How to Create Specifications for a Heating and Cooling System

Problem-free operation of heating and cooling systems begins well before consumers even switch on their machines.

During the spec phase, designers of these systems must factor in several considerations while asking themselves pertinent questions. Here are three such questions accompanied by some helpful answers. 

1. Is the heating/cooling system properly sized?

Cooling_FanProper sizing is crucial for ideal speccing of these systems. When calculating the heating and cooling requirements for a given facility, it is important to avoid the olden practice of “rule of thumb” sizing, which equates system size with a facility’s total square footage.

Regarding sizing, be sure to consider these factors: cubic footage to be heated and cooled, insulation and rate of air infiltration, and industry standard protocols for product sizing. These design points will help heating and cooling systems avoid serious issues in the future, including short cycling and excessive equipment wear.

2. With all the different temperature control devices on the market, which is the best for the application?

Delivering optimum heating and cooling is one of the expected outcomes when speccing a new system. Thermal controls are an important part of maintaining the correct temperature; there are various thermal control products available on the market, enabling you to maintain a comfortable environment regardless of building size.

A simple electromechanical control may be all that is required for some applications. Other situations may require more elaborate controls and sensors for multiple zones. In addition, predictable schedules may demand newer controls, incorporating artificial intelligence or remote web-based controls for warming and cooling prior to arriving at the facility.

3. What potential electrical problems could affect the performance of the system?

Today’s heating and cooling systems offer many benefits that aren’t available in older systems. However, most of the electronics in modern systems can create issues not found in electromechanical systems, such as a low voltage specification; if the specification isn’t met, motor life will shorten and cause the electronic component to malfunction.

When speccing a system that will use backup power, it’s important to verify that all incoming power sources meet the requirements of the heating/cooling system. Frequently, this means the power supply meets a combined variation in voltage and frequency of 10 percent, provided the frequency variation doesn’t exceed five percent of the rated frequency.

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Considering these questions will help engineers design heating and cooling systems that are ready to perform optimally when needed. For more information on heating and cooling systems, visit our online resource library.

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Topics: heating systems, cooling systems, temperature control devices, heating and cooling systems