It's nice to have air-conditioning in your home, but it is imperative you have efficient cooling in your business to keep employees and customers comfortable. If you are unsure which type of cooling option is right for you, check out these four popular options.
A packaged system is probably what you typically imagine when you picture a central air-conditioning unit. The term, "packaged," just means that everything is contained in one unit. This unit is kept outside. For homes and smaller businesses, it may be placed on a cement slab on the ground, but for larger businesses, they are often installed on the roof. The system uses the building's heating ducts and vents to spread cold air.
These packaged systems are great for any business, but they are more common with larger ones, because they are extremely effective but expensive. Most packaged systems, however, are energy efficient, so you'll save money on monthly business cooling costs. On the downside, because a packaged system uses ducts, without proper care, they can become energy inefficient. It's estimated that duct leaks let up to 30 percent of air to leave. So part of your routine maintenance will need to be keeping the vents clean and airtight.
A split system air conditioning unit is similar to a packaged system. There is still an outdoor unit, which holds the condenser coil and compressor. However, the other equipment is stored in a unit inside the building. This holds the cooling coil, supply fan and expansion device. The benefit of a split system is that it doesn't rely on ducts. Instead, tubes and wires connect the two units. A split system is great for smaller businesses and for businesses that don't already have ducts installed.
The split system works by turning gas into cold liquid. In the outdoor unit, the refrigerant gas is heat and cooled, which transform it into a liquid. The liquid is sent to the inside unit via the tubes. This cold liquid is used to cool the air that is then pumped into the working space. The system also pulls hot air out of the building and sends it outside.
Chilled Water System
A chilled water system is much like a split system. It also has a unit outside the building that sits on the roof, and it has air handlers inside the building in different areas. Like a split system, the liquid is cooled in the outdoor unit. However, instead of turning gas into a liquid, the chilled water system uses water (or water and a mixture of anti-freezing solution).
The water is sent inside the building via pipes, in the same fashion cold liquid is pushed through the tubes in a split system. When the water reaches the air-handlers, it runs over the cooling coils and blows cool air. Warmed water is returned to the cooling tower to be recycled and reheated.
A heat pump is another popular option because of its extreme energy efficiency. Despite the name, heat pumps can actually heat and cool your business. However, they are not as efficient as packaged systems or split systems, making them better for climates that don't have extreme winters or summers. Heat pumps are rather cheap to install, and they are incredibly cheap to run. However, it is a good idea to have a backup system, especially a backup furnace in the event of abnormally cold winters.
A heat pump works differently than a packaged or split system. It doesn't create cold air that is pushed into your business. It doesn't even create hot air during the winter. Instead, it moves air by pumping it to better locations. For example, during the summer, the heat pump pulls hot air from inside the building and pumps it outside. At the same time, it pulls cold air from outside and pumps it inside.
There are many options for cooling your business, but they all have their own pros and cons, so you'll need to find the right one for your business. For more information about commercial cooling or to find out which system is right for you, contact a air conditioning contractor from companies like Mercury Tec.