Critical Facilities Summit

4  FM quick reads on hvac

1. HVAC System for Good IAQ

IAQ

Part of maintaining good indoor air quality in a facility means making sure the components of the HVAC system itself don''t become a problem. Filters and drain pans first leap to mind, but other components can play a negative role as well.

For example, there''s the HVAC piping. To protect indoor air quality make sure the piping - steam, condensate, or hot and chilled water - does not leak. The piping could have high concentrations of corrosion inhibitors to extend its useable life. These chemicals could become airborne if a leak is not addressed.

Another area to keep an eye on is the ceiling plenum. When the area above ceiling tiles is used as a return plenum, it''s important to keep that space free of contamination or contaminated materials, such as contaminated ceiling tiles or wet insulation. If these types of materials are allowed to remain in the plenum space, microbes can be aerosolized and eventually move into the air stream.


Sub-Meters Monitor HVAC Components

This is Chris Matt, Managing Editor of Print & E-Media, with Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today's tip is sub-metering and energy efficiency.

One area in which sub-metering technology excels is measurement and verification. Since technicians can install a sub-meter almost anywhere in the electrical-distribution or branch-circuiting system, managers can specify meters for use in areas in which they are most effective in gathering useful energy information. For managers in a large facility who want to understand the building's overall energy profile, these meters can help by monitoring individual pieces of equipment, including chillers, pumps, air handlers, and other HVAC-system components.

By collecting this data, managers can identify operational inefficiencies. Often, this step can reveal interesting trends, such as two or more large motor loads starting at the same time, which causes system spikes. By alternating or staggering these loads, managers can eliminate spikes and improve efficiency.

Sub-meters also can alert front-line technicians to the potential failure of a piece of equipment before it fails. Monitoring the current draw on a piece of equipment generates a profile. Once that piece of equipment starts to draw more than the recorded profile current, technicians can program an alert to let them know a potential problem exists. The technology allows technicians to take preventive measures before a costly failure occurs, and the resulting savings in downtime and maintenance costs can more than pay for installation of the sub-meters.


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hvac , plenum , piping

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