HVAC Service

HVAC Water Treatment – Why Is It Important?

Water Systems for HVAC

Many commercial HVAC systems harness the unmatched thermodynamic properties of water for efficient heat transfer. Heating and chilled water systems are an effective backbone of comfort, designed to reach the highest floors and farthest spaces to virtually eliminate “house air” duct runs. These hydronic systems provide better zoning, minimize and localize the spread of dust and other particulates, and require less physical installed space, which lowers construction costs. For these reasons, chilled water systems are quite common in many commercial and industrial buildings.

The Effects of Untreated HVAC Water Systems

No other liquid on earth has a higher specific heat capacity than water. As such, no other component of your hydronic system deserves more attention and care. Open loop sections of hydronic systems, sometimes referred to as a condenser loop, are prone to several hazards that can pose significant threats to your HVAC equipment if left untreated. These portions of your system must be exposed to air, utilizing evaporation, in order to function properly. As a result, there is increased risk for scale buildup, corrosion of metal piping and components, as well as the growth of harmful bacteria and even algae. Scale buildup can reduce your system’s efficiency at an alarming rate; even a scale thickness of just 0.003 inches can increase energy usage by up to 22%. Corrosion of metal components within the system could cause leaks in the building, which could mean costly damage to the system and even the building itself. Harmful microbiological growth can pose significant threats to building occupants, as approximately 25% of all Legionnaires cases come from untreated water in cooling towers. All of these problems can be very easily prevented with a comprehensive water treatment program.

Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with Nick Wright, a water treatment specialist that we often work with here at LONG as a subcontractor. In his 5 ½ years in this role, he has seen many customers enjoy substantial cost reductions in consumption of water, electricity, and natural gas, as well as avoid significant capital repairs to their HVAC equipment, all by adding a water treatment program to their budget. He mentioned one customer in particular whose energy savings alone were sizable enough to cover the cost of the water treatment itself.

Some commercial property managers and building owners, however, don’t always understand the importance of water treatment for their HVAC equipment. LONG can put you in contact with a trusted water treatment expert for this critical service, or even carry the cost of this service for you within an HVAC service agreement.

Incorporating a water treatment plan into your building’s budget is a simple way to maintain your mechanical heat exchange equipment. It cuts down on corrosion and scale buildup, and it inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria. This, in turn, will not only extend the life of the HVAC equipment, but will also provide significant savings in capital expenditures and energy consumption that will add up quickly. Whoever you select for support, take action now to protect your HVAC equipment and systems by implementing the right water treatment schedule for your property.

Are you looking to install or upgrade a new water system for your commercial building? Our Hydronics team can help you find the right hydronic solution for your HVAC systems. You can view our full line of hydronic partners here.

Whether you’re looking for assistance in treating or maintaining your water systems, or obtaining a newer, more efficient product available, we’re here for you. Let us know how we can help by clicking the button below.

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Miranda works with the Littleton, CO HVAC Service team.