How to Install an Air Conditioner in a Metal Building

How to Install an Air Conditioner in a Metal Building

How to Install an Air Conditioner in a Metal Building

Here is what you're looking for, the ultimate guide to installing the ideal Air Conditioning unit for your metal building. You will need to choose the ideal Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning System (HVAC) to ensure your metal building is completely climate controlled. The HVAC system you choose will depend on the building's temperature regulation demands, and its purpose. 

Follow the tips mentioned in this article to learn how to install an AC in your metal building.

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Planning for Your Metal Building's HVAC System

You will need to plan for your metal building's AC as early as the design phase. The HVAC unit chosen may affect your building requirements. If you choose to go with the overhead HVAC with ductwork, the roof design will need to be adjusted accordingly.

Most standard metal buildings can carry up to a pound per square foot collateral load on the roof. The stronger the HVAC system, the more the collateral load required. Thus affecting the building's design plans.

There is a variety of HVAC Systems available on the market currently. The ideal system for your building will depend on factors such as the size of the building, energy efficiency, operations, number of occupants, maintenance capabilities, weather, and climate among other factors. Listed below are the main types of AC systems you can get for your metal building.

  1. Split Systems
  2. Heat pump
  3. VRF or VRV systems
  4. VAV or CAV systems
  5. Fan Coil and boil coil units
  6. Chilled beam
  7. Displacement Ventilation
  8. Geothermal

Install an Air Conditioner in Your Metal Building

Split Systems

These are the most common AC types used in metal residential structures. They can still be utilized for commercial buildings as well. Split systems have 5 main components, namely:

  • Indoor unit
  • Outdoor unit
  • Ductwork
  • Thermostat
  • Filtration system or humidity control technology

Split systems can have a single indoor unit or multiple indoor units, which are also known as multi-split systems with a single outdoor unit.

e it. They are a cost-effective means of conventional heating or cooling systems.

Heat Pump

Heat pumps work by gathering heat from outside and concentrating it inside for indoor use. Heat pumps transfer heat from the cool indoors into the warm outdoors. They do not generate heat, they only move the heat around. Heat Pumps are a very affordable choice in comparison to other available options.

VRF or VRV Systems

VRF/VRF systems work best in medium-to-large mixed-use buildings such as large offices, hotels, or retail shops. These systems work using a heat pump or the heat recovery method. A heat pump system provides both heating and cooling at the same time, making it a superb selection for conditioning a building with many small rooms.

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Heat recovery systems collect heat from rooms that are overheated and redistribute the warm air to cooler rooms in the building. VRF/VRV systems are reliable, efficient, and easy to install, control and maintain.

They are expensive to install, compared to other methods and larger buildings will require a backup unit in case of a system failure.

VAV or CAV Systems

Variable Air Volume (VAV) systems comprise a single duct air system with fluctuating airflow. VAV systems have automated controls for humidity, temperature, and zone control. Constant Air Volume (CAV) systems also use a single duct air system. But, they manage a constant flow of air.

Fan Coil and Blower Coil Units

Fan Coils and Blower Coils are simple systems that consist of a fan that blows air into the unit, and then blows the air over a hot or cold coil with a fan. These systems need many units to heat or cool a large area, and are not ideal for big open rooms. 

Fan coil units are difficult to work close to as the fans are noisy. These units can protrude out from the wall at the floor level or be secured to the ceiling making it difficult to reorganize a space freely. 

Chilled Beam

Chilled beams are a very good HVAC choice to maintain an open floor plan. Very recommendable! The conventional HVAC system is powered by heating and cooling coils which are connected to water lines passing through a ceiling beam. Since water carries more energy than air, a chilled beam system needs far less energy while offering the same temperature control as ordinary HVAC systems.

Chilled beam systems aren’t as good at providing heat and must be used alongside a forced-air circulation in buildings with ceilings above 8.9ft. The beams have dripping condensation as well.

Displacement Ventilation

Displacement ventilation is a ventilation system that brings in cold air at the floor level at low velocity. This system is an energy-efficient system that also purifies the air.

Geothermal

Geothermal systems move the earth’s natural subsurface energy to transfer heat through a ground loop, body of water loop, or well loop. A boiler or heat pumps provide increased heating for the system. 

The cost of Hybrid Geothermal systems depends on the field size, location, building load, and extra space for extreme scenarios. Other alternatives or additional options to your HVAC solution, you may want to consider are; ceiling fans, solar energy, wind energy, or other heating and cooling options.

How to Install Good Insulation in your Metal Building

Insulation is very helpful if you wish to install a good HVAC system. It will help you make savings on your energy bills and reduce the size of the HVAC equipment your building needs. A smaller HVAC will lower energy costs and reduce installation costs.

Depending on your location, your AC needs, and the technology you use to save energy, INSULATION may be the only heating system you require. Most insulation systems are made to collect extra moisture to ensure the building stays dry and free of moisture. 

Insulation is measured in R-value which is a measure of how resistant the product is to conductive heat flow. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation performance of the insulator. Insulation systems are usually designed to handle excess moisture, protecting the contents and inhabitants of the metal building.

Why you should add high-quality insulation to your metal building

Insulation goes well with air conditioners for metal structures. You will need proper insulation along with air conditioners for the following reasons;

  • It is a source of radiant heat
  • It protects the metal building from water damage as it resists humidity and vapor
  • It is easy to install and maintain
  • It is eco-friendly and economical.

How to Install an Air Conditioner in a Metal Building

Follow these guidelines to install an AC in your metal building properly. Just like the experts do!

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instruction manual
  • Ensure the AC unit is properly installed, with support from underneath or firmly fastened to the metal building. The support should be strong enough to handle the weight of the unit
  • Avoid using loose objects such as bricks, gypsum boards, or other weak materials to support the AC unit’s leveling
  • Slightly tilt the AC unit to allow water drainage, but be careful not to over tilt it.
  • Don’t put things on top of the unit, for safety sake!
  • Fasten leveling objects to avoid movement and shifting as a result of vibrations from the AC unit, wind, and other factors.

WRAPPING IT UP

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This guide has shown you the D-I-Y tips you need to know in case you have been wondering how to install an air conditioner in your metal building. 

It is important to protect your metal building from humidity as moisture can corrode it through rust. Make sure you consider your environment, budget, and the other factors discussed in the article.

For suggestions on what type of air conditioning works best in a Duramax building feel free to email, text, or give us a call.