Budget constraints are always a concern for every business, and when it comes to selecting an air handling unit, many building owners would prefer to go with the most economical option. Oftentimes, however, an attempt is made to squeeze more performance out of an off-the-shelf AHU than it is designed to handle, when they instead should have opted for a custom unit. This is a common error that ends up costing far more in the long run.
So, when should you opt for a custom air handling unit? There are many excellent packaged AHUs with a broad range of capabilities available, but a custom unit is usually required when needs exceed 25,000 CFM. A custom air handling unit may be called for in systems with lower CFM requirements, however, if process conditions such as higher static pressure, or specific temperature and humidity requirements exceed the capabilities of a packaged unit.
Custom air handling units are generally of better quality and last longer than standard units. They offer a wide choice of component equipment such as fans, filters, coils, and humidifiers, and optimal component selection and sizing allow for superior energy efficiency. Custom AHUs also allow the flexibility to add on small mechanical rooms or large penthouses if room is scarce elsewhere. Custom access panel placement makes maintenance and repairs significantly easier.
An experienced mechanical contractor like PJM Mechanical Contractors, Inc. can help clients select an air handling unit for their specific needs, but as a basic rule of thumb, at least 25% spare CFM capacity should always be allowed in the event that system needs change, as they often do. Replacing an undersized air handling unit is not an easy or inexpensive endeavor, as it can cause an entire HVAC system to require revamping. For more information on how to choose between standard and custom air handling units, call PJM at 609-921-1394.
PJM Mechanical Contractors, Inc. is a multi-faceted mechanical contractor providing construction and installation, service and maintenance, and design/build services in a comprehensive range of mechanical disciplines that include HVAC, plumbing, controls, refrigeration, custom metal fabrication, piping, fire protection, and backflow preventer testing. PJM primarily serves clients in pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, healthcare, institutional, and other various commercial and industrial sectors.