpose of a HVAC control system being internal temperatures, humidity and quality of air, COVID-19 has brought the necessity of an effective system to the forefront of the workplace. Not only do you need a system that regulates airflow, but also one that cleans and filters to eliminate the risk of viruses spreading and surviving in an office.
In this article, we’ll be sharing our top tips to optimise your HVAC control system equipment to ensure you are getting the very most out of it and prolonging its life. You certainly don’t want to run into issues in peak seasons when temperature control is crucial. So, follow these tips to keep your system in top-notch condition.
#1 Focus on ventilation and air quality
Office buildings tend to lack proper ventilation, with little-to-no access to fresh, outdoor air. Often, the air in these rooms becomes stale, odour-filled and imbalanced with carbon dioxide - plus, it’s an ideal breeding ground for viruses. With COVID-19 still a prominent threat, it’s crucial you consider ventilation and air quality within your workplace.
As a result of improper ventilation, you may find your employees suffer in terms of productivity and performance. The low oxygen levels can have a major effect, often causing headaches or tiredness.
Whilst temperature is typically the main consideration when you look to optimise your HVAC control system, it’s crucial you pay close attention to airflow too. Understand how to monitor the indoor air quality and utilise this feature, regularly testing the air quality of the office. Rather than relying solely on heating or cooling systems, a properly designed and installed system will be able to bring in outside air when the temperature is right. Be sure to make ventilation and air quality a priority and educate employees on the importance of this feature.
#2 Energy-saving office layouts
Space is typically the main consideration when designing an office space, yet with a HVAC system likely using the most energy, it makes sense to prioritise this in your design. Clever layouts and design features can drastically reduce your dependence on temperature control. So, what are some of the key considerations you should take through into your office space?
Under-floor ventilation vs. in-ceiling designs. In offices with more open spaces and high ceilings, overhead systems are severely limited in terms of effectiveness. Floor-based systems will allow colder air to stay low, whilst taking advantage of naturally rising heat.
Utilise windows. Whilst in the winter months you may require additional heating, the natural light and fresh air will far outweigh this potential issue. Consider installing high-quality double-glazed windows that can open to circulate air.
HVAC control systems are highly effective at regulating temperature and airflow, but it’s important you consider the design of your office to ensure you are making the very most of your system. Optimise your HVAC control systems and you’ll be able to save energy and money with a smartly designed office.
#3 Zoning and controls
Ideally, each space should have its own sensor systems because separate zones have vastly different requirements. Particularly with the introduction of hybrid-working, offices will be used by far fewer employees on a daily basis so it’s important you understand the employee journey and optimise your HVAC control systems accordingly. Whilst it may seem more efficient to have fewer control operating areas, this is counterproductive. Remember to think of room requirements, such as:
Computer and server rooms will have specific humidity level requirements.
Specific times of day will draw different energy loads depending on the area.
Kitchens, restrooms and break-out areas will have higher traffic and generate more heat than offices and workstations.
Conference rooms are not constantly in use and will therefore have varying temperature requirements depending on meetings.
Areas along the building’s exterior will be more affected by outside temperatures.
Using individual sensors that have a centralised monitoring system can ensure your HVAC system is optimised and attuned for the specific needs of your business. The insights revealed will allow you to successfully monitor room conditions and fix issues as needed.
#4 Proper installation
It may seem obvious, but proper installation is crucial to the overall performance of you system and can ensure you optimise your HVAC control systems. In fact, if not designed and installed correctly, you could actually be contributing further to energy consumption rates and as a result, be expending greater sums of money when in reality, you should be saving.
To ensure your system is in working order, trust the experts. This complicated process requires experienced professionals, a botch job could in fact be high risk. A reputable installer will be able to provide you with advice on where the best location is for the unit and educate you on best practices.
A technician should inspect your home prior to completing the installation and can provide a cost estimate. They'll check every element of your existing heating, cooling and ventilation system to determine what is best for your office building.
Once installed correctly, you may think you can sit back and forget about your HVAC control system. Whilst this is largely the case as the equipment will automate temperature control and ventilation, maintenance is crucial to ensure all remains functioning correctly. Small issues that go unnoticed can easily become far bigger problems down the line.
Whilst it’s tempting to ignore annual check-ups, think of it similarly to how you would a car - a yearly MOT or service is something you certainly wouldn’t skip, even if it seems to be running fine. Maintenance can ensure you are getting the true value out of your system, prolonging its lifespan as a result. Stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter through regular servicing and avoid unexpected issues that could have a significant impact on the performance.
#6 Consider a BMS
A BMS or building management system can be utilised alongside a HVAC and this can help optimise your HVAC control systems for your office premises. This computer-based system brings all mechanical and electrical equipment under one central point of control and thus, will allow employees to confidently monitor all equipment in the building. There will be a need for less training and questions on how to operate a thermostat/HVAC system correctly as you streamline the process.
This may not be a solution for all businesses, but it can also again improve the life expectancy of your HVAC system and detect issues ahead of time. Ultimately, this will significantly improve the efficiency of the heating, cooling and ventilation equipment.
Optimise your HVAC control systems: The conclusion
It’s crucial you understand how to optimise your HVAC system for your business. You can create a productive, comfortable environment for your employees. Whilst it may not always seem like a priority amongst daily operations, proper climate control plays a huge role in office efficiency.
Particularly with offices being forced to accommodate more hybrid-working, it’s more important than ever to understand how areas will be used and design a system accordingly. Ultimately, this should reduce your energy consumption and see your expenditure lowered so optimising your HVAC system should certainly be a focus for any business.
You can see impressive results with an efficient system in place. But, to reap these benefits you must ensure that you install the equipment correctly, utilising a team of experts with the right knowledge and experience. Furthermore, maintenance should be scheduled regularly to ensure the system continues to function properly.
Get in touch with the Javelin Controls team on 07808 791998 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be more than happy to discuss your HVAC system requirements and find a customised solution to suit your business needs.