TESTING AND BALANCING
The three major steps used to achieve this proper operation of the HVAC and hydronics systems and a desirable climate are testing, adjusting and balancing.
Testing is the used of specialized instruments to measure temperature, pressure, rotational speed, electrical characteristics velocity, and air and water quantities for an evaluation of the equipment and the system performance.
Adjusting is the final setting of the balancing devices; such as, dampers, valves, and automatic control devices like thermostats, pressure controllers, and computer controls.
Balancing is the methodical regulation of system flows, whether they be air or water, through the use of acceptable procedures to achieve the specified flow quantities, in cubic feet per minute (CFM) or gallons per minute (GPM).
HEATING, VENTILATING, AND AIR CONDITIONING
HVAC is the related processes designed to regulate the ambient conditions within buildings for comfort or for industrial purposes.
Heating and area raises temperature in a given space to a more satisfactory level than that of the atmosphere.
Ventilation replenished oxygen, dilutes the level of carbon dioxide and water vapor and minimizes unpleasant odors in buildings where people live and work. Although engineers have differed on the estimates of how often the air should be changed, there is consensus that the amount of ventilation usually requires mechanical devices to augment the natural flow of air.
Air conditioning designates control of the indoor environment year-round to create and maintain desirable conditions of temperature, humidity, air circulation, and purity for the occupants of that space.
In most hydronic systems, water, glycol, or steam are used to heat of cool a specific area. In heating, the temperature of the liquid is raised and then pumped mechanically throughout the system to radiators, unit fans equipped with blowers, radiant heating panels, or heating coils in the central heating system. In cooling, the liquid is chilled, using cooling towers or chillers, and again forced through the system. Most important is the fact that the liquid must meet specific flow requirements for each part of the system. In order to create an energy efficient building, this hydronic system must be balanced correctly
CHANGES IN WORK ENVIRONMENT
There have been numerous changes in the work environment due to "high tech" advances. These advances have caused the structure to change so as to stay productive as well as cost efficient.
Offices have undergone many changes utilizing information systems and new lighting which have affected the temperature and structure of the office space.
Manufacturing plants have undergone expansions and additions of automated machinery thereby changing the requirements of the HVAC system. With the increased loads created by more machine as well as workers, many of the systems may not be properly balanced to handle the new situations
Older systems may have to be upgraded or adjusted to meet the changes brought about by the technological advances of the 70's and 80's. To properly evaluate what is presently or will be needed, the HVAC and hydronic systems should be examined and a program established so as to operate at the most efficient means possible.
AWARENESS OF PROBLEMS
The owners and builders of various structures should be aware of some of the problems associated with an improperly balanced area; such as worker, tenant, and public dissatisfaction. In the human resources section, worker productivity and needs were discussed to show advantages to the firm.
In as far as tenants, the main objectives are in attracting as well as retaining the present ones. With proper ventilation and heating, elimination of hot/cold spots as well as noise and drafts leads to the satisfaction of the tenant and his employees. It follows that better conditions increases the satisfaction of the tenant thereby increasing the possibility to attract or retain.
One of the main problems not usually addressed, is the satisfaction of the general public in places such as, stores, libraries, hospitals, schools, or other places where people congregate. If the conditions are less than ideal, a consumer or user will limit the duration of his/her stay. The shortened stay or not returning can be very costly to a store like a supermarket, where impulse buying is an attributable factor in the amount spent by the consumer.
Proper balancing of the HVAC and the hydronic heating/cooling systems is not a new task. There is no question that a properly balanced system has a number of benefits to the owner. In the past, few systems had been balanced primarily due to the fact that energy had been inexpensive.
Rising costs of energy have led to new awareness of the need for heating/cooling systems that will operate efficiently and provide the required environment. To achieve the optimal efficiency in mechanical systems, the fundamental components must be properly employed using scientific techniques of which balancing is a leading factor.
HVAC and hydronic balancing insures proper operation of the system, reduces energy costs and creates and efficient workplace.
Although there are many areas in human resources management, one that has been overlooked by management is the increased productivity of its personnel by developing and efficient workplace. Numerous studies by psychologists and human resources personnel have shown that an environmentally efficient work area is conducive to the satisfaction of the employees thereby maximizing their output
A properly designed and instituted maintenance program can be as beneficial as the initial balancing itself. The first objective of the maintenance program is to review and readjust, when necessary, to retain the proper balance of the system. This includes maintaining proper flows as well as keeping the units at peak efficiency.
Secondly, proper maintenance procedure are established: such as, greasing the bearings, replacement of drive belts and filters, so that the maximum efficiency and life expectancy of the unit may be achieved.
Finally, the systems are monitored with regards to the needs of the user. The requirements of the firm must be set so the system may be tailored to it or modified if need be.