Don’t Avoid HVAC Design When Renovating — Why It’s Important

Ideally, renovations will result in an improved space. However, with so many details to consider, some might be too easy to overlook. HVAC design is one of these details. Renovating a building or even just a single office can go wrong if HVAC design is not considered.

Why is HVAC Design Important?

Renovating or not, proper HVAC design is essential for the health and comfort of building occupants. If your HVAC system is improperly designed, then:

  • Air quality will suffer
  • Odd smells can linger
  • Dust can pile up
  • Mold can form
  • Outdoor contaminants can enter
  • System efficiency will be low, causing wear and increased energy usage
  • Temperature will regulate poorly

By consulting with experts and integrating proper HVAC design from the first step, you can avoid these problems.

Design Considerations When Renovating

The goal is to give your renovated space, or building, an unobtrusive HVAC system that efficiently heats and cools the air. There are several ways to accomplish just that.

Calculate HVAC Load

You’ll need to rely on HVAC experts to calculate your HVAC load. The size and shape of each room, the outdoor climate, and your original HVAC system’s capacity make a difference.

If the structure changes drastically, your old system might not be sufficient. A new system might need to replace it, and it could even end up being smaller, too. A.C. units that are oversized work poorly and can cause strange conditions, like a space that’s both cold and humid.

Use Properly Sized Ducts

The size of the ducts is also essential. For example, if you use the same size ducts as what was already there, but you’re changing HVAC systems, they could be inadequate.

Ensure your duct sizes match the system and can fit inconspicuously inside the walls. You will not want to re-drywall, paint, and decorate walls to correct mistakes!

Use Enough Insulation

Without proper insulation, ducts won’t be able to carry air at a consistent temperature. The heat exchange systems rely on air that is the same throughout the system. With heat and coolness bleeding through the sides of the ducts into surrounding walls, they won’t work efficiently. Make sure all components of the system are in their proper place and have sufficient insulation.

39% of all energy consumption in commercial buildings in the U.S. is from HVAC systems. This is why it’s important to focus on increasing efficiency.

Consider Occupancy

You can estimate your HVAC needs if you know roughly how many people will be in the space at any given time. Body heat makes a considerable difference to ambient temperature. If you have busy and slow seasons, such as in a tourist area or restaurant, you must have a system that can handle both.

Anticipate Smells

Depending on the nature of your renovation, you may have to think about the odors that can circulate. Restaurant kitchens, healthcare facilities, florists, and other businesses must ensure the flow of odors or contaminants doesn’t end up in the wrong place.

The HVAC system will have to filter and direct these smells to avoid offending customers and employees.

Consult the Experts for Your HVAC Design

Whether you’re renovating a space or constructing a new one, the design of your HVAC system is paramount. Therefore, you will want to entrust this essential step of the construction process to experienced professionals.

The Severn Group serves Washington D.C. and Maryland businesses with expert repair, maintenance, and replacement services. Schedule a consultation today to learn how the Severn Group can make a difference in your renovation or construction project.