Energy efficiency is increasingly becoming an important aspect of modern construction. In spite of whether a building is a few years old or just about to be constructed, installing a Demand Control Ventilation is now the preferred ventilation for most people. This system surpasses the traditional ventilation systems in many ways when it comes to performance.
What is Demand Control Ventilation?
This is a state of the art ventilation system that uses numerous sensors that are able to measure certain variables in a building. These variables include humidity, temperature, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, motion detection and so on.
The main objective of measuring them is to ensure that the ventilation airflow rate always matches the actual demand in the building.
How A Demand Control Ventilation System Works
Since this system is endowed with various sensors, central processors and economizers which are inbuilt, it works to automatically adjust the ventilation airflow rate and make sure that it suits the prevailing conditions in the building. The system ventilates for any sort of ventilation that is caused by the activities of the people occupying the building as well as other pollutants such as furniture and appliances, resulting in a high VOC concentration, among other pollutants.
This system works instinctively. For example, if it detects that the rate of carbon dioxide or occupant’s traffic inside the building has risen, it regulates it by allowing more fresh air into the designated area. The indication of the airflow is normally in cubic feet per minute (cfm). On the other hand, when the carbon dioxide or traffic significantly decreases, the system reduces its speed in a bid to maintain the right level of fresh air, and also improving energy savings.
Benefits of the Demand Control Ventilation
A demand control ventilation system is more efficient in terms of energy. While using one, you can reduce your energy costs by a minimum of around 10% and a maximum of up to 40 % per annum. The energy savings depend on the overall rate of occupancy.
Most traditional ventilation systems are mechanical and not connected to the Building Management System (BMS). They are either on or off. This easily leads to higher operational costs. Newer HVAC systems use Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) to control AC motor speed and Variable air volume (VAV) systems. DCVs push the performance further, as they are automated, this means that when the conditions are favorable the system intelligently recognizes that and switches to a low speed, and so reducing the airflow cfm. Therefore, it ends up consuming less power which can translate to a considerable amount of savings in utility bills.
Lowers maintenance costs
DCVs are designed to be efficient in a number of ways beyond energy consumption. This, in turn, lowers your maintenance cost and extends the lifecycle of the system. Besides traditional systems consuming a lot of power, they also require more in terms of maintenance cost.
Superior Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
This is an undeniable advantage of the DCV system. It works effortlessly, providing better air quality at all times. This enhances the comfort of everybody in the building.
You will find that when buildings are not well ventilated, the people who work or live in them are exposed to hazardous conditions that can be detrimental to their health.
These hazardous elements include fumes from chemicals, dust, pollen, allergens or VOCs that are likely to build up in the air. Despite that, airborne diseases are easily transmitted in poorly ventilated areas. All these elements can contribute to a more polluted indoor environment. Luckily, the demand controlled ventilation system seeks to address this by allowing fresh air in the building to combat the common pollutants.
Smart Automated Action
The DCV operates in a smart, automated way that is not only unique but also beneficial. Air is either cooled or heated, depending on the prevailing condition or season. It is then introduced to the room to match the temperatures automatically. Since the system has room air sensor, the people inside are unperturbed by the increased air flow.
These automated series of actions run at very low power in comparison to traditional ventilation systems. Due to this, the DCV system air ducts are not prone to clogging.
DCV systems have to be approved by the American Society of Heating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE 62.1 (commercial) & 62.2 (residential)). This is a renowned organization that is dedicated to ensuring that indoor air conditioning systems are fit for use.
The above standardizations confirm that the DCV has reached the right quality and safety levels to be used in most buildings.
One of the best qualities of the DCV is that even though a building was built in the past and uses the traditional ventilation system, you can replace it with the DCV system. More so, you don’t have to worry in case the original design of the building did not cater for such possibilities. All you need qualified engineers to brainstorm the process, with a few modifications a DCV system will be successfully installed in your old building.
Typically, most systems that consume a lot of resources have a high likelihood of affecting the environment negatively. Unlike the traditional ventilation systems, the DCV is more environmentally friendly, due to the fact that it consumes fewer resources in its functionality. They can be used in conjunction with an economizer such as an HRV/ERv to further reduce the energy footprint.
DCV allows occupants to feel healthier and avoids the cognitive confusion associated with poor air quality, hence allowing companies to perform at their best potential.
The Demand Control Ventilation system has established itself as one of the most superior products in the ventilation category; its popularity has continuously grown over the years since its inception.
However, as it is common with most ventilation systems you have to ensure that it is well maintained so that it can perform as expected. Furthermore, ventilation systems are bound to age. In order for the DVC to serve you not only efficiently but also for a long period of time with minimal technical hitches, it has to be regularly serviced.
Due to wear and tear, any faulty parts that are noticed during the checks ups should be fixed or replaced to avoid more complex costly problems in the future. Otherwise, if you look after this system as required you will hardly be disappointed by its performance.