Modern temperature control strategy is a complex and evolving subject. The technology of today’s commercial HVAC systems has grown more intricate, as have the rules and legalities surrounding them. At every level, from local to global, a bewildering array of regulations, sometimes contradicting each other, can make it challenging to keep your hardware compliant.
What Is HVAC Commissioning?
Commercial HVAC commissioning is a verification process during which all subject systems are examined, and the performance is compared to their official specs to ensure optimum efficiency. HVAC testing and commissioning are valuable not only as a tool for addressing performance shortfalls but also as an excellent way of ensuring that complete documentation of your systems is created and maintained. (ASHRAE offers a variety of resources with greater detail on the subject.)
A typical HVAC commissioning checklist usually includes tests such as verifying air flow, chillers, pumps, air handling units, air balancing of supply registers, and the various other discrete components of your system all the way down the thermostats. A commissioning contractor with proper credentials must handle the process. EnergyStar offers a national HVAC commissioning checklist to show how extensive the process is.
Is Commissioning Required by Code?
Commissioning as a requirement began with the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). If cooling loads exceed 480,000 Btu/h (40 tons) and heating/service water heating loads exceed 600,000 Btu/h, an HVAC commissioning procedure is required. There are a few exceptions to the code, usually equipment that serves multi-unit residences, hotels, and similar situations.
In New York City, Local Law 97 lays forth requirements that building owners must regulate and maintain the carbon emissions levels laid out by the new legislation, along with annual reporting requirements. New York State updated its statewide commissioning guidelines in the 2020 Energy Conservation Construction Code of New York State (2020 ECCCNYS).
As time marches on, commissioning seems to be making the transition from recommended to required. Even now, the lack of proof that HVAC commissioning was performed can sometimes block the issuance of a certificate of occupancy.
Henick-Lane – Your Commercial HVAC Commissioning Experts
Whether you’re installing a new HVAC in a data center, assessing an older unit to see if it needs replacing, or simply making sure that you meet regulatory requirements, our LEED-accredited experts are standing by to help. For over five decades, Henick-Lane has built up the commercial HVAC experience needed to develop the most cost-effective solution for your needs. Give us a call at (718) 768-7277, or contact us online today!