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When prevention is better than cure for ageing HVAC systems

06 August 2017

HVAC equipment coming to the end of its service life can mean expense and unplanned system downtime.  However, potential issues with ageing HVAC systems can be preempted with timely retrofitting.

A retrofit, carried out in conjunction with taking preventative measures with HVAC systems, can result in less operation downtime and less ongoing maintenance issues. For this purpose Albion Valves stocks a range of valve models and HVAC components commonly specified in older buildings.

Paul Wightman, technical specifications manager at Albion Valves, said: “To upgrade a water system, it is not always necessary to tear out all the building infrastructure and pipework. It is entirely feasible for a modern, efficient system to be created using existing materials with a few strategic tweaks. This will result in saving money on energy for a fraction of the cost of a new installation, as well as achieving a short payback period via the savings.

“For example, on a hot water system, engineers could consider updating to a two-port PICV hydronic balance control, meaning only the water required is delivered to a specific location with no wasted energy. Hence, the four-port constant volume system could be upgraded quite easily and cost effectively at each terminal unit to a variable volume system, offering significant savings – even on older installations.”

Similarly, if the pipework is in good condition on a HVAC project, then the terminal units such as FCU’s, over door heaters and internal water coils are likely to be equally sound. This is central to the delivery of the water service and may not need replacing. However, to boost efficiency and comfort performance, the controls may benefit from improving speed control on the fan – to optimise air flow over the coil – which can add years to the system’s service life. 

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