How Do You Properly Size a Commercial HVAC System?

A new HVAC system is an investment, and you’re not sure what size system your building needs. Apri’s North is amongst Edmonton’s best HVAC and plumbing companies, and we have 14 years of experience in this very area.

Size Matters

Sizing a commercial HVAC system is relatively simple – but it’s incredibly important that you get it right the first time. That’s because the size directly impacts the system’s performance, cost, and overall maintenance. For example, if a commercial HVAC system is too big, it can cause poor humidity control, which can result in mold and aggravate asthma. What’s more, an oversized system wastes energy, which increases wear and tear as well as installation costs and maintenance. Conversely, if a unit is too small, it will be inefficient and overworked. Not only will it take longer to reach the desired temperature, but it will also expedite wear and tear and increase your monthly energy bill.

To find the size that is just right for your HVAC system, you first need to consider several factors related to the building itself and its purpose, including the direction it faces (i.e., the amount of sun it gets), the difference in temperature between outdoors and the desired indoor ambient temperature, the square footage of the building (including the ceiling height), the design of the building and how much insulation it has, the average size of its rooms and the total number of inhabitants, the type (LED/halogen) and amount of lighting in the room, and the type of activities the room is used for (e.g., cooking, hot baths/showers).

Commercial HVAC systems typically range between 2-30 tons (their unit of measurement). A 1-ton unit can remove approximately 12,000 BTUs of heat an hour – and it takes about 25 BTUs to cool one square foot. With all that information, you can fairly easily determine the minimum HVAC system size required for your space by completing the following calculations:

  1. Divide the building’s square footage by 500
  2. Multiply the answer by 12,000 to get the number of the BTUs required to cool the space
  3. Add 380 BTUs for each inhabitant – and 1,200 BTUs for each kitchen in the building
  4. Add 1,000 BTUs for each window (for solar radiation)
  5. Divide the result by 12,000 to get the number of tons required to cool the space

If comfort and cost are important considerations for your building, you must have a right-sized HVAC unit. If you’re looking for a new commercial HVAC system and you’re searching for mechanical HVAC companies in Edmonton, look no further than Apri’s North. We would be happy to size and install a commercial HVAC system for your property. Contact us today!