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Intelligent HVAC Solutions: Enabling a Safe Return to Work
Intelligent HVAC Solutions: Enabling a Safe Return to Work

Having spent the last few months working from our sofas, dining tables and ironing boards, many of us have become accustomed to the world of remote working. But we’ve now arrived at a point where many businesses are starting to reopen their doors or have plans to do so in the near-future. Employers will be hoping that a return to work will prove productive, reinvigorating the workforce and driving growth. To this end, however, they will need to instill confidence by demonstrating how they can keep employees safe and comfortable. Bringing employees back to work will be complex. For a start, businesses have had to implement a large number of new safety measures in response to COVID-19. However, ensuring safety in the workplace goes beyond adhering to social distancing measures and anti-bacterial cleaning stations. Behind the scenes, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) play a crucial role in facilitating a safe workspace. Whether it’s the systems implemented to limit the spread of the virus, the ongoing servicing of these systems or their wider environmental impact, HVAC solutions and facilities managers (FMs) rest at the heart of a safer return to work. Embracing new strategies for clean air Walking in the building through a new automatic door, most office workers will be greeted with a queue for the lifts and plenty of signage reminding you to sanitise your hands and keep your distance. Some may have their body temperature scanned by a thermal detection camera on entry, which could also count how many people enter to ensure numbers are safe. Others could be met with an anti-virus access point that scans your face using facial recognition rather than a pass, and enforces hand hygiene by dispensing sanitiser before the lifts will open.  Behind the scenes, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) play a crucial role in facilitating a safe workspace All of these measures, however strict, are part of the new normal: ‘contactless’ buildings. Designed to limit the potential spread of COVID-19, facilities managers have plenty of options when it comes to keeping people safe. But not all of them are so apparent when entering a building. Some of the most important measures are those we can’t see. A healthy and safe working environment has always relied on a building’s HVAC infrastructure – temperature control, good air flow, and a reliable level of comfort are top of most office workers’ priority lists. But the pandemic has taken this to a new level of importance. As a critical part of their wider health and safety plan, facilities managers can look to identify strategies to increase clean air levels further. This could include increasing outdoor air circulation to decrease pathogen exposure, with smart air handling units. These will enable managers to bring in more outside air to displace potentially contaminated air, by increasing ventilation and air change rates.  Improving Filtration Methods Improving filtration methods is another possibility, by adding additional filters including high efficiency filters and HEPA filters, to trap more particles and increase the percentage of clean air in a building. Portable HEPA solutions are also an option for those who need more flexibility. In addition to air filtration and circulation, it is also possible to use UV-C lighting to effectively ‘disinfect’ the air or surfaces, using ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) to inactivate viral microorganisms. These can be installed brand new or retrofitted into existing facilities, to reduce costs for FMs and speed up implementation. These innovative uses of HVAC to limit the spread of infection could have a huge impact on the health and safety of occupants in any building – and this is by no means limited to offices. Within healthcare and laboratory facilities, for example, solutions like room pressurisation, air change rates, humidity and temperature controls are all critical to reduce contamination in the air and on surfaces. A healthy and safe working environment has always relied on a building’s HVAC infrastructure Safety is an ongoing process No matter which HVAC solutions a facilities manager chooses, it’s not a case of installing them and then waving goodbye. As with any good health and safety strategy, constant monitoring is crucial to ensure building occupants are well looked-after – and this also ensures you can get the most out of HVAC investments. For some this means keeping a close eye on how your HVAC equipment runs, to ensure that they’re reaching optimum performance and delivering the best ROI. Working with a partner who can provide continuous service and monitoring is critical, so that the pressure is off FMs themselves. Especially now, having remote monitoring capabilities is an added bonus, so that minor issues can be fixed without an engineer having to visit the site.  For those with smart technologies in place, such as smart connected chillers, FMs may rather be reliant on predictive maintenance and monitoring tools, which use AI and automation to predict issues before they arise, and ensure equipment runs reliably and downtime can be minimised. Whether in person or remotely, good quality service and maintenance of HVAC equipment goes a long way – both to get the best return on investment, and to keep buildings as safe and comfortable as possible. Enabling a smarter and more sustainable workplace HVAC has always been critical to keeping employees happy and healthy at work – but for a long time this has had a negative impact on the planet. Inefficient HVAC systems can give a building a much bigger carbon footprint than it would ideally have.  75% of organizations plan to increase their investment in energy efficiency and smart building technologies Last year, our Energy Efficiency Indicator survey found that 75% of organizations plan to increase their investment in energy efficiency and smart building technologies. The opportunity, then, to overhaul HVAC systems in order to limit the spread of COVID-19 is also an opportunity to invest in more efficient, greener HVAC technologies, built for the future. Taking a holistic approach to your HVAC equipment is the best way to do this, to ensure efficiency gains can be made across an entire building or estate, by connecting intelligent systems. Chillers, for example, with efficiency and intelligence built in as standard can reduce energy use and carbon emissions for a building, or collection of buildings, helping FMs meet energy targets and keeping costs low. Choosing the optimal HVAC system Under current circumstances, the decisions made by FMs are pivotal in enabling business continuity and will ultimately impact building occupants’ comfort and safety. It should therefore come as no surprise that businesses are paying close attention to every move FMs make. Choosing the optimal HVAC system for your building and ensuring regular servicing and maintenance will prove cost-effective and energy efficient. Not only this, but smart HVAC technologies go a long way in enabling a safer, productive and more sustainable working environment. By picking the right tools for the job, businesses of every type can position themselves for growth while remaining as safe and secure as possible.

How Digitalizing School Facilities Can Maximize Efficiency In Response to COVID-19
How Digitalizing School Facilities Can Maximize Efficiency In Response to COVID-19

While lockdown restrictions are being eased, it is likely that COVID-19 will leave a lasting legacy on our attitudes to ventilation, building management, and safety. As schools readjust to operating within the new norm, one thing is for certain: there is always room for vigilance when it comes to school processes and safety. Whether to reduce costs, maximize efficiencies, or achieve optimal well-being of school-going children, smart technologies are here to stay for their extensive benefits.   Schools of the future will be smarter COVID-19 has underscored the importance of automated processes, which are adaptable to different building occupancies and shifting challenges. As schools around the world take the first steps towards digital transformation, the simplicity and ease of integration of some smart technologies are showing marked cost savings; streamlined safety, maintenance and operational efficiencies; and enhanced green potential. Real-time reporting from sensors and technologies are mobilizing schools to adopt a data-driven approach to take their schools into the future. COVID-19 considerations Real-time reporting from sensors and technologies are mobilizing schools to adopt a data-driven approach Since withdrawn, the government’s guidelines on schools’ management during COVID-19 provided food for thought for governing bodies and facilities managers in the school setting, driving the adoption of data-based smart solutions to counteract operational challenges and reduce costs. The guidelines dealt with partially closed facilities - and guidelines for full opening have since been issued. Within the school context, the categories outlined in the original guidelines are perennially important and, with a bearing on safety, the more precise, the better.  Coronavirus and temperature checking  Across different facilities, temperature screening has become a naturalised daily occurrence, with elevated temperatures a good indicator of underlying illness. In the school setting, crowd screening technology has the potential to give live temperature readings, alerts, and access control functionality. It can also be used as a contact traceability tool when high temperatures are detected. Using infrared sensors, this technology provides medically accurate readings in real time with minimal disruptions or student backlogs. Hot and cold water systems It is likely that COVID-19 will leave a lasting legacy on our attitudes to ventilation, building management, and safety The dormancy of school buildings has created a secondary worry around Legionella - and the latest guidance from The Department of Education encourages the usual pre-term building checks are conducted. This bacteria causes Legionnaires’ Disease, which is preventable yet potentially fatal. Mitigating the risk of Legionella spread is an ongoing responsibility; one which is traditionally labour-intensive, involving hot and cold water temperature testing and flushing. Automated Legionella testing removes the need for human effort, cost, potential exposure, and manual record-keeping. It also provides alerts of undesirable temperature readings and expedited response times (which, in buildings of extensive pipework, can avoid hefty maintenance bills). This smart approach to Legionella maintenance is a simple compliance tool, which will help to ensure statutory obligations and prevent sometimes punitive penalties.  A Smarter Outlook On Energy And Green Transformation Without question, saving energy is smart - and smart technologies are leading the charge in helping schools to reduce consumption and achieve green goals. This is being achieved in a range of ways - from constant monitoring of HVAC usage, heating systems, and lighting to the development of data-driven maintenance schedules to keep equipment performing efficiently. Smart sensors can deliver real-time insights on usage and occupancy, reducing waste to a minimum.  Ventilation Air quality is a fundamental component of a healthy indoor environment, with compromised air quality linked to disease and allergies. Research has also shown a correlation between indoor air quality, student performance, and teacher retention. Proper ventilation is one of the best ways to work towards good air quality. Smart technologies assist in myriad ways. One example is by providing real-time alerts on changes or undesirable metrics around pollutants, noxious gases, atmospheric conditions and humidity (with mold and damp in mind). In trying to achieve a balance of mechanical and natural ventilation, one is able to monitor and remotely control HVAC usage, as well as monitor and record the frequency of opened and closed windows in selected areas, to evidence effort in this regard. There’s Smart and There’s Smarter Proper ventilation is one of the best ways to work towards good air quality Iot (Internet of Things) solutions providers, like us, have developed a suite of smart solutions which cater to the schools of the future. Wireless, long-lasting and cost-effective solutions combine a system of tags, sensors, and pressure pads, which transmit data over a secure and private network. These powerful tools send data to a remote dashboard in real time, with alerts for undesirable readings, breaches, and metrics - tailored to facilities owners’ buildings, assets, and needs. With a user-friendly interface, these systems also collect data for thorough record-keeping and meaningful data insights, which have the potential to inspire informed decision-making and strategic development as schools continue to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

Inverter Maintenance For Aircon Engineers
Inverter Maintenance For Aircon Engineers

Inverter driven air conditioning is more energy efficient, cheaper to operate and more profitable to install than its non-inverter driven equivalent. Here Neil Ballinger, head of EMEA at automation parts supplier EU Automation, explains how HVAC engineers can maintain the inverters in their customer’s aircon units. Do you remember cross country at school? It was exhausting; miles of seemingly pointless jogging and sprinting and, if the teacher was not looking, walking. If you were unlucky enough to be born before modern safeguarding measures were introduced, it probably also meant getting lost in the nearest woods.Why isn’t every installation an inverter driven unit, instead of the traditional single stage or dual stage models? My PE teacher, who seemed particularly vicious at the time, but in retrospect just knew about sports science than most, used to make us do something called fartlek as well. This meant long distance runs, incorporating elements of speed training by mixing up sprints with jogs and walks. The worst bit was starting to run again after a walk. That is exactly how the motor in your customer’s air conditioner feel if the units you fit are not inverter controlled. The motor has to act just like a runner doing fartlek — it sprints continuously, operating at full speed until the thermostat tells it the room is cool, then it stops. When the room gets warm, it starts again, powers immediately up to full speed and repeats the process indefinitely. Just like a teenage cross-country runner, it is the starting and stopping that is the tough bit. Furthermore, the unit probably doesn’t have to run at full speed to keep the room at the correct temperature, if the motor were inverter controlled it would speed up and slow down as the temperature fluctuates. Why isn’t all aircon inverter driven? We all know that inverter driven aircon is better than its non-inverter driven cousins. It can provide heating as well as cooling and the lifetime cost of use is less for the customer — because their energy bills stay low. The cost of installation is also higher because it is a more complex job, so it works out better for the contractor. It’s a win-win. The research firm Technavio even lists it as one of the key technologies driving growth in the HVAC market in its annual reports every year. So, the only question is, why isn’t every installation an inverter driven unit, instead of the traditional single stage or dual stage models?When contractors contact EU Automation to buy automation parts, for the units they maintain, they have given us another reason: maintenance Cost is a factor, but when contractors contact EU Automation to buy replacement motors and inverters, and other automation parts, for the units they maintain, they have given us another reason: maintenance. As HVAC engineers, we are not necessarily specialists in power electronics, and this makes inverter maintenance daunting. Microcontrollers and IGBTs (Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistors) are not beyond us by any means, but they can be intimidating. Personally, I would back an electrical or heating engineer over an electronics specialist in a problem-solving contest all day long; but that doesn’t solve the problem at hand. Furthermore, while we are experts in air conditioning brands, and know our Daikins and Grees from our Mitsubishis and Fujitsus, we don’t necessarily have contacts at the inverter manufacturers. Amtech, Danfoss, Vacon and Yaskawa are all names we know, but the local dealer for any of them is probably not in your phone book. This is especially true if the unit you need is from a first-generation inverter driven aircon unit and well over a decade old. While we are experts in air conditioning brands, and know our Daikins and Grees from our Mitsubishis and Fujitsus, we don’t necessarily have contacts at the inverter manufacturers Maintenance techniques While inverter maintenance can be daunting, it isn’t difficult. The tools you will need most often are nothing more than a rag and a spanner, while the more esoteric kit is stuff you probably carry anyway, a laptop, vacuum and a Fluke meter. Before you start, remember that while we tend to refer to an inverter as an inverter, the manufacturers themselves, and many of the sources of information online, often refer to them as VSDs (Variable Speed Drives), VFDs (Variable Frequency Drives) or just plain old drives. As a result, when you are searching online for a video to explain something, it’s worth using all three of those terms, alongside the inverter manufacturer’s name and the problem to make sure you get the right result.While inverter maintenance can be daunting, it isn’t difficult When you do move on to maintenance, step one is simple; make sure that the unit is free of dust. This is as easy as vacuuming the heatsink with an ESD (Electrostatic Discharge) vacuum cleaner when you perform routine maintenance or investigate a problem. While you are checking for build up of dust and daily grime, check the filters. They will probably have to be replaced during annual maintenance, but high use might mean they need to be replaced more often. The control panel itself should be well ventilated and free of dust as well, if it isn’t it can overheat, which is the number one cause of inverter damage and the most common reason contractors contact us for replacement units. Before you put your vacuum and duster away, you should make sure that the inverter unit’s location is clean and as sheltered from the elements as possible. Because it’s normally situated on a roof, it’s not going to be perfect, but the units are designed to take a limited battering. That doesn’t mean it’s okay for them to be covered in leaves, surrounded by rubbish or immediately beneath the guttering outlet though! Before you put your vacuum and duster away, you should make sure that the inverter unit’s location is clean and as sheltered from the elements as possible Get out the spanner Once you’ve finished these steps, you are done with dusting for now, it’s time to get out your screwdriver and your spanner. Step one is to make sure the fans on the inverter are operating normally, without noise and with nothing blocking their rotation. The fan keeps the internal components running effectively, just as it does on PC, and if its function is impaired the capacitors will overheat and the inverter will fail.When you install or maintain an inverter on an air conditioning system, it is a sensible precaution to back up the drive parameters to your laptop The next job is to grab your spanner and make sure the power terminals are on tight. Loose connections cause arcing, overheating and even melting of components and are easily checked during any kind of maintenance and repair. While we are still in the realms of the work your apprentice can do with their eyes closed, you should also make sure that the inverter’s removable LCD control pad is stored sensibly and not continually attached to the drive. If it remains attached, there is a chance the display will stay on permanently, which means that when you need it to diagnose a problem, it will probably already be burnt out. Break out the laptop When you install or maintain an inverter on an air conditioning system, it is a sensible precaution to back up the drive parameters to your laptop. It takes minutes and is normally done by using the removable LCD control. In fact, it’s often as simple as selecting ‘PARs’ and then ‘BACKUP’ from the menu. If you struggle, there are lots of videos on YouTube, like this one, which explain the process for each drive. As a result, if the inverter ever does need replacing, you can whip out your backed up parameters and order a new or refurbished one easily, before reloading the parameters to the replacement and getting up and running in no time. Your customers will think you are a power electronics genius, as well as a HVAC expert, and they will be loyal for life; especially of you save them on a hot day! If you follow these simple measures, you will find that the inverters in your customer’s air conditioning units last much longer and no motors will have to run the equivalent of a cross country, thanks to a lack of inverter control.

Latest YORK Heating news

Connelly Plumbing And Heating Installs cfm Distributors-Donated YORK HVAC System In Home Gifted To Injured Veteran
Connelly Plumbing And Heating Installs cfm Distributors-Donated YORK HVAC System In Home Gifted To Injured Veteran

Connelly Plumbing, Heating & Air and cfm Distributors, Inc. partnered with local contractors and Building Homes for Heroes during a Welcome Home ceremony in Springfield, Mo., for Army Sergeant Curtis Crawford. Crawford, who joined the military in 1987, sustained multiple injuries throughout his service, including a gunshot wound, traumatic brain injury, degenerative spine disease and nerve damage. His injuries require specific modifications to his home in order to live safely and focus on his recovery. To support Crawford, Johnson Controls and cfm Distributors donated a YORK heating and cooling system with a Wi-Fi enabled YORK touch-screen thermostat to better assist him with adjusting his home’s temperature without the need to get up. Connelly Plumbing, Heating & Air donated the HVAC installation services for the veteran’s new home. renovate quality homes The organization strives to build or renovate quality homes and donate them to injured veterans nationwide “We are honored to partner with Johnson Controls, Connelly Plumbing, Heating & Air, and cfm Distributors to gift a home to Sergeant Crawford and his family,” said Andy Pujol, Founder and CEO of Building Homes for Heroes. “The customized amenities that Johnson Controls brings to these homes provide not only a foundation for these heroes, but a hopeful path to a bright future with the opportunity to reach dreams he may have never thought imaginable when injured.” Building Homes for Heroes is a national organization that recognizes those who serve in the United States Armed Forces by supporting the needs of severely wounded or disabled soldiers and their families. The organization strives to build or renovate quality homes and donate them, mortgage-free, to injured veterans nationwide. home comfort system "Teaming up with Johnson Controls and Building Homes for Heroes gives us an opportunity to give back to real local heroes who have made tremendous sacrifices for our country. We’re grateful to have the opportunity to install a new YORK home comfort system donated by cfm Distributors in Sergeant Crawford’s new home,” said Donna Sexton, Estimator, Connelly Plumbing, Heating & Air. The YORK brand of Johnson Controls has been a proud sponsor of Building Homes for Heroes since 2014. The company has been recognized by US Veterans Magazine as a top veteran-friendly company. Johnson Controls is also committed to hiring veterans and military spouses. Veteran employees are honored to design, engineer and assemble systems that help improve the lives of fellow veterans.

YORK Announces Residential Package Equipment AC And Heat Pump Range With Electric And Gas Heating
YORK Announces Residential Package Equipment AC And Heat Pump Range With Electric And Gas Heating

The YORK® brand of Johnson Controls, the global provider for smart and sustainable buildings, is driving greater efficiencies in residential and light commercial markets with its launch of the next generation of YORK Residential Package Equipment. The comprehensive AC and heat pump range is offered in both 14 SEER and ENERGY STAR® certified 16 SEER efficiencies with electric or gas heating, providing affordable performance and reduced energy use compared to older models. YORK Residential Package Equipment works alongside other Johnson Controls HVAC products and solutions to help make buildings more safe, secure and sustainable. Minimizing noise to provide quiet comfort “With the goal of providing industry-leading airflows and top-tier cooling and heating capacity, we set out to create the next generation of YORK Residential Package Equipment,” said Regan Axtell, residential product manager, Johnson Controls. “Not only do these units provide comfort in residential spaces, but they are also an affordable option for light commercial spaces, such as strip malls and small commercial buildings.” The redesigned blower was engineered to bring quicker comfort and advanced air distribution to improve indoor air quality and enhance wellness. In addition, the advanced fan design and vibration-reducing technology minimize noise to provide quiet comfort year-round. These units are also thoughtfully designed with individual access panels and front-facing connections, simplifying installation and maintenance. Units also offer pioneering warranties with a lifetime limited heat exchanger warranty, 10-year parts and compressor limited warranties, and a one-year labor limited warranty.

Johnson Controls’ YORK Mission Critical Horizontal Computer Room Air Handlers Deliver Highly
Johnson Controls’ YORK Mission Critical Horizontal Computer Room Air Handlers Deliver Highly

Johnson Controls announced - the YORK Mission Critical Horizontal Computer Room Air Handler (YORK MCH CRAH) designed to meet the unique cooling requirements of the world’s most demanding data centers. Offered in three standard capacities (105 kW, 210 kW and 315 kW rated at a 22F delta air temperature) with higher capacities available through customization, the YORK MCH CRAH is engineered with high-performance in mind and can be configured to meet the specific needs of each application.  With data hall space at a premium, Johnson Controls designed the YORK MCH CRAH for minimal footprint. The horizontal airflow unit features a compact (54”/1372 mm) length to save on equipment gallery floor space thus returning useable space to the IT data hall. chilled water coils Units feature left or right hand connections to minimize field piping, configurable chilled water coils and can be installed side-by-side with no gaps for optimal security, energy efficiency and space utilization for non-raised floor environments and facilities with heat containment strategies. The YORK MCH unit incorporates a Johnson Controls flagship controller platform ensuring seamless integration to Johnson Controls Metasys or a 3rd party controls solution with support for all standard industry protocols. The MCH is designed for ease of use and with serviceability in mind. It has full-service access to fans, filters, electrical, coil and piping compartments on the gallery side minimizing the need for service technicians to access the secure data hall. Multiple finish options are available for the supply air outlet ensuring the aesthetics of the data hall. remarkable air handling We developed the YORK MCH CRAH by collaborating with and listening to the current challenges of our customers" “We developed the YORK MCH CRAH by collaborating with and listening to the current challenges of our customers and their design partners. We then harnessed the product teams at the York Airside Center of Excellence (ACE) and Johnson Controls Advanced Development Engineering Center (JADEC) to deliver a scalable solution that is perfectly suited for the most dynamic data centers,” said Brian Hatmaker, Global Director, Data Centers, Johnson Controls. “With the introduction of the YORK MCH we are building on the remarkable air handling and mission-critical tradition of the YORK brand. Data center customers know us best from our industry-leading YORK chillers, Tyco fire & security solutions and HVAC equipment service. We are excited to extend these relationships into the data hall with the new YORK MCH product portfolio.” said Mike Zarrilli, Director, Global Data Center Product & Ecosystem Lead. data center lifecycle The YORK MCH will be manufactured in dual locations, York, PA and Albany, MO, to ensure supply chain redundancy and strategic shipping points for delivery in North America. Hatmaker adds, “Johnson Controls understands that speed to market is key for our colocation and hyperscale customers as they scale at incredible velocity. We bring value to those customers by engaging early and delivering specific solutions that enable project success. Our service organization then provides world-class support throughout the construction process and data center lifecycle.”

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