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Temperature plays a significant role in any building in the comfort of its occupants. It should, however, be given special attention in communal and shared spaces, such as the office. The proper temperature influences well-being and comfort and impacts productivity.
There is an ongoing battle in most offices for control of the thermostat because different people prefer different temperatures. Therefore, finding an ideal temperature setting to suit all needs becomes impossible. In addition, frequent turning on and off the air conditioner reduces its efficiency and wastes precious energy. Businesses can meet the comfort and temperature conditions in the office building using a multizone AC system.
What Is AC Zoning?
A multizone AC system splits space into different zones, or areas, to provide separate cooling and heating. Rather than have one controller or thermostat for the entire office’s air conditioning, each zone has a thermostat to control the temperature of that specific zone. A multizone system utilizes multiple indoor air handlers attached to a single outdoor condenser/compressor if the office building has several enclosed rooms. This makes it possible to meet varied temperature needs in different zones. Zoning is achieved using ducted and ductless AC systems.
Dampers are used in ducted systems. Dampers are essentially movable flaps that block off or open up the ducts by partially or fully covering them. Modern HVAC systems have automatic dampers that realign subject to the comfort needed in every zone and are managed by the controller or thermostat.
Ductless AC systems are zoned through variable refrigerant flow, or multi-split systems. Depending on the preferred approach, each interior unit can have an individual remote control to regulate the temperature to diverse zones’ needs. You also have the option of a centralized controller that provides the operator with complete visibility of a multizone AC system’s operation. There are many benefits to having a zoned AC system besides reducing potential conflicts among colleagues. Here are some reasons why installing a multi-zone system might make sense for your office.
Better Indoor Air Quality
A building’s indoor air quality affects productivity and occupant health. Indoor air quality is affected by dust particles, circulating allergens, and humidity. A multizone AC system improves indoor air quality because, with a non-zoned system that cools one huge space, the system picks up particles and irritants from the whole space and circulates them throughout the whole space. With a zoned system, you’re dealing with a smaller area, so there are fewer irritants in circulation.
Varied Temperatures for Different Tasks
Workplaces with employees doing different tasks have diverse needs. For instance, employees working in the packaging department do more physical activities than those doing office tasks; hence, the two groups have different temperature needs.
This is even true of offices where no manual labor takes place. For example, your IT or graphics department will likely have multiple computer screens running, and they may have more printers, scanners, and other equipment. All of these machines produce heat, and they need to say cooler, so departments that have specialized equipment needs will need a different temperature. A multizone AC system can split the office space into different zones considering the work done and satisfy everyone’s unique needs.
Reduce the Effect of Sun Direction and Large Windows
Suppose that your office building takes up an entire building floor. In that case, the direction of the sun will significantly affect the temperature in different areas to make some rooms feel warmer than others. For instance, windows that face north rarely receive any sunlight while those facing south receive a lot of the sun. The situation is amplified when the office building has large glass windows. This can make employees in these areas feel extra warm. Multizone AC systems can reduce this by making the areas cooler and comfortable to work in.
Provides More Even Temperature
Among the most common issues of a conventional AC system in workspaces is the presence of cold and hot spots. If a particular part of the building feels a few degrees colder or warmer than the rest, then you have a cold or hot spot. If the AC system has a single thermostat, you will likely experience uneven temperatures because your unit is supplying air conditioning to a vast area. This is because the thermostat only provides temperature reading for the space adjacent to the thermostat or temperature sensor. A zoned system allows for more even temperatures throughout an entire floor or workspace because there are more sensors.
A multizone AC system can increase energy savings. You’ll have more control over every zone and be able to turn off the system in unoccupied areas, significantly reducing utility bills. Through IT Landes, energy efficiency can be further optimized by integrating motion sensors to detect human activity in a particular zone and turn the system on or off based on occupancy. More efficient operation can significantly reduce running costs.
Common Zoning Issues
Multizone AC systems can develop some issues, however. Thermostats sometimes malfunction, resulting in zones being cooled or heated at the wrong temperature or time of day. As a zoned system uses many thermostats, you will probably encounter this issue more than a conventional system. You’ll also need to stay on top of changing the batteries.
Dampers regulate the airflow in AC systems with ducts. If dampers get damaged, the airflow may be misdirected, making the zones not receive heat according to the temperature set by the thermostat. The best way to solve these issues is to keep your AC system well-maintained by a professional plumbing and HVAC company like IT Landes.
Is Multizone AC Right for an Office Building?
Comfort is essential for each building occupant. However, for employees who have to spend at least eight hours at their workplace, air conditioning and temperature can affect their well-being and health. Maintaining maximum indoor air quality ensures that employees work in safer and healthier environments, which minimizes the risk of avoidable illnesses and stress.
Employee comfort and productivity are inevitably associated. Among the things that employees consider in job satisfaction is a conducive and healthy work environment. Multizone AC systems can help keep employees satisfied and productive to ensure increased profits for the company.
Zoning can be done in almost any situation, especially in buildings with unique cooling and heating challenges. For example, often, it’s difficult for central HVAC systems to manage multistory buildings effectively. Upper levels may be extra warm while lower levels get extra cold. A zoned approach allows you to maintain consistent temperatures by separately controlling each level. This also works for office buildings with stubborn cold or hot spots caused by insulation differences or layout issues. Whether it’s improved efficiency, customized comfort, or greater flexibility, choosing multizone AC systems can solve these problems.
Install a Multizone AC With IT Landes
Office heating and cooling needs should only be handled by a licensed and experienced AC contractor. Such a contractor understands installation and safety standards that ensure that the AC unit is the correct size and type for your building and that it is installed correctly.
IT Landes provides a variety of industrial or commercial mechanical services including on-demand service, maintenance, special projects, building and system design, and replacement and installation of commercial HVAC and plumbing parts and equipment. We take pride in providing world-class service for our customers in Harleysville, Bethlehem, and all of southeastern Pennsylvania. Our plumbing and HVAC services include hydronic piping, commercial boilers, sewer drain cleaning, water heaters, and sanitary drain replacement. Contact us today for all your commercial and residential plumbing and HVAC needs.