The Btu Distribution Network
My friend and colleague, Paul Wieboldt, uses a retail comparison to simplify the HVAC system performance explanation. He teaches us to think of HVAC equipment as a Btu factory. It’s the heart of the Btu production process since Btus are the product the factory delivers. There should be systems to ensure it runs at 100% of its capable output or consider it inefficient and wasteful as with any factory. We can say the same about HVAC equipment.
This simplified explanation doesn’t end there. Any factory that produces a product must have a distribution system to deliver that product to its retail outlets. Btu distribution is the duct system’s role, and it delivers the product from the Btu factory to the retail outlets. The retail outlets are the supply registers that deliver conditioned air to the building.
There will always be losses in the distribution system, from the factory to the retail outlets. The losses can include misplacement, theft, or lack of tracking the product. When contractors move beyond just addressing the Btu factory (the equipment), they see the entire distribution network’s effect on the system. If the product never makes it to the retail outlets, the factory will eventually go out of business and shut down prematurely.
Consider the Simplified Amazon Example
Most of you reading this have probably used Amazon to order something. Some of you may even be Amazon Prime members and subscribe to their other services.
Amazon has fulfillment centers that have simplified the distribution process by focusing on providing exceptional customer service. They aim every upgrade they create at making things simple and easy for the customer. Like all companies, they make mistakes. But they do their best to make your experience a good one.
I recently bought a phone case for my wife, and it wasn’t what she wanted. I goofed. So, I got to return the phone case. Their process was simple, fast, and accessible. Once the return was complete, I received verification that everything was done and to my expectations.
I knew what was happening throughout the process. Amazon verified they took care of me.
Verification is also the best way to ensure your HVAC systems are fulfilling your customer’s expectations. You can verify the installation is a success and communicate it to your customers.
Use your static pressure, airflow, and temperature measurements to share these results.
Like Amazon uses simple and easy-to-understand ways to show you they fulfilled their commitment, you can also prove to your customers that their HVAC systems deliver energy-efficient comfort into a safe and healthy environment.
As always, another great article by David. We must always measure all of the points he brings out in this article: or, we’re shooting from the hip.
It’s too bad we don’t have an accurate, repeatable way to measure the envelope’s BTU heat loss at Design Temperature for the home’s location.