You’ve decided to replace your commercial building heating systems. You’ve endured months of increasing heating costs and ongoing comfort complaints, and it’s time to change things up. Now that you’ve decided to replace the system, though, what are the key considerations you should keep in mind as you do it?
What will provide optimal performance, the highest possible ROI, and maximum comfort for the people and guests in your building?
Here’s what you need to know.
Reasons to Replace Your Commercial Building Heating Systems
Even the best heating systems go out eventually. Factors like equipment age, energy use, comfort, and safety issues all play a part. Additionally, new technology is making commercial heating more efficient each year.
Since heating makes up 25% of all energy usage in a commercial building (more than lighting, ventilation, or cooling), installing a more efficient system has the potential to save you massive amounts of money each year.
If you’re considering installing a more efficient heating system, your first step should be to consult an ACCA-certified HVAC professional in your area. Commercial building heating systems are complex, and a certified professional can help you make the best possible decision for your location.
5 Common Options for Commercial Heating
If you’re heating a commercial building, you have several options to do it. The five most common are as follows:
- Steam Heating. Steam heating systems are what commercial buildings have used for decades. These systems use a boiler to condense steam, which then passes through pipes. The heaters use either oil or gas as a source of fuel. While they’re inefficient by modern standards, these systems were the go-to for many years.
- Water Heating Systems. Water heating systems are often considered similar to steam heating. These systems also use a boiler, which is powered by either oil or gas. They heat water and pass it through radiators that are placed throughout a building. Like steam systems, water systems are inefficient by today’s standards.
- Renewable Energy. To combat the inefficiencies of old systems, renewable energy heating systems are becoming more popular. These systems use solar, geothermal, or other renewable sources of power. While they’re more expensive on the front end, they have the potential to reduce annual costs massively.
- Heat Pump Systems. Heat pumps are by far the most cost-efficient option. Unlike other heating systems, they don’t require a fuel source. Instead, these systems produce heat from thin air and move it throughout a building via a series of electric heaters. While these systems can work well in mild climates, they’re not a great fit for very cold areas.
- Thermal Storage. Thermal storage systems shift the operation of cooling and heating equipment to times of day when energy is not in high demand. This reduces energy costs and creates a more efficient system.
Things to Consider as You Replace Your Heating System
Commercial building heating systems come in a variety of shapes and forms. As you prepare to replace your system, keep the following considerations in mind:
Specific heating systems, like renewable energy, will cost more than other systems, like steam or water-driven heaters. That said, a renewable energy system will also save money in the long-term, so installing one is a smart financial decision.
As you prepare to purchase your new system, be sure you’re considering both the short- and long-term costs. You’ll find that the costs of maintaining a traditional system are typically much higher than they would be with a new system, even if the ticket price of the new system is initially higher.
The location of your system will go a long way toward determining what type of system you can install. Packaged rooftop units, for example, typically include large condensers as well as an electric or gas boiler, which allow them to support heavy commercial loads. If you have less space than a rooftop would offer, this is something to consider as you decide which new system to install.
Some systems require much more maintenance than others. Because of this, it’s wise to speak to a skilled installer before you make your final decision. After all, the last thing you want is to invest in a dated system that requires you to call the repairman every few months.
A professional HVAC installer will be able to provide recommendations about what system will suit your purposes the best, and which will provide the long-term functionality you want.
Better Heating Systems Start Here
Navigating the world of commercial heating systems can be confusing. Fortunately, understanding the basic ins and outs of commercial system options is the first step. From there, contact our team here at Valley Comfort and Heating. We’ll walk through your commercial system with you and help you decide which new HVAC unit will serve your purposes the best.