What Are Commercial Air Conditioners?

Air conditioners (AC) are quite common in homes around the world. They are bought to keep the indoor air cool and comfortable in hot and humid climates. The first proper definition of an air conditioner was given by GB Wilson. In factthis definition was corroborated by Willis Carrier, the “father of air conditioning”. According to this definition, the AC is adevice that maintains desired humidity level in all parts of the house. In summer season, it will remove excess moisture in the air and in winters it will add moisture to prevent dryness and dampness. It providessufficient ventilation tothe house. It also frees the air from microscopic pollutants like dust, soot, mites etc. It cools the rooms in hot climates and helps to heatthem in winter months.

Air conditioners used in individual houses will not be same in capacity as those used in business premises. A house can do with a few window units or single splits. Businesses will need ACs with capacities to cool entire premises. Therefore the manufacturers have come up with separate segment called the commercial ACs. Let’s take a look at them one by one.

Ducted ACs:Well, ducted ACs are centralizedsystems that can both cool and heat your premises. Youcanalso choose a cooling-only or heating only model. This will depend on the climate of that you live in. Installing and running them could incur a huge expenditure. You should know your needs properly before going for them. The size of the ducted Ac will be determined by the supplier who will deliver it you. There representative will survey yourpremises and deduce the exact size based on variety of parameters. These ACs cannotbe bought ‘off the shelf’.

How does a ducted AC work:Ducted ACs like other air conditioners work on heat pump principle. The job of aheat pump is to transfer heat from onelocation to other. The ducted units have a central unit located somewhere in the premises. The hot air from your house is collected from ducts present invarious parts of the house. This air is transferred to the central unit where it is cooled. The air is passed over a cold liquid, called a refrigerant. The heat in is absorbed by the liquid to make the air cool. The cool air is again resent by the blower fans to the rooms through the ducts. The refrigerant which got heated through absorption of heat from the air evaporates and flows into the compressor. The compressor compresses it at high pressure which creates a high temperature gas. The gas is pumped through a heat exchanger outside the premises. Once the heat escapes, the refrigerant cools down and liquefy again. It is passed through anexpansion device to cool further. It gets ready for another cycle of heatabsorption. This cycle continues to make the whole premises cool and comfortable. These ACs are great for cleaning the indoor air of microscopic pollutants.

If you are looking for both cooling and heating features in ducted ACs then you have to opt for reverse cycle ACs. In these ACs the cycle can be reversed which leads to generation ofheat that is used to heat up cold air inside the building.

How to select and install a ducted Ac for a commercial space?

Sizing the AC:You have to take into consideration a list of factors to select the right AC. Professional help is mandatory here. The first is the floor plan of your business space. Check how many levels you have and what are the dimensions and ceiling heights of the rooms. Also see in which direction the rooms face. The size, placements and orientation of the doors and window also play akey role. The construction material used to build you premises like weatherboard or full brick is also looked into. Factors like level of insulation, celling cavity space, theusage of various areas, and theavailabilityof outdoorspace are all studied by a professional. Outdoorspace is importantasthe outdoor unit has to be installed in a place where it does not cause disturbance to peopleworking inside within the premises. The noise should also not be an issue for working in neighbouring buildings. You will need a three-phase power supply, which will be an extra installation cost if you don't already have it.

Features of a Ducted AC: The vents for a ducted AC are available in avariety of design. They can be installed both in walls and in ceilings. The controls are usually hardwired and mounted on walls. Usually in large spaces there aremultiple controls, so that you can set up different temperatures in different zones according to the need. The devices have multiple sensors to keep the temperature at the targetedlevel.

Isducted ACs energy efficient:Yes theyare. But you have to monitor certain things to ensure that there is no waste of energy. Your ducts need to be thermally efficient so that valuable cooling or heating isn't lost travelling between the air conditioner unit and the target room. Contact a professional who will provide superior ducting material that meetsstipulated standard. Most modern conditioners are energyefficient. They can produce over 3 KW heating or cooling capacity for 1KW power consumed. Smaller ACs haveenergy rating labels. You will not find these labels for ducted ACs, buthey have to meet minimum energy performance requirements.Energy efficiency will also depend on time period of use.

Cost of ducted ACs: The cost of a ducted AC could vary from $2000 to $7000. The price will of course vary with size, efficiency, and brands. If you have duct work done in your house and only need centralized system installed, it will cost on an average $3,500-$4,000 for a 2000 sq. feet house. You will need two technicians who can do it in 2-3 days. If ducting needs to done then it will double up the installation cost. It can go up to $8,000 or more. Generally to install HVAC, you require apermit. This will add up to your installation cost.

Split System Air Conditioning:These are most affordable of all types of ACs. They are perfect for small shops, cafeterias, and small businesses. They are generally used for heating individual rooms. You can also use them in combination to cool larger areas. The only flip side is that each device has two units-an interior and an exterior unit. Therefore, you will need enough outside space to fit the exterior unit for each room. However they are cheaper than central ACs. Moreover, if one machine fails, the others will continue to function. Multi-Split System Air Conditioning: These work in the same way as single splits. Here a chain of indoor units are connected to a single outdoor unit. This arrangement is very suitable if you lack enough outside space. However it makes the design of these ACs a little more complex. A lot of pipe work is needed to install them. Installing tem also becomes a bit expensive compared to single splits.

Multiple split ACs are very efficient for commercial spaces. There is an air handler in each room. You can run the ACs for the roomsbeing used. The air directlyreaches from indoor unit instead of travelling the ducts. This leads to a lesser wastage in energy.

How to select a multiple-split AC?

Size: Size of split ACs is quite important. A too small unit will not be able to perform desired cooling. A too big one will remove too much humidity and render a damp feeling. Mounting the units in wrong locations will also disable the system from functioning efficiently. Removing them and reinstalling will be expensive. They will also skyrocket you utility bills. Size of a split system will also depend on you insulationlevel, It isalways better to getthem installed by a representative from themanufacturing company.

Below is an approximate sizing guide for split units:

• 350 square feet = 9,000 BTU

• 500 square feet = 12,000 BTU

• 750 square feet = 18,000 BTU

• 1000 square feet = 24,000 BTU

• 1250 square feet = 30,000 BTU

• 1500 square feet = 36,000 BTU

Cost of multiple ACS:Installing a multiple spilt system which has three units can cost up to $2485. Cost of a1.5-ton unit is approximately $480. This will vary with size, efficiency, and brand. A lot of pipe work is needed to install them. Installing them also becomes a bit expensive because of their complex design. Always take care of the fact that the total capacity (kW) of the indoor units should not overcome capacity of the outdoor unit, in case of a simultaneous operation of the indoor units. The multiple split units are being integrated with advanced inverter and heat pump technologies to give greater efficiency and energy-savings ability.

Cassette ACs

The modus operandi ofthese ACs is same as wall-hung split system units. The only notable difference is that the cassette which intake hot air from the rooms and give it back after cooling islocated in the ceiling instead of the walls. You canhave multiple cassettes connected to one external unit. The indoor unit is located in your celling and distributes conditioned air through two, three or four sides of the unit. The outdoor unit of a cassette air conditioner is mounted outside in same way as that of spilt ACs.

Where to install cassette air conditioners?

These ACS are ideal for conferencehalls and meeting rooms in offices. They are available in various sizes, capacities and are meant to cool large areas. They needa large ceiling space for installation. You will need to consult aprofessional to figure out if you have the right ceiling to mount the units. If yes, where exactly to installthem? These ACs needs clear and balanced air flow. Outdoor units should be kept in places where they won’t vibrate and will get plenty of airflow. The unit should be placed so, that it is accessible for maintenance and will not come into contact with corrosive substances. Quality copper pipes of right diameters are used to connect the internal units and external unit. Diameter should be of 3″ to ensure a smooth flow of refrigerants. Incorrect installation will compromise its efficiency and also increase the running cost. So contact an expert professional to install them.

Efficiency: These ACs are more powerful than slit ACs. Modern cassette ACs are very energy efficient. They are available with features like ¾ fan speeds, digitally controlled timers, and photocatalytic purification filters to provide dust-free, smoke-free, and mite-free air. They are also more expensive than other systems. Cost of atwo ton cassette AC could start from $ 850 and shoot up according to size,efficiency, and brand.

Sections coming:

• Tower AC



Request A Service Call

Commercial HVAC Contractors - HVAC Systems

Get Service Calls