Tuesday, February 10, 2009

TTDNTMiLS #3: HVAC Systems

I am 99.8342% positive the term HVAC, short for Heating Ventilating and Air Conditioning, was never mentioned to me in any of my library sciences courses. Not once.

Yet I find myself spending an awful lot of time dealing with things HVAC related these days. Our HVAC system is about 12 years old now (same as our building) and so its starting to show a little wear and tear. Consequently, the library is exploring a preventative maintenance (read tune up) agreement for the 18_vav_vox_JPGHVAC system for this year.

And because of that, I have recently learned about: variable air volume devices, air mixers, supply fans, air handling units, condensers, boilers, pumps, static reset switches, filters, duct work and more! For extra kicks, nearly everything related to HVAC systems is an acronym or abbreviation: AHU, ZN-T, SupFlow, OccCMax, P5-S, BOXHTG-C, and on and on.

Fortunately, I like learning new things and getting a basic understanding of air, steam and water flow in a building is kinda fun. It's like a puzzle and a maze all sorta mashed up, with some big, mechanical bits thrown in for extra fun.

But really, would it have hurt the library school folks to mention some of this in class? I remeber discussing the importance of maintaining humidity and temperature levels (paper and electronics are impacted adversely by large swings in humidity and temperature), but never the HOW of maintaining those levels. Nothing at all along the lines of, "Every few years it is probably a good idea tVariSpeedAHUo have all your zone VAV settings and controls tested, and there will probably only be a handful of companies in your area that can do that. Oh, and it will be pretty expensive, but it will likely be worth it in the long run."

Finally, for the terminally curious, AHU=Air Handling Unit, ZN-T=Zone Temperature, SupFlow=Supply Airflow, OccCMax=Occupied Cooling Max Airflow, P5-S=Pump 5 Status, and BOXHTG-C=Heating Valve. There's a lot of V words in the HVAC world.

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