Commercial Climate Control
Commercial climate control includes a multitude of situations, with appliances, devices, and systems customized to fit each requirement.
Office buildings have different requirements than hospitals, which differ from manufacturing plants, which differ from convention centers, which differ from greenhouses, and so on. All of the climate control functions listed in the introduction to this blog are needed to a greater or lesser extent in one or more commercial applications. For example, motels and restaurants need ice machines, grocery stores need coolers and freezers, and public buildings need refrigerated air circulating. Each needs different climate control appliances to meet their needs.
Commercial Climate Control Appliances Are All Types And Sizes
Some commercial climate control appliances are small and portable, but most are very large permanent installations. Some fill up basement equipment rooms, and others cover rooftops.
Installation of commercial climate control equipment can involve a variety of gauges, valves, or motors as well as complex wiring and water or gas lines. Some run continually, and others operate sporadically. Huge fans can quickly replace hundreds of cubic feet of stale air with fresh air. Air handling units, chillers, boilers, and other climate control equipment that weigh hundreds of pounds can heat or cool thousands of square feet.
The following examples include a variety of commercial climate control appliances, equipment, devices, and systems. The examples are by no means exhaustive, rather, they are representative of commercial climate control installations.
Hospital Climate Control
Hospitals typically have a huge variety of climate control appliances, equipment, and devices that include heating, cooling, humidification/dehumidification, and air purification.
Most of the climate control appliances are giant units that are permanently installed, although certain areas may have small permanent installations or portable appliances. Rooms for patients need to be kept at temperatures and levels of humidity that help patients heal. A patient in one room may need different climate control than a patient in another room. The operating room has to be comfortable for medical personnel working under bright lights in stressful conditions. Lobby areas and offices have still other climate control needs. There are boiler rooms and other equipment areas, kitchens, pharmaceutical storage, and in some facilities, a temporary morgue, all of which need differing levels of climate control.
Ventilation—along with filtration and purification equipment to prevent the spread of infection—is essential in all areas. Because climate control in a hospital is critical, there are often redundant and backup appliances in such settings. Equipment is frequently integrated with generators to prevent failures in emergencies.
Data Center Climate Control
Data centers typically have refrigeration appliances for climate control. Computers and peripherals generate tremendous amounts of heat. Although the units themselves have heat sinks and interior fans, heat dissipation requires additional cold air and ventilation. Humidifiers and dehumidifiers are also essential.
The data center may be a dedicated room in an office building with the specialized climate control needs met by the building climate control system. Colocation (“colo”) centers are massive data centers that provide electronic, telecommunication, document storage, and connectivity services to a variety of clients. Although human life doesn’t depend on climate control in a colo as it does in a hospital, climate control is essential to keep the buildings at optimum temperature and humidity to preserve data. Buildings dedicated to colos will have large and permanent air conditioning and ventilation equipment connected to reliable power sources for climate control.
Agricultural Climate Control
Agriculture includes greenhouses that need specific levels of humidity and circulating air to keep plants growing. Some greenhouses need the addition of heating or cooling to overcome outside temperatures. Harvests, whether from greenhouses or outdoor fields, frequently need cold storage facilities to prevent spoilage. That requires refrigeration and ventilation equipment installed in buildings and on the trucks that take agricultural products to markets. Grocery stores need cold storage for produce, and freezers for other products.
Public Venue Climate Control
Ventilation is a priority in public venues and wherever people congregate. Overhead fans are suitable in some venues, but many provide moving air via ducts along with cool or warm air. Winter sports (e.g., ice skating and hockey arenas) require climate control appliances to keep the ice from melting.
Construction Site Climate Control
Reducing toxins is essential at most construction sites. Chemical fumes and other pollutants present hazards to workers if not removed. Climate control in those situations depends on ventilation and is often achieved by large fans powered by industrial-size generators.
Additional Notes on Commerical-Scale Climate Control
Commercial climate-control appliances are found in numerous other enclosed areas.
- Office buildings have heating, venting, and air conditioning systems that can be adjusted for “zones” within the building to keep workers in different areas comfortable.
- Museums and historic sites rely on climate control appliances, especially refrigeration and ventilation, to prevent deterioration of relics and works of art.
- Warehouses and storage facilities need fans for ventilation and may need heating or cooling appliances.
These and others may have a combination of personal climate control appliances, for the comfort of people, and commercial climate control appliances relevant to the function of the business.