Every building will need renovations or add-ons at some point in time, so it’s important to ensure that your HVAC installation is prepped and ready for this process. If you don’t take the time to prepare your cooling system, it could struggle with demand, experience clogging, and create preventable damage that could lead to expensive problems during and after construction.
Why Preparing an HVAC System for Construction Is Essential
The installation of a build-out can have a significant impact on an existing HVAC system. In many cases, when the construction occurs, debris from construction can make its way through the pipes and infrastructure. If corrosion is accelerated in new piping, there is a significant concern of it affecting existing piping. Alternatively, if old piping has significant corrosion it can affect the newly installed piping.
These changes can alter the demands placed on the HVAC system and lead to increased demand, damage to existing pipes, or blockage due to debris if you are not careful. The installation of an entirely new HVAC system will require proper cleaning, flushing, and treatment from the minute water enters it. Failure to properly protect new piping will result in premature failure of the system.
There are a few things to keep in mind when planning and preparing your HVAC system.
First, make sure you have enough capacity to handle the additional load from the new construction. If you don’t have enough capacity, you could end up with an overloaded system that doesn’t work properly and is extremely expensive to fix/upgrade after the fact.
Second, make sure the ductwork is adequate for the new space. If the ductwork is too small, it will not be able to handle the load and will result in poor air circulation. Finally, make sure you have a plan for dealing with the extra waste heat from the new construction. If you don’t have a way to deal with it, it will increase your energy costs and could potentially damage your HVAC system in the long run.
In order to avoid being unprepared, consider the following questions when prepping for a construction build.
Questions to Ask When Prepping Your HVAC System
Do you have a specification for HVAC piping, including cleaning, water treatment, and water treatment equipment?
When preparing for a build-out or new construction it’s important to match up the specifications for HVAC piping. This includes cleaning and preparing the piping as well as ensuring that the water treatment equipment is properly matched up. If these steps aren’t followed, it can lead to breakdowns, increased costs, and overall decreased efficiency in the cooling system.
Did you choose the proper design engineer, general contractor, and mechanical contractor? Do they have relevant water treatment experience?
When preparing for a build-out or new construction, it is important to choose an engineer with relevant water treatment experience. The engineer will help design and install a cooling system that can handle the increased load from the new construction. They will also help ensure that the system is properly sized and configured for the new space.
Choosing an experienced water treatment engineer will help avoid costly and time-consuming mistakes that can often occur during a build-out or construction project. This can affect the life expectancy of the new system.
Is there compatibility with your existing systems?
If the HVAC system is already in place, make sure to check for water treatment compatibility for the new construction. Failure to address chemical compatibility could result in untreated or overtreated systems. In the worst case, sludging could occur due to incompatible chemicals rendering the system unprotected.
Are you preventing dirt and construction debris from deteriorating your HVAC systems?
During construction, piping should be protected from construction debris. Plastic or metal plates should cover inlets and outlets so as to not contaminate new piping.
The Importance of Working With Experts
When it comes to new construction or a build-out, one of the crucial aspects of the project is preparing the heating and cooling system alongside a team of experts who understand chemical cleaning and water treatment. They will ensure the piping is cleaned and protected, check that the system has the capacity for the new load, and evaluate the efficiency of the system.
They should also ensure that there is a water management plan in place and that the equipment has a proper connection to the system. If this process is not completed properly, it can lead to problems down the road that can be costly and cut into the life of the equipment.
If you are prepping for a new build and want to ensure that your HVAC system is properly updated alongside these renovations, don’t miss any of these key considerations. Be sure to reach out to a team of pros if you are unsure of what steps to take in order to avoid the most common risks and pitfalls of an HVAC system construction project.