Why Is HVAC Design Important? | How Great HVAC Design Increases Energy Efficiency And Cuts Running Costs

The importance of great HVAC design

Thinking of investing in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC)? In the average commercial building, the HVAC system can be responsible for up to 30% of total energy use and costs. But surprisingly, it’s capital and maintenance expenses and ultimately bad system design that’ll cost you the most. 

Design is Decisive

Great design and optimisation are the number one considerations when it comes to your HVAC system. If you’re in the construction or re-fit stage – design your system early in the process. That way, you can insulate or alter to aid efficiency, and factor in off-peak rates and overnight cooling systems, to help rein energy consumption.

There are three dimensions to consider: financial results/operations efficiency, environmental factors/energy savings, and social dimensions/comfort.

HVAC design needs to be top of mind, or you’re likely to come up against expensive alterations down the track. Here’s why good HVAC design and HVAC maintenance are vital.

A Tonnage of Importance

When it comes to HVAC system design – bigger isn’t better. First, make sure you choose an air conditioner with the correct tonnage and specs. This stage of the process is a priority – find out all about heat sources in your space. Think beyond square footage; if you go too small, you won’t be happy with the cooling effect, rendering your investment useless. If you go too big, you’re looking at an unnecessarily expensive machine and running costs due to the amount of power it uses.

Even if you’re dealing with an open space, different areas within it will have different requirements. Independently controlled zones let you segment the settings to customise comfort. For example, computer rooms need humidity control, whereas conference rooms, where people meet, need to be cooler when in use.

Installing an HVAC system with the proper tonnage results in comfort without sky-high bills.

It Makes Sensor

Sensors are a great ally to have, and you can integrate them into your HVAC design. Light sensors detect the level of daylight in your space and adjust heating, cooling and lighting in response. Occupancy sensors monitor the number of people in the space throughout the day and communicate with HVAC controls to adjust accordingly.

Options Underfoot

Sensors are a great ally to have, and you can integrate them into your HVAC design. Light sensors detect the level of daylight in your space and adjust heating, cooling and lighting in response. Occupancy sensors monitor the number of people in the space throughout the day and communicate with HVAC controls to adjust accordingly.

Just Right

Your ductwork needs to be the right size. If it’s too large, you can get uneven cooling or let dust and mould into your space. If it’s too small, your evaporator coil could freeze, or the airflow could cause expensive components to fail.

Environmentally Conscious Design

A holistic approach to HVAC design also takes into account the space itself. Because your HVAC system is a high energy consumer – if you have the opportunity to make some space-design alterations, it can make all the difference to HVAC loads and energy costs. 

The best way to configure an efficient, environmentally-friendly HVAC system is to look at all the sources of heat generation throughout your space. This allows you to spec the correct system in terms of tonnage and airflow rate.

When calculating heat gain, consider the dimensions of the space you want to cool, and don’t forget walls and roofs. Look at how many and what type of windows you have, as well as blinds and sun exposure. Factor in lights and electrical gear, and many people will be in the space as well.

Proven Experience

A quality HVAC designer is only as good as the feedback they get from occupants and building owners. So don’t scrimp on HVAC consulting to streamline your system; it’s expertise you can’t overlook. Our designers get outstanding outcomes because their broad knowledge encompasses the entire life cycle of assets from design, construction, maintenance and service to compliance, sustainability, auditing, training and upgrades. In addition, cooling load tests will confirm your system is up to scratch at peak levels.

Integrate a BMS System

With a building management system (BMS), you get automated energy efficiency and comfort commands from a single digital platform. A BMS gives you centralised control and optimisation of equipment cycles with web-enabled apps focusing on energy-efficient buildings. In addition, get feedback on temperature and air quality so you can affect comfort. You can include a BMS in a new package or add one to your existing system.

A BMS helps keep your HVAC tuned, righting drift over time. It exposes heavy energy use and saves you time with centralised control. It helps you spot equipment failure early and find when a component is on the brink of a breakdown so you can put preventative maintenance in place. Reporting capabilities allow you to assess energy consumption.

Design's Greatest Fan

Prioritising proper design from the start saves money in the long term. So for significant, ongoing operations and energy savings, don’t neglect design – it’s the difference between optimised comfort and an expensive, energy-draining mistake.   

Call our talented Engineering Team to get help with the design or improvement of your HVAC system.