Understanding Unit Ventilators and Best Applications

If you went to public school in Long Island, Westchester or New Jersey, there’s a very good chance your school days were spent sitting in a classroom next to a Unit Ventilator.  Unit Ventilators have been around for decades as they are an easy solution to bring in required fresh air into classrooms with the units positioned underneath the windows.  

What are Unit Ventilators?

unit ventilators

Unit Ventilators, or “Unit Vents” or “UV”s for short, have been the solution of choice for these classroom applications as classrooms tend to need high amounts of outside air and their position along an exterior wall make them suitable to bring in large amounts of air but also offer the ability to operate in full economizer mode. The ability to operate in full economizer mode is really what makes this type of equipment stand out against other choices of interior mounted equipment like air handlers and fan coils.  

Over the years, in the northern climates unit ventilators were almost exclusively only delivering heating and fresh air. If there was a hot day in June, students would hope the teacher would set up a large oscillating fan for relief from the heat. Cooling coils were typically not found in UVs. That trend has recently changed as school districts are replacing these old, heating-only UVs with new versions with cooling coils to provide summertime cooling in classrooms. 

How VRF Systems Help

The growing popularity of Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) systems have helped add cooling to these systems. VRF systems allow for a single outdoor condensing unit to serve multiple cooling coils and even operate as a heat pump delivering effective heat even at outdoor temperatures below 0F. 

To interface a Direct Expansion (DX) coil in a UV to a VRF system, some accessory kits are needed to provide the expansion valve and the control board to effectively operate.  Depending on the UV and VRF manufacturer, additional cabinets may need to be added to the UV to house these items.  

Using MERV-13 Filters for Unit Ventilators

Another growing trend among school districts in the post-pandemic world is the use of high efficiency filters in HVAC equipment. The same goes for unit ventilators and UV Manufacturers now offer MERV-13 filters as an option. Typically, these filters can only be applied on UVs equipped with an ECM motor. 

A word of caution on using MERV-13 filters as these filters will load up faster than lower efficiency filters and require more frequent cleaning/ changing. If proper filter maintenance is not done, airflow across the coils can be restricted. This is especially dangerous in configurations with DX Coils as DX Coils require adequate airflow across them to ensure proper heat absorption and refrigerant evaporation within the coil.

A DX Coil operating with little to no airflow can result in anything from a frozen coil to a dead compressor, caused by slugging liquid back to the condenser.  Additionally, no airflow across a DX Coil can pose a threat to HW Coils downstream of it where very cold discharge temperatures can freeze that HW Coil.  This can potentially cause the HW Coil to burst and result in a flood.  It is worth repeating that high efficiency filters are a great thing, but proper maintenance is a must if they will be used.

Offerings and Arrangements

UVs with cooling coils are typically set up as a split system arrangement, but some manufacturers also offer a self-contained version for applications where a remote condenser will not be possible. The self-contained type of UVs have internal mounted compressors for cooling and can still use HW or steam heating from the building. 

Some manufacturers also offer hot gas reheat coils in these self-contained units to control humidity. The compressors used in these systems are often inverter-driven compressors which generate less noise than traditional single speed compressors. One thing to consider when using self-contained systems is that additional louver space in the exterior wall is needed for intake and exhaust air for the compressor and condensing coil.  

The various UV configurations offered as well as the option to integrate shelving and cabinets provide a seamless solution for both engineers and architects designing classrooms.  Even though Unit Ventilators are not exactly considered a cutting edge, new or trendy technology in the HVAC world, they serve a great purpose.  They provide adequate ventilation, air, heating and even cooling in today’s schools and will most likely be around for decades in the future.  To learn more about Commercial HVAC Solutions in NYC and Long Island, please visit Klima’s website and contact us today.

Ductless Mini Splits: What Do I Need to Know?

Ductless mini splits are an efficient way to heat and cool many homes and even certain commercial and multi-unit housing applications. They can be an effective replacement to conventional HVAC systems. Since its first introduction decades ago in Asia, mini splits have made innovative and technological changes to become an ideal solution in today’s market and growing in popularity for good reason. 

Ductless mini splits are composed of two primary components – an outdoor condensing unit, which contains a compressor and one or more indoor air handlers (the evaporators).  A conduit that houses the power cable, refrigerant liquid and suction tubing link the outdoor and indoor unit(s). All indoor units are powered by the outdoor unit single phase power. These systems require 208V/1 phase electrical power although there are some smaller 115V systems available with certain brands.

ductless mini-splits

Analyzing the Benefits of Ductless Mini Splits

Cost Savings

Overall cost savings could arguably be the top reason people research and choose ductless mini splits. Ductless mini splits have some of the highest energy efficiencies in the industry. They use less energy, lowering monthly utility costs for a quicker payback. The upfront cost of installation is also typically lower than traditional systems. Precise customizable temperature settings in each individual zone create not only personalized comfort in all rooms, but also savings whether occupied or unoccupied. There are also a wide range of Energy Star rated mini splits that qualify for rebates and incentives.  

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency and high performance are added benefits of ductless mini splits. Inverter variable speed compressor technology uses less energy and is measurably quieter than conventional systems. Unlike conventional systems that cycle on and off, an inverter compressor ramps up or down to match the capacity needed to maintain comfort levels within the conditioned zone(s). 

Additionally, this greatly enhances the ability to efficiently dehumidify and increase air quality by running the fan longer. Ductless mini splits eliminate efficiency losses in ductwork due to leaks and conduction as well as the need to consume more energy to make up for the efficiency losses. There are models offered by some manufacturers that perform in extreme weather conditions as a reliable primary heat source. The shift to using electricity rather than burning fossil fuels like gas and oil reduces the carbon footprint, making these systems more environmentally friendly.

Ductless Mini Splits Are Easy to Install

Ductless mini splits offer design flexibility and easy installation. It can be both ducted and ductless in single and multi-zone configurations to meet the design needs. Ductless mini splits can be used in new construction or upgrade/retrofit an old furnace or heat pump system using the existing duct. It can be added to a home or business that currently does not have air conditioning or heating as the installation is much less invasive. A ductless mini split installation requires only a 3-inch hole drilled in the wall. Hence, they require little to no ductwork and often take less time to install than conventional HVAC systems. Ductless mini splits can supplement an existing system to provide additional comfort and control on room additions or remodeling projects. Smaller indoor and outdoor units ensure space-saving convenience. Moreover, models with long refrigerant piping capability can increase the distance between the indoor and outdoor units, allowing for extra design and installation flexibility.

Are There Any Downsides to Ductless Mini Splits?

While mini splits produce a significant number of benefits and value, there are limitations that need to be considered. All ductless mini splits have piping length and elevation limitations that cannot be exceeded. Typically, the largest multi zone mini split can have up to eight connected indoor units. With that many indoor units, there may be a requirement for branch distribution boxes that need to be installed indoors. Most mini split systems are only available up to 5 tons. The life expectancy of a ductless mini split is anywhere from 10 to 20 years.

Finding a Qualified Installer

Proper installation and accurate load calculations for system sizing are crucial to the potential cost savings and performance of any ductless mini split.  Finding a qualified installer and asking the right questions are a must in deciding between potential contractors. Asking how the sizing of the mini split system is determined can help qualify the experience and knowledge level of the installer as well as the amount of utility savings. If not sized correctly, it can lead to a series of ongoing issues and problems. To qualify for local energy rebates and state or government incentives and tax credits, an installer must be EPA certified and approved by certain local energy partnership programs. Knowing this information prior to installation is very important. 

Another question to ask a potential installer is if they are certified by the equipment manufacturer they intend to install. Installers are typically required to complete training classes and be certified by the manufacturer to qualify for extended warranties and install their equipment. Make sure to ask for the installer’s certificates from the manufacturer to see how current they are.  Inquire about the product warranty and the warranty process. The length of the warranty speaks volumes for the quality of the product itself. Depending on the manufacturer, warranties can range anywhere from 5 years and upwards to 12 years when registered by an approved and certified installer. 

While many homes have conventional HVAC systems, that is not the only type available in today’s market. Ductless mini splits provide a variety of benefits and values. It is an excellent, efficient, and innovative technology that can transform your home or light commercial application. Ductless mini splits are a good investment with exceptional year-round comfort and can be the ideal solution for both heating and cooling.

Klima Can Help with All Your Ductless Mini Splits Needs

At Klima, we offer innovative and integrated HVAC solutions for all your needs. If you’re looking for help regarding ductless mini splits and installation, please contact your Klima Sales representative for pricing and availability at this link. To learn more about our work and how we can help, please visit our website and request a quote by clicking the button at the top right corner today!

LG Hydro Kit: Understanding Its Benefits and Purpose

If you’re looking for an efficient way to make hot and/or chilled water without using fossil fuels, the LG Hydro Kit may be just what you need. The Hydro Kits pair up to LG’s Multi-V condensers, providing VRF industry-leading technology and performance.  Offered in 2 different versions and several different sizes, there are a wide variety of applications that can utilize this awesome technology. So if you’re in the business of finding cutting edge solutions to complex HVAC challenges — check out this blog to see why your next project might benefit from LG’s Hydro Kit!

The Benefits of the LG Hydro Kit

LG Hydro Kit

The LG Hydro Kit is offered in 2 versions; medium temp and high temp. The medium temp version can produce chilled water down to 41F and hot water up to 122F. The high temp Hydro Kit is a heating-only unit but can produce leaving hot water temperatures up to 176F. With leaving water temperatures that close to the typical 180F target of traditional hydronic boiler systems, you can theoretically replace gas or oil fired boilers with LG VRF air source heat pumps and hydro kits.

Historically, heat pumps in the northeast were not capable of providing adequate low ambient heating, let alone a version delivering hot water over 170F.  So during those times the only alternative system that would not burn fossil fuels would be electric boilers or hot water heaters.  The electric resistance heating elements in those units generate 3414 btus/hour of heat for every 1000 watts of electrical input.

For areas with relatively expensive electricity like the New York Metro area, this is not an economical way to heat a building or home. With the introduction of new heat pump technologies like the LG Multi-V 5, every 1000 watts of electrical power is now creating double the heating output of electric resistance heating or higher (depending on a variety of factors) making operating costs very attractive compared to other sources. 

If systems like this are powered by renewable sources like solar or wind power, homes and businesses can be producing heating without any emissions or fossil fuel consumption which is great for the planet. Additionally, since these heat pumps will use half or less of the electricity compared to resistance heating they can help stretch those renewable power resources further limiting the reliance on the power grid while saving on energy costs.

Efficient Use of Interior Space

For metropolitan areas like New York City, interior space is a scarce resource in limited supply.  Traditional boiler systems have to be housed in a dedicated boiler room which eats up considerable interior space. The LG Hydro Kit is a split system type where half of the system is located outdoors and the other component is indoors. The Hydro Kit is much smaller in footprint compared to a boiler and the service space requirements are often times less than a traditional boiler. All of this leads to more usable interior space, which can be a very good thing in markets with sky-high real estate costs.

Flexibility in Design

LG Hydro Kit

The capacity offerings of the LG Hydro Kits lend themselves to a very flexible way of heating and/ or cooling a building.  The medium temp versions come in 3.5 ton and 8 ton sizes. The high temp version is offered in 3.5 ton and 6.5 ton offerings. For larger applications, multiple Hydro Kits can be installed in parallel and staged to maximize efficiency. Additionally, having multiple systems offers some additional level of redundancy over larger central plant systems.  

For multi-family buildings, domestic hot water and hydronic heating plants are often central to the building and very difficult to bill their usage out to individual tenants. With smaller Hydro Kit systems, each condensing unit and Hydro Kit can potentially be fed from each tenant’s own power meter. This eliminates the cost and responsibility of the equipment from the Landlord and can lower common charges in the rent or building fees. An additional benefit of modular systems for larger buildings is the ability to stagger system operation to reduce demand charges from the utility.  

There are several air to hot water heat pump systems offered in the market now. Many of these are what is referred to as ‘Mono-Bloc’ types where the hot water heat exchanger is outside, attached to the condensing unit.  While this may be a plus from the installation side, the downside to this is that glycol will most likely be required in the heating water for colder climates like the Northeast.  

The medium temp Hydro Kits have started to replace aging air cooled chilled water systems throughout the New York Metro area. With the modular design and flexibility of piping runs on LG’s Multi-V 5 systems, clients have ripped out their small to medium sized chillers, replaced them with LG medium temp Hydro Kits and did not have to touch their existing chilled water air handlers. These systems now offer more redundancy, lower operating cost and take up less space outdoors than previous air cooled chillers. Additionally, the medium temp Hydro Kits can produce lower temperature hot water for radiant heat systems.  

Potential Issues and concerns

While the LG Hydro Kits pack a tremendous amount of technology in a small package, keep in mind they are more complicated than a traditional boiler or chiller. Clients should make sure to find an installing contractor and service company with proper training from the manufacturer to successfully install and maintain the system for years to come. 

LG’s Hydro Kit may require more labor to install over a traditional boiler or chiller as it is a split system.  The benefits of the operational cost, environmental impact have to be weighed against any potentially higher upfront costs.

Final Thoughts on Why the LG Hydro Kit is Worth It

The Hydro Kit’s innovative technology allows for the efficient use of energy, resulting in lower electricity bills and a more sustainable future while eliminating harmful Carbon Monoxide emissions in the home or business.

With natural gas becoming more difficult to access, the LG Hydro Kit offers the best alternative over the other technologies currently out on the market. Investing in an LG Hydro Kit may seem like a simple choice when looking at all of the short-term benefits that you gain; however, when we consider the long-term environmental impact it has on our planet, this decision suddenly seems much wiser. After all, small changes such as this can have a huge impact — making the LG Hydro Kit more than worth your investment.

If you have any questions, the team at Klima is here to help! To learn more, please visit our website and contact us today!

How to Maintain Your Rooftop Units Throughout the Year

Rooftop units are a common and essential component of many businesses’ operations. These dependable systems deliver air diligently and efficiently, making them an invaluable asset. However, if they aren’t regularly maintained, their performance can suffer significantly — ultimately leading to increased energy costs and inferior heating or cooling in the building. This blog provides advice on how to ensure your rooftop unit runs optimally throughout the year – helping keep your business running reliably without incurring extra cost or disruption when outside temperatures drop or soar!

Overview of the importance of maintaining rooftop units

rooftop units

Maintaining rooftop units can be viewed as an intimidating task, but it is a small price to pay for ensuring maximum efficiency of your HVAC systems. These units are fundamental components of commercial buildings, and as such, require regular inspections and preventative maintenance measures to keep them functioning at their best.

By adhering to a maintenance schedule, building occupants will enjoy a comfortable indoor environment all year round, as well as reduced energy bills. Additionally, well-maintained rooftop units have an extended lifespan, ultimately saving you money in the long run. Neglecting these systems, on the other hand, can lead to costly repairs or even premature replacement. Therefore, the importance of maintaining rooftop units cannot be overstated.

Steps to take during spring and summer season maintenance

With the spring and summer seasons upon us, now is the perfect time to prepare your business for the warmer months ahead. There are several steps you can take to ensure your space is in good condition and ready for the upcoming season. Some of the tasks that should be on your to-do list include inspecting your air conditioning system to ensure it is working efficiently and checking your windows and doors for drafts. Taking these steps can help you save money and avoid potential issues down the line. By taking a proactive approach to home maintenance, you can enjoy a comfortable and worry-free summer season.

  a. Cleaning the rooftop unit

Cleaning rooftop units involves removing the accumulated dirt and debris that can lead to inefficiencies and even damage the unit. Regular rooftop unit cleaning can extend the lifespan of your HVAC system, save on energy bills, and prevent unnecessary repairs.

  b. Checking for seal damage

When it comes to checking for seal damage, it’s important to understand the potential risks. Whether it’s a damaged window seal or a faulty door seal, these issues can lead to unwanted drafts and moisture infiltration – resulting in decreased energy efficiency and potential water damage. To properly assess these seals, it’s recommended to visually inspect them for any wear and tear.  You can also hire a professional to look for leaks in your building or home’s envelope with a FLIR camera, as well as other methods to test for leakage.

  c. Look for signs of Refrigerant leaks

Maintaining the correct refrigerant level in your refrigeration system is crucial for its efficient and effective operation. Not only does the system need the proper amount of refrigerant to maintain acceptable pressures and internal temperatures but there is a critical system component entrained within the systems refrigerant; oil. 

This oil is needed for proper lubrication to ensure the life of your compressor.  If you have a refrigerant leak you are also most likely leaking oil. Look for spots under the unit, within the cabinet and near any refrigeration components for signs of leaking oil.  If any are found, an HVAC professional needs to be hired to confirm, evacuate, repair and recharge the system.

Steps to take during fall and winter season maintenance

As the leaves change color and the temperature drops, it’s important to take steps to prepare your home for fall and winter seasons. One of the most important tasks is to ensure your heating system is functioning properly. Schedule a professional inspection and cleaning, and consider investing in a programmable thermostat to maximize efficiency. 

  a. Inspecting the condenser coils for dust buildup

The condenser coils in your air conditioning unit play a crucial role in keeping your space cool and comfortable. Over time, these coils can become clogged with dust and debris, which can seriously affect their ability to function properly. That’s why it’s important to regularly inspect your condenser coils and clean them if necessary. If you’re unsure of how to inspect your condenser coils, it’s always a good idea to consult with a professional HVAC technician, who can provide you with expert advice and guidance.

  b. Tightening all electrical connections

Ensuring that all electrical connections are tightened is a crucial aspect of maintaining a safe and functional electrical system. Loose connections can cause a variety of issues, including overheating, voltage drops, and even electrical fires. By taking the time to examine all electrical connections and tightening any that are loose, you can prevent potentially dangerous situations from arising. 

This is particularly important in older buildings where electrical systems may not have been updated in many years. It’s always better to be proactive and ensure that everything is in proper working order rather than waiting for an issue to occur that could have been prevented. Remember, taking the time to tighten all electrical connections could ultimately save you time, money, and even lives. This inspection can be performed by your HVAC Professional.  Remember, always turn off the power to the equipment before opening any access doors or performing inspections inside the unit.  

  c. Examining all filters and replacing when necessary

Filters play a crucial role in keeping equipment working properly and efficiently, but they can only do so for so long before they need replacing. As experts in our fields, it’s our job to stay on top of necessary maintenance. Examining and replacing filters when needed is not only vital for maintaining peak performance, but it also helps prevent potential damage to the equipment. By doing so, we can ensure our equipment is working as efficiently and safely as possible. Filters are oftentimes neglected and this really poses a potential threat to the integrity of the equipment if they are not maintained. Clogged filters can result in frozen coils which can lead to damage in addition to a loss of cooling.

Advantages of regular rooftop maintenance

Property owners often overlook rooftop maintenance, but regular inspections and upkeep have many advantages. Regular maintenance can help prevent costly repairs in the long run by catching small issues early on, ultimately saving you money. It can also improve the lifespan of your equipment, allowing it to perform better for a longer period of time. 

Tips on how to troubleshoot common problems with rooftop units

Rooftop units can be complex, and when they malfunction, it can be frustrating for any building owner or manager. Fortunately, there are some common problems that can be easily troubleshot without the help of a professional. One common issue is poor airflow, which can lead to reduced efficiency and increased energy costs. In this case, the first step is to check the air filter and clean or replace it if necessary. Another issue could be a simple blown fuse or a torn belt. Again, be sure to TURN OFF POWER to the unit before opening any doors on the equipment.  By following these tips and performing routine maintenance on your rooftop system, you can avoid costly repairs and ensure that your building is comfortable and energy-efficient.

Maintaining your rooftop units with Klima

Keeping a rooftop unit in good working condition requires regular maintenance and ample time for upkeep but the potential savings and reduction of future problems outweigh any burden posed by such demands. 

At Klima New York, we are your partner when it comes to commercial HVAC climate control. From offering custom air handling units to package rooftop units, we’re here to make sure your HVAC needs are met and beyond. To learn more, please visit our website and contact us today!

Understanding the Benefits of VRF Systems

Whether you’re a business owner seeking to upgrade an aging HVAC system or a homeowner looking for improved energy efficiency, you’ve likely heard of Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) systems. These highly advanced solutions offer unparalleled performance and comfort levels compared to conventional air conditioning units, but many may not be aware of all the benefits that come with this efficient technology. In this blog post, we’ll explain in detail what VRF systems are, how they work, and why installing one could provide significant benefits for your home or commercial building. By understanding these features and associated costs, you can make an informed decision on whether a VRF installation is right for your property.

An Overview of VRF Systems and How They Work

Variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems have become increasingly popular in the HVAC industry due to their energy efficiency, flexibility, and zoning capabilities. Unlike traditional air conditioning systems, VRF systems use a single outdoor unit to deliver refrigerant to multiple indoor units, allowing for precise temperature control and the ability to heat and cool different areas of a building simultaneously. Each indoor unit can operate independently, adjusting its output based on the specific heating or cooling needs of its area, resulting in enhanced comfort and reduced energy consumption. VRF systems utilize advanced technology, such as variable-speed compressors and electronic expansion valves, to provide efficient and effective heating and cooling solutions. While the installation and maintenance of VRF systems may be more complex than traditional systems, their benefits make them a popular choice for commercial and residential buildings.

Advantages of a VRF System Over Traditional HVAC Units

VRF systems

A VRF system is an innovative HVAC technology that is gaining popularity due to its numerous advantages over traditional HVAC units. One of the greatest advantages is its high energy efficiency, resulting in significant cost savings. VRF systems use advanced heat pumps that can be controlled independently to provide heating or cooling to different zones in a building. This means that unused areas can be temporarily turned off, reducing energy consumption. VRF systems are also quieter and more compact than traditional HVAC units, making them ideal for use in commercial buildings or spaces with limited space. Additionally, VRF systems offer precise temperature control and improved air quality. Overall, VRF technology has revolutionized the HVAC industry, providing a more cost-effective, energy-efficient, and sustainable solution to heating and cooling buildings.

Benefits of Installing a VRF System in Your Business or Home

A VRF system is a highly efficient way to heat and cool your business or home. It uses a single outdoor unit that is connected to multiple indoor units, allowing for customizable temperature control in each individual space. Not only does this increase comfort levels, but it also saves energy and reduces utility costs. Additionally, a VRF system operates quietly and has a longer lifespan than traditional HVAC systems. Overall, investing in a VRF system is a smart choice for those looking to improve the efficiency and comfort of their space.

Cost Savings with a VRF System Installation

Switching to a VRF system for your HVAC needs can bring significant cost savings to your business or home. Compared to traditional HVAC systems, VRF systems use less energy, resulting in lower utility bills over time. 

Additionally, VRF systems allow for individual temperature control in each room or zone, allowing for improved comfort and energy efficiency. Not only can a VRF system save you money, but it also reduces your environmental footprint. With proper installation and maintenance, a VRF system can provide reliable and energy-efficient heating and cooling for years to come. Consult with a professional HVAC contractor to determine if a VRF system is right for you.

Potential Drawbacks to Consider with VRF Systems

As we continue to push the boundaries of technology, it’s important to understand the potential drawbacks that come with each new advancement. When considering VRF systems, it is crucial to carefully consider the potential negative effects that may arise as a result of its implementation. For example, VRF systems tend to come with a high price tag and require your installing contractor to attend manufacturer specific training classes. They also typically use their own controllers, which may eliminate certain brands from consideration if a particular 3rd party thermostat is desired by the end user. Moreover, maintenance requires more specialization — as service personnel working on VRF systems need to be more capable and technical than most.

Guidance on Choosing the Right VRF System for Your Needs

When it comes to selecting the ideal VRF system for your heating and cooling needs, the process may seem daunting. However, with the right guidance and knowledge, it can be an easier decision to make. It is essential to evaluate your specific heating and cooling requirements, including the space you need to accommodate, your budget, and your desired energy efficiency.

You should also consider the brand, model, and features of the VRF system. Certain manufacturers offer more controller options to interface with other new or existing systems. With this information, you can make an informed investment that not only meets your current needs but is also adaptable to any future changes. By taking the time to assess all factors involved, you can ensure that you select the right VRF system to keep your space comfortable and energy-efficient.

Choosing the Right VRF Systems with KLIMA

In conclusion, VRF systems offer many advantages over traditional HVAC units. They require less energy, making them a more cost-effective solution while also providing improved performance. They are highly customizable, able to adapt, and cater to a variety of heating and cooling needs in multiple zones simultaneously.

Despite their benefits, there are potential drawbacks to consider when exploring this technology. Before taking the plunge, it is important to research the various VRF system options and make sure you are choosing one that suits your individual needs best. By being sure to explore all your options thoroughly, you will be on the best path for maximizing the efficiency and effectiveness of a Variable Refrigerant Flow system on your property or in your home or office.

At KLIMA, our experts will be glad to assist you in your search for VRF systems. To learn more, please visit our website and contact us today!