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A Complete Guide To Commercial Ventilation Systems

Your business relies on numerous interconnecting systems in order to operate efficiently. From the ground up, these systems provide comfort to employees, keep infrastructure safe and ensure your products are secure. Whether it’s indoor temperature control, plumbing or lighting, your commercial enterprise depends on these modern technologies to keep things running smoothly.

A key part of this is ventilation. Offices, warehouses, production lines and other industrial hubs all rely on some form of ventilation to maintain air quality throughout the building. These systems are essential but are often overlooked, hidden as they are within our walls and ceilings. Read on to learn more about commercial ventilation systems, from the various types to top maintenance tips.

What Is A Ventilation System?

A mechanical ventilation system is a piece of equipment made up of numerous interconnected parts that works to circulate indoor air. These tend to operate through the use of a fan, where fresh air can be drawn into a building as stale air is extracted. Numerous other benefits such as temperature control and air filtration can also be incorporated into these technologies.

These systems can also be referred to under the umbrella term HVAC, which stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. This term refers to this collective group of technologies that can include ventilation systems, where some will also provide temperature controls, whilst others will be used solely for air filtration.

Types Of Ventilation System

Commercial ventilation systems can come in a number of different types depending on the requirements of the building in question, where each of these operates in various ways:

Exhaust Ventilation

This type of ventilation system works through a reduction of indoor air pressure below the pressure levels outside, which allows indoor air to be extracted. Replacement air then can enter the building through passive vents and deliberate gaps in the building structure. Typically these operate through a centrally located single fan system.

Supply Ventilation

Supply ventilation also operates through pressurisation, where these work through the forcing of outdoor air into the building with a fan system. Air then leaves the building through purposeful vents and leaks in the building shell. These systems tend to consist of a main fan alongside air ducts and adjustable vents.

Balanced Ventilation

In contrast to the above systems, balanced ventilation aims to draw in and expel equal quantities of air from inside and outside the building, without affecting air pressure levels. These systems require two fans and two sets of ductwork, where air vents should be installed in appropriate locations throughout the structure for maximum airflow.

Energy Recovery Systems

An energy recovery ventilator combines heat exchange technology with ventilation to produce a cost-effective air filtration system. This works through the use of two fans, where the heat exchanger works to transfer heat and moisture between the two airstreams. These systems are often more efficient than other HVAC alternatives, where they can treat air using less energy and with improved moisture control.

Natural Ventilation

Of course there are alternatives to mechanical ventilation that don’t require large system installations or electrical devices to improve air quality. Simply opening a window can ventilate a building, but this is often not sufficient for especially large or heavily populated properties. Relying on natural ventilation also limits your capacity to control indoor temperatures as well as incoming pollen and particulate levels.

Benefits Of A Commercial Ventilation Systems

These systems are vital for the everyday functioning of commercial buildings, where the benefits are numerous and diverse. Some of these include:

Temperature Control

One of the most important functions of an HVAC system is that it can help to keep an interior warm in winter and cool in the summer. Natural ventilation influences indoor temperatures, especially when weather conditions are unfavourable. This means that temperature control systems allow us to function comfortably in all weathers, where airstreams can not only be filtered but also warmed or cooled.

Humidity Management

In addition to influencing indoor temperatures, ventilation systems can also be used to manage moisture and humidity levels. Excess humidity can cause indoor mould and condensation build-up, which can not only damage furnishings but also cause respiratory problems for occupants. Indoor air should be neither too damp nor too dry in order to maintain healthy breathing conditions, where a moisture-balancing ventilator can ensure this.

Pollen Filtration

In the summer season, pollen levels can cause intense allergic reactions for hayfever sufferers, which quickly affect overall wellbeing and daily functioning. Some indoor ventilation systems are equipped with filtration equipment that can extract pollen from incoming air, helping to keep interiors cool whilst also preventing an influx of allergens into the building.

Removal Of Pollution & Particulates

In many modern towns and cities today, we live alongside the daily effects of air pollution, where particulates from the combustion of fossil fuels can cause widespread harm. A commercial ventilation system can help to filter out various pollutants from incoming airstreams, helping to ensure that indoor air quality is improved for occupants. This can create a healthier air supply and in turn a better working environment.

Improved Wellbeing & Productivity

A widespread benefit of investing in a commercial ventilation system is that it can provide a wellness boost for the occupants of your building. Better air quality means respiratory issues and allergic reactions may be reduced, whilst fresh and temperate air can also improve mental wellbeing and promote a stress free working environment. This benefits employee satisfaction and in turn helps to maintain business-wide productivity levels.

Signs Your Ventilations System Requires Maintenance

As your commercial ventilation system is an important part of your building, it is essential that you know how to spot the signs that it is in need of repair work. Looking out for these signs can help you to avoid a major malfunction further down the line, which could lead to costly system replacements. Key indications that your ventilation system needs some attention can include

Unusual noises – Where bangs, scrapes and whining noises could indicate that there is an internal issue with your fan or ductwork that should be addressed immediately. This could mean that an internal part has come loose or that a mechanism is blocked.

Increased energy bills – Unexplained bill increases could suggest that there is a malfunction somewhere within your system, causing it to expend more energy than necessary. Fixing this or installing a new system can help to boost efficiency levels and save your company money.

Clogged filters – Ventilation filters should be cleaned and replaced regularly, but if they are clogging faster than usual then it could be time to investigate. Most pressingly, clogged filters can pose a fire hazard, so should be cleared in a timely manner.

Reduced airflow – If you’ve noticed a drop in the power of your airstream, then this could mean that there is a problem with your ventilation system. Either a blockage has occurred or a part is malfunctioning, where this should be addressed quickly to get your system up and running again.

Varying temperatures – A working HVAC system should be able to keep temperatures even and balanced throughout a room, where your ventilation equipment may be in need of attention if you notice some spots are varying widely in temperature.

Unpleasant odours – Another key sign that your ventilation system has fallen into disrepair is if you begin to notice unpleasant smells emitting from the vents. This can indicate a blockage or a disruption in the airstream that could be caused by a larger issue within your system.

If you notice any of these key signs, then it is always recommended to contact an HVAC specialist to carry out the required repair work as soon as possible. Doing so could help to limit further damage and reduce potential disruption caused to your business.

Mitchells: Taking Care Of Your Commercial Ventilation System

At Mitchells, our team of experts are fully equipped to provide high quality ventilation maintenance and servicing on a commercial scale, where we can also install high quality replacement systems whilst causing minimal interference with the daily functioning of your workspace. In addition to this, we also handle air conditioning, ductwork and commercial refrigerator systems according to your requirements.

Contact us directly today to find out more about our commercial ventilation services.

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