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Building Ventilation And Control Strategies
Building ventilation is a strange beast. Each buildingÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ventilation needs vary widely from one building to the next, making this one of the most challenging aspects of managing a buildingÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s HVAC system. Though there are a variety of schools of thought surrounding the best strategy to implement when considering the ventilation system for a building, most experts agree that the single most important factor is the amount of traffic that the building is expected to endure.
Commercial buildings tend to have the hardest time with this estimation because their traffic varies so widely from month to month throughout the year. Unlike any other estimation dealing with air conditioning systems and ventilation, traffic of commercial buildings should be overestimated as opposed to underestimated. This ensures that the ventilation system will be able to handle the traffic of the building.
The ventilation of a building should be considered from the very beginning, ideally during construction. Unlike other aspects of an air conditioning system, the ventilation system is nearly impossible to make major changes to after construction. Any changes would require that the entire building be reconstructed. Therefore, early consideration of ventilation needs is essential to avoid costly and time consuming repairs and changes later on.
Ideally, a ventilation and HVAC expert will be called in for consultation during the construction planning of a building to ensure that the proper ventilation system and control strategies are utilized from the very beginning. Many contractors believe that this is an unnecessary expense, but it should strongly be considered if at all possible. Once a building has been constructed, the ventilation system must be properly maintained, just like the air conditioning system. Providing maintenance and upkeep for the A/C unit, yet forgetting about the ventilation system, can yield incredibly disturbing results. A faulty ventilation system can be far more time consuming and costly to repair than a faulty A/C unit, mainly due to the need to reconstruct an entire building to make major changes to the ventilation.
Ensuring that the staff that repairs and maintains the HVAC system is also qualified to care for the ventilation system is the best way in which to avoid major repairs. It may mean high costs associated with the wages of the technicians, but it is very much worth it. A ventilation system must be surveyed at least monthly, though weekly is ideal. During the survey, the technicians should be checking for any possible obstructions. Obstructions are the most common causes of problems in building ventilation. Ironically, they are also the most easily prevented problems. Clogs are commonly the result of external factors, such as animals and weather. Birds are notorious for building nests in duct and ventilation systems, thereby causing lots of problems. Constant surveying of the duct and ventilation will allow a technician to recognize that a problem is occurring before it grows too large. Sweeping the ducts of the ventilation system, in much the same way that a chimney sweep gets rid of the soot in a chimney to maintain an unobstructed chimney.
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