In the ever-changing 21st century, SMART-equipped devices are turning up in more and more areas of our lives. Since SMART (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology) devices can quickly analyze and detect problems, it should come as no big surprise that SMART-equipped heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are revolutionizing the HVAC industry as an extremely efficient way of:
- Improving indoor air quality (and in turn health) for business and home owners alike,
- Saving money (by saving energy),
- Enhancing safety and
- Promoting the healthy business environment.
The following are four leading reasons for installing a SMART ventilation system.
1. SMART Ventilation Controllers Make Your Business More inviting to Customers and Employees
A standard HVAC system is designed to cool and heat recycled air. The problem is that, since the air is only recycled, impurities start to accumulate. Indoor odors, dust, pollen, gasses and even viruses, bacteria and mold have nowhere to go. The result is increasingly poor indoor air quality. Health authorities, government agencies and professional organizations are talking a lot about indoor air quality these days. So much information can be confusing and, at times, overwhelming. But one thing they all agree upon is that indoor pollution — whatever the cause — is reduced by fresh air ventilation. As concerns are voiced nationally about the safety of the air inside schools and businesses, the demand for SMART ventilation systems and environmental monitoring is growing.
The problem of recycled air leading to poor indoor air quality (IAQ) is compounded for small commercial businesses that introduce chemicals into the air, such as hair salons, nail salons and copy centers. And with “nasty” chemicals can also come nasty smells, which also exist in other businesses such as pet-grooming salons, auto repair centers, taverns and scores of other establishments.
SMART ventilation controllers address this heretofore overlooked aspect of HVAC. SMART ventilation controllers not only remove these chemicals and smells, but expel airborne viruses, bacteria and mold by increasing the quality of good air “coming into” the business while also removing “bad air” from the building. With a greater balance between IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) and OAQ (Outdoor Air Quality) comes fewer smells and, more importantly, fewer health risks. All told, this makes for a much safer, more pleasant and inviting business experience for customer and employee alike.
2. SMART Ventilation Controllers SAVE MONEY
SMART ventilation controllers save big money by reducing HVAC compressor use. Since the compressor is the hardest-working component in any HVAC system, that is huge! Basically, the fewer the number of compressor cycles, the less electricity is used. In turn, the fewer the number of compressor cycles required means longer-lasting equipment because the compressor does not need to work as often. And longer equipment life equals long-term cost savings. Since this year’s top-of-the-line product can quickly become next year’s bargain-sale item, longer equipment life translates into an extended period of saving money.
Another way in which SMART ventilation systems save money (and energy) is “banking” air. For instance, let’s say the set point of the system is 78, but the outside temp is 75 or even 70, which allows the indoor temp to drop to 76. This means cooler rooms will be 73 degrees and even warmer rooms will be 78. Since the HVAC does not come on until 79 degrees, the fan will circulate the “banked” cool air and thus skip compressor cycles. It bears repeating: Fewer compressor cycles (by banking cool air) saves 33 percent, which translates to $900/year! The same principle holds true for heating cycles and banking warm air.
3. SMART Ventilation Controllers Extend Escape Time in Case of a Fire
If a fire broke out in your business or home, would you have enough time to get out? An overlooked benefit of SMART ventilation controllers is their ability to enhance safety in your business or home. How? By forcing fresh air into bedrooms and living spaces, more oxygen is available for people to breathe, thus extending escape time.
Commercial buildings equipped with SMART ventilation controllers are safer, too. In these cases, smoke is forced out from the ceiling, thus removing smoke before it can expand to the floor. That is huge because that’s where occupants are crawling toward their escape.
4. SMART Ventilation Controllers Provide Information about the Quality of the Business Environment
With SMART ventilation controllers, IAQ, OAQ and even indoor and outdoor noise pollution are all recorded and can be shared online. Sharing air quality and noise pollution sensor data allows users to create an environmental neighborhood watch to benefit everyone in the area. In other words, owners can readily see and compare the environment of their establishments to other nearby businesses.
It’s worth noting that while a SMART ventilation controller can monitor noise pollution, it cannot modify the noise level. Sharing air quality and noise pollution sensor information serves as proof that a business is cleaner and quieter than the competition.
As any business owner can plainly see, there are many reasons to install a SMART ventilation system. Such systems will save money by using less energy, enhance safety by increasing escape time in case of fire, and make the business more inviting (and healthier) for employees and customers alike by removing noxious chemicals and smells (and thus improving IAQ). It’s a win-win on many fronts!
Will Carson is a licensed general contractor and green building expert engineer with the Lake Wales, Florida-based Natural Air E-Controls, LLC. Natural Air E-Controls, LLC designs and builds HVAC control systems that enable the building’s HVAC equipment to provide fresh air and remove pollutants by taking in outdoor air in amounts needed to improve indoor air quality while saving on heating and cooling bills.