Tag Archives: hvac

A Commitment To Natural Refrigerants

In Commercial Refrigeration Equipment

commercial refrigeration equipmentNatural refrigerants are non-synthetic substances which can be used as cooling agents in commercial refrigeration equipment and air conditioners.  These include naturally occurring substances like water, air, CO2, ammonia, and hydrocarbons like propane, butane, and cyclopentane.  While they have been used for years as refrigerants they are only just now beginning to replace synthetic refrigerants in commercial refrigeration equipment.

Why Natural Refrigerants For  Commercial Refrigeration Equipment?

While the Montreal Protocol addressed ozone depleting refrigerants like HCFCs and CFCs, it failed to address global warming potential of the proposed substitutes like HFCs.  Increased scientific evidence has also shown that HFCs had huge potential to contribute to the greenhouse gas problem.  So replacing HCFCs and CFCs with HFCs only displaced the problem.  The only real solution to address both the ozone damaging and greenhouse gas problem created by refrigerants is to use natural refrigerants, including in commercial refrigeration equipment which is one of the largest consumers of refrigerant chemicals in the world.

The Economics Of Natural Refrigerants

Natural refrigerants are inexpensive to produce, in most cases even less expensive than HFCs; natural refrigerants are extremely energy efficient when used in large scale systems; and the disposal cost of natural refrigerants is negligible when compared to HFCs as well as older refrigerants like HCFCs.  The major issue for commercial refrigeration equipment is the increase in capital expenditure required for small and medium businesses to convert to a natural refrigerant system.  This is the major issue preventing wide spread adoption for natural refrigerants in commercial refrigeration equipment.  Unlike retrofitting commercial refrigeration equipment with non-ozone depleting refrigerants, all natural refrigerant systems require a complete overhaul of the commercial refrigeration equipment.

In spite of the economics of this issue, there is a worldwide push to switch to natural refrigerants in commercial refrigeration equipment.  As of 2005, more than half of all synthetic refrigerants ever produced were in the atmosphere (AFEAcommercial refrigeration equipmentS Alternative Fluorocarbons Acceptability Study, 2007).  To reduce the Global Warming Potential and provide zero ozone depleting potential as required by the Montreal and Kyoto Protocols, commercial refrigeration equipment will eventually have to be cooled by natural refrigerants.  It is estimated that if commercial refrigeration equipment in the United States alone was converted to natural refrigerants, the industry would be able to reduce emission of CO2 and other greenhouse gases by 22 million metric tons annually.

When considering replacing your commercial refrigeration equipment, choosing to go with a natural refrigerant system will be environmentally friendly, meet current or future EPA requirements, and in the long term be a the right choice economically.

Refrigeration Equipment | Commercial Refrigerator Service

Commercial Refrigerator Service

commercial refrigerator service Refrigeration equipment is a vital part of any food service establishment’s operations, so commercial refrigerator service should not be taken lightly.  When looking for a technician to provide your commercial refrigerator service, you’ll want to find one that has certified training in the service of refrigeration equipment.  The non-profit organization North American Technician Excellence, or NATE, specializes in certifying technicians in commercial refrigerator service and the field of refrigeration equipment.

Why A NATE Technician For Your Commercial Refrigerator Service?

NATE certification tests represent real working knowledge of HVAC and refrigeration equipment.  They provide testing that allows technicians to be certified in specific knowledge areas like commercial refrigerator service.  The NATE testing process recognizes different levels of expertise and includes a core exam and a specialty exam in a field like commercial refrigerator service.  This exam process simplifies the field of refrigeration equipment into different knowledge areas.  So technicians become experts at specific fields rather than becoming a jack-of-all trades in HVAC and refrigeration equipment.

Staying Up To Date In The Field Of Commercial Refrigerator Service

The HVAC and refrigeration equipment fields are constantly changing.  So it’s important for commercial refrigerator service technicians to remain up to speed with the latest developments.  Changes like new refrigerants for your refrigeration equipment, new codes and standards for commercial refrigerator service, and changes in engineering and technology require that your commercial commercial refrigeratorrefrigerator service technician remain up to date.  To accomplish this, NATE requires re-certification testing to keep technicians on the cutting edge of the refrigeration equipment industry.

An up-to-date NATE certification provides a wealth of benefits to HVAC and refrigeration equipment technicians and the companies they serve.  You wouldn’t go to a doctor that quit studying medicine after medical school.  So why would you call on a commercial refrigerator service technician whose knowledge about refrigeration equipment is out of date?  When you contact a NATE certified commercial refrigerator service technician, you can be comfortable in knowing that they have invested the time and energy into achieving and maintaining their certification in refrigeration equipment and commercial refrigerator service.

When looking for someone to provide you with quality commercial refrigerator service, take the time to look for a technician that has been NATE certified.  NATE certified technicians are skilled professionals who have proven their knowledge of HVAC and refrigeration equipment by successfully completing NATE certification testing in specialized areas like commercial refrigerator service.

Food Service Equipment | The Walk In Cooler

Refrigeration Equipment: The Walk In Cooler

walk in cooler food service equipmentAs food service equipment goes, the walk in cooler is probably one of the most important pieces of refrigeration equipment a restaurant owner will invest in.  As previously discussed, the right walk in cooler can drastically impact a restaurant’s bottom line.  If the walk in cooler is too big, then the restaurant is keeping too much air cold.  If this vital piece of refrigeration equipment is too small, then profits will be eroded by spoiled perishable items, and the restaurant owner’s food service equipment could be putting them out of business.  So the walk in cooler is a very important piece of food service equipment.

Walk In Cooler Features

There are several features which can lend themselves to a walk in cooler operating efficiently.  Quality door designs are very important for this piece of refrigeration equipment to operate effectively and have lasting durability.  Rigid, reinforced door frames and heavy duty hinges provide maximum durability of your walk in cooler.  During busy times, there will be plenty of in and out traffic with the door to your refrigeration equipment being opened and closed repeatedly.  Poorly constructed doors or low quality hinges will drastically reduce the long term durability of your walk in cooler and require you to service this piece of food service equipment far too often.

Inside door releases are also a must for any walk in cooler.  This is a safety feature that prevents food service employees from getting stuck inside the refrigerator or freezer.  It is almost always part of any refrigeration equipment manufacturer’s standard features, but it’s a good idea to make sure it’s included with your walk in cooler when you have it installed.

Other important features for this piece of refrigeration equipment include an alarm system if the temperature in the walk in cooler is fluctuating widely.  Oftentimes this can be the result of the door to your refrigeration equipment being left open accidentally, but there could also be a mechanical problem with the compressor or another part of your refrigerator or freezer could be malfunctioning.  An alarm system will notify you of any issues before your valuable food service inventory items spoil.

Walk In Cooler Maintenance Requirements

walk in cooler refrigeration equipmentKeeping the air flowing smoothly and keeping condenser coils cleaned is vital to proper operation of any piece of refrigeration equipment.  This means proper ventilation, regularly cleaning filters, and regular check-ups with a certified technician.  From time to time the refrigerant will need to be replaced, and per state regulations this can only be done by a refrigeration equipment technician who is certified.  When regular maintenance of your walk in cooler is not performed your are increasing the odds of it breaking down prematurely.  Almost always, your walk in cooler will break down on the hottest day of the year when your establishment is busy and you need your food service equipment the most.  To add insult to injury it will probably happen on a Saturday night when all of the refrigeration equipment technicians are unavailable.

What Type Of Walk In Cooler Is Best For You?

A variety of walk in cooler options are available in addition to the size.  For instance, they may be prefabricated by a refrigeration equipment company or they may be free standing.  Almost always restaurants that have large perishable goods needs will have their walk in cooler prefabricated, but there is also the chance that they put this piece of food service equipment outside if their size requirements are too big to fit inside.  A very large walk in cooler may have different floors, but for smaller versions shelving units are almost always a necessity for ease of access.  Also the condenser for your refrigeration equipment can be in-place or remote depending on your needs.

Whatever type of walk in cooler you decide upon for your refrigeration equipment, it will be important to remember to service this vital piece of food service equipment to protect your investment in the equipment and the valuable inventory it holds.

How Proper Industrial HVAC System Design Can Affect Your Bottom Line

Industrial HVAC Systems In The Manufacturing World

Industrial HVAC systems account for approximately thirty percent of the energy used by manufacturing companies.  While the purpose of an industrial HVAC system is to heat and cool an enclosed space, a good air system design also reduces the energy consumption, improves air quality inside the commercial building, and prevents the release of toxic gases into the surrounding environment.

What Makes Up And Industrial HVAC System?

industrial hvacThe word HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. An industrial HVAC system for a building can have different combinations of heating and cooling devices.  These systems can include a boiler, furnace, heat pump, rooftop unit, or electric heat. Common industrial cooling systems include rooftop units, heat pumps, chillers, and basic air conditioning units.

Industrial HVAC installation can be quite complex due to the requirements of the system and the size of the equipment being installed.  This is why it is critical the installation of an industrial HVAC system be performed by a company that is familiar with the building requirements and codes as well as the industrial HVAC equipment.  A basic HVAC system is often used for a single zone in an industrial plant. Whereas modifications to the basic set-up will be implemented when the system is cooling, heating, and ventilating multi-plants and large areas.

Design Of Industrial HVAC Systems

In a basic industrial HVAC system, air is brought in from an air intake located on the top or side of the building. The air is forced through a damper by atmospheric pressure that regulates how much air is taken into the industrial HVAC system. Air that has already run through the system is combined with the outside air. This air mixture is then run through a filter that removes large particles such as dust, leaves, and bugs. A second filter takes care of smaller particles before the air goes through a fan. Air leaves the fan and is heated or cooled by coils. A drain pan collects any condensation from the coils and the air is sent through the ductwork to cool or heat the building. It is then returned by air registers to be mixed with new air or sent out of the building.  While the ducting can be complicated in an industrial HVAC system it is important to keep it as efficient as possible.

Three main types of air conditioners are commonly used in industrial HVAC installation. An industrial HVAC system has other primary functions whereas a regular air conditioner’s main function is to make a space comfortable. Direct expansion coolers consist of three components including window units, heat pumps, and packaged units. Units may be located on the rooftop and air is cooled when it passes over the coils. Chilled water systems have a refrigeration machine that cools water that is used by a coil to cool the air. Finally, evaporative coolers combine hot air with a damp surface to eliminate heat in dry climates. This action causes the moisture to evaporate and decrease air temperature.

Industrial HVAC systems in a commercial or manufacturing environment can become very complex.  So it is extremely important to know what is needed before installation. Using an industrial air conditioning service that has experience in these types of setups can be very helpful and ensure you get a quality installation.

A bad installation can result in higher energy costs, bad air quality, and insufficient working conditions. These types of problems can decrease productivity and make daily operations of your industrial HVAC equipment next to impossible in some cases.  Contact us to discuss your industrial HVAC system and improving its performance.