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Refrigeration Technicians Best Tools

Essential Tools for Every Refrigeration Technician: A Comprehensive Review

Are you intrigued by the inner workings of refrigeration systems and the vital role they play in our everyday lives? Whether you’re an aspiring refrigeration technician or a seasoned pro, understanding the tools of the trade is essential.

In this comprehensive review, we delve into the top tools that every refrigeration mechanic should have in their arsenal. These tools are not mere conveniences; they are the very instruments that empower technicians to diagnose, repair, and maintain refrigeration systems efficiently and effectively.

1. Manifold Gauge Set: Refrigeration mechanics rely on manifold gauge sets to simultaneously measure high and low side pressures in refrigeration systems. These sets are like the eyes of the technician, providing critical insights into the system’s condition. By providing real-time data, refrigerant gauges are essential for diagnosing issues and ensuring optimal system performance.

List of Gauge Manifolds

1- Shikha 5 Foot (see image)

2- Fieldpiece SM380V

3- Testo 550’s

4- Lichamp Gauge Set

5- Yellow Jacket 42004

2. Vacuum Pump: A vacuum pump may seem unassuming, but its role is monumental. It evacuates air and moisture from refrigeration systems before the introduction of refrigerant, ensuring that the system operates efficiently without unwanted contaminants.

3. Leak Detection Tools: Finding elusive refrigerant leaks is a challenge without the right tools. Leak detection tools, including electronic detectors and bubble solutions, play a crucial role in environmental protection and system efficiency by pinpointing these leaks.

4. Digital Multimeter: An HVACR technician’s electrical diagnostic prowess relies heavily on a digital multimeter. This tool measures voltage, current, and resistance in electrical components, making it indispensable for troubleshooting electrical issues.

List of Digital Multimeters

1- KAIWEETS Digital Multimeter (see image)

2- AstroAI TRMS 6000

3- AstroAI 4000

4- Astro 2000

5- Klein MM325

5. Pipe Cutters and Flaring Tools: Copper pipes are the lifeblood of many refrigeration systems, and pipe cutters and flaring tools ensure these essential components are accurately cut and shaped for the job.

6. Pipe Benders: The importance of smooth, kink-free bends in copper pipes cannot be overstated. Pipe benders are the secret to achieving these precise bends without compromising the integrity of the pipe.

7. Thermometers and Thermocouples: When it comes to temperature measurement, accuracy is key. Thermometers and thermocouples help technicians monitor temperatures at various points in the system, assisting in both diagnostics and cooling optimization.

8. Tubing Tools: Properly preparing tubing for installation is a fundamental step in any refrigeration project. Tubing tools, such as deburrers and reamers, ensure that tubing is ready for action.

9. Hex Key Set: Hexagonal screws and bolts are commonplace in refrigeration systems. A set of hex keys is a technician’s trusty companion for swiftly disassembling and reassembling components.

10. Oil Pump and Oil Injector: Lubricating oil is the lifeblood of compressors. Oil pumps and injectors ensure that the compressor functions optimally by delivering the right amount of lubrication.

11. Torque Wrench: Precision matters in refrigeration systems. Torque wrenches guarantee that bolts and nuts are tightened to precise specifications, safeguarding components and maintaining proper seals.

12. Digital Scale: In the intricate world of refrigeration, precision is paramount. This is where a digital scale steps in as a silent but indispensable partner for refrigeration mechanics. Why? Because refrigerants, lubricants, and various chemicals must be added to systems with meticulous accuracy.

A digital scale ensures that the right quantities are added, helping maintain the system’s efficiency, performance, and, perhaps most importantly, the environment. It’s not just about getting the job done; it’s about getting it done right, and that’s where the digital scale shines. So, let’s weigh in on the importance of this often-overlooked tool in the refrigeration technician’s toolkit.

List of Digital Scales

1- Eiltech LMC-200A (see image)

2- Xetron High Accuracy

3- Eiltech LMC-300A

4- Yellow Jacket 68862

5- VIVOHOME Precision Electronic

These tools are the cornerstone of any refrigeration technician’s toolkit. Stay tuned as we dive deeper into each of these essential instruments, unveiling the art and science behind their usage, and why they’re indispensable for refrigeration technicians around the globe.

Air Filters vs COVID-19

In this article we’ll answer a question that we get all the time. What filter, if any, can filter out the SARS-CoV-2 virus which leads to COVID-19, the disease? We’ll show you how efficient the different air filters are at filtering out various items for asthma and allergy sufferers, and the virus that leads to COVID-19.

If you prefer to watch the Video of this presentation, then scroll to the bottom or click on the following link. Air Filters vs COVID-19

The ability of an air filter to remove microorganism, dust, pollen, dust mites, mold spores, pet dander, bacteria and viruses is indicated by a numerical value. This number, which is indicated as a MERV rating, states the filter’s efficiency at removing various sizes of these items. We’ll show you which filters, if any, work the best to protect you from these potentially harmful organisms. 

MERV Rating

Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values, or MERVs, indicate the filter’s ability to capture larger particles, those 0.3 microns and larger. The higher the numerical rating, the greater the air filter is at removing particles from the air stream. A MERV-13 is better than a MERV-11 filter at removing particles, but how good are they against bacteria and a very small virus that leads to COVID-19.

Virus and Bacteria Removal

According to ASHRAE, research has shown that the particle size of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that leads to COVID-19 is around 0.1 microns. This is much smaller than what may be picked up by these air filters. As this chart shows, the virus lives in the invisible region, while others like dust, cat dander and human hair are visible to the human eye. 

Sizes of various items shown in Microns. Invisible items in black area on chart, including the SARS-CoV-2 Virus.
Sizes of various items shown in Microns. Invisible items in black area on chart, including the SARS-CoV-2 Virus.

Luckily, the SARS-CoV-2 virus doesn’t travel through the air own its own. It rides on respiratory droplets and droplet nuclei (dried respiratory droplets) that are predominately 1 micron in size and larger. These filters have various efficiencies at capturing the viruses that are in the 1-to-3-micron range according to ASHRAE.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus riding a respiratory droplet in the 1 to 3 micron range
The SARS-CoV-2 virus riding a respiratory droplet in the 1 to 3 micron range

ASHRAE

As the chart shows, ASHRAE recommends using a minimum of a MERV 13 filter, which is at least 85% efficient at capturing particles in the 1 to 3-micron size range. A MERV 14 filter is at least 90% efficient at capturing those same particles. High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are even more efficient at filtering human-generated infectious aerosols. 

MERV Rating and Air Filter Efficiency for Particle sizes 1 to 3 microns in size
MERV Rating and Air Filter Efficiency for Particle sizes 1 to 3 microns in size

By definition, a HEPA air filter must be at least 99.97% efficient at capturing particles 0.3 micron in size. This 0.3-micron particle approximates the most penetrating particle size (MPPS) through the filter.  HEPA filters are even more efficient at capturing particles larger AND smaller than the MPPS. Thus, HEPA air filters are more than 99.97% efficient at capturing airborne viral particles associated with SARS-CoV-2 which leads to COVID-19.

Checkout these HEPA Filters for your Home or Office

HEPA filters can capture and trap microorganisms, including viruses and bacteria, helping to reduce the risk of respiratory infections. So, if possible, use the highest MERV rated air filter with your system, or get a portable HEPA air filter for your room or office. HEPA filters are the most efficient at capturing small microorganisms like the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Where are HEPA Filters used?

HEPA air filters are used in residential, commercial, and industrial facilities. In homes there are portable types that can be moved from room to room, and others that can be installed in a central air conditioning system serving the whole house. 

HEPA air filters are also used along with ULPA filters in cleanrooms, labs, and other spaces requiring a very clean environment.

Asthma and Allergy Management

For individuals with asthma, HEPA filters help reduce asthma triggers like airborne irritants and respiratory allergens. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), nearly 26 million people have asthma in the United States. There are 4.8 million children under the age of 18, and nearly 21 million adults suffering from asthma. On average, 10 people in the unites States die every day from asthma. A total of 3,517 deaths in 2021.

According to the AAFA over 100 million people each year in the United States experience various types of allergies. Allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S. HEPA filters are highly effective at removing allergens such as pollen, dust mites, and pet dander, providing relief to allergy sufferers. 

Editorial Process:

Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to the MEPAcademy at no cost to you if you decide to purchase. Our reviews and articles are made by an industry professional experienced in the engineering and construction of commercial buildings.

Air Filters vs COVID-19

HVAC Equipment Cost Database

Are you paying too much for your HVAC equipment? How do you know if the quote you received for your equipment is a fair price? Do you have a method of comparing what you have paid for various HVAC equipment with what is being quoted currently?

Keeping track of the cost of HVAC Equipment allows you to quickly provide budgets and check the cost of equipment before you purchase. This database allows you to easily keep track of the most common HVAC equipment.

HVAC Equipment Cost Database

Using an HVAC Equipment cost database will save you a lot of money by avoiding the costly mistake of paying too much for equipment.

Air Conditioners price per ton and price per square feet historical equipment pricing database
Air Conditioners in Historical Pricing HVAC Equipment Database

Get your copy here. HVAC Equipment Cost Database

The HVAC Equipment Cost database keeps track of all your equipment quotes or purchases for easy reference and parametric checks, such as cost per ton ($/Ton), cost per CFM ($/CFM)

Only $199

HVAC Piping Unit Pricing

For an HVAC Piping Estimators the need for quick budgets for the installation of piping is best handled with a spreadsheet of different material types and sizes. Having an estimating software program can make this process a lot easier, as the material pricing is always up to date and can be entered into the spreadsheet quickly. You can get a copy of this spreadsheet to help you price piping fast and efficiently.

HVAC Piping Unit Pricing Table
HVAC Piping Unit Pricing Calculator

HVAC PIPING UNIT PRICING 

Often the requirements of the RFP or bidding instructions will call for the price per foot to install piping beyond that which is required by the contract drawings. Such pricing maybe used for change-orders. Having these numbers available and updated often also gives you a quick reference for budgeting projects. It’s good to know when doing job site comparisons of different piping options or during discussions with engineering, what the cost is for the various piping sizes and types of materials. 

HVAC Piping Unit Pricing Calculator for Copper and Carbon Steel from 1/2" to 14"
HVAC Piping Unit Pricing Calculator for Copper and Carbon Steel from 1/2″ to 14″

COST PER FOOT

The cost per foot for the installation of piping needs to include fittings and hangers prorated into the value. It’s best to look at a standard length of pipe and then figure that you will have a Tee and 90 degree elbow in that length.

So for example, using twenty feet of copper water pipe with a Tee and 90 degree elbow plus the hangers to build a unit price would represent a field condition of a fitting every ten feet.

For higher density projects like Hospitals you could put more fittings in your unit pricing. Total those cost up and then divide by 20 to derive at a cost per foot for that particular size and material type.

20 feet of pipe + 2 Fittings + 3 Hangers / 20 = Cost per Foot

If the piping is insulated, you can also put the values in for insulation.

The Estimating Wizard provides two spreadsheets for tracking unit pricing, one for HVAC Piping and the other for Plumbing piping. Get a copy and start tracking your cost per foot, or be prepared to give a quick budget based on your knowledge from your spreadsheet of unit prices. Watch the video below to see how quick and easy it is to track the cost per foot for various sizes and material types. 

MEP Academy HVAC Piping Unit Pricing Spreadsheet

The MEP Academy provides a spreadsheet that makes calculating unit pricing simple. The spreadsheet is available by following this link, HVAC Piping Unit Pricing Spreadsheet

HVAC Piping Unit Pricing Calculator Example
HVAC Piping Unit Pricing Calculator Example

In the screenshot above there is a place for you to build your hanger requirements (#1), and a place to put your tax rate and hourly labor rate (#2).

For each size of pipe and material type you would insert the unit cost for Material (#3) and Labor (#4).

Under item (#5) you would build your typical run of pipe and enter the quantity of fittings you might expect for the type of building and system. You would add whatever you think will be required for every so many feet of pipe. In the example above we are showing that for every 20 feet of pipe you will have 1 Elbow and 1 Reducing Tee.

Under item (#6) you would add the cost per lineal foot for insulation if required. You could also look at insulation as a separate value and leave the pipe bare.

Line item (#7) is where you indicate the hanger spacing, and for each hanger you defined under item (#1) you will get the quantity as defined by the linear feet in item (#5) divided by your hanger spacing, which will affect your cost.

Line item (#8) is the calculated cost per linear foot of piping for that size and material type of pipe.

Summary Sheet

After you have all your unit pricing information inputted into the spreadsheet, all you have to do to get a budget for installing piping is to enter the quantity of piping (#9) for each size and material type (#10). The system will automatically calculate the cost (#11) to install that run of piping based on your unit pricing data. The total cost will be shown at the top of the spreadsheet (#12).

Piping Unit Pricing Calculator Summary Page
Piping Unit Pricing Calculator Summary Page

You can get your copy here. HVAC Piping Unit Pricing Spreadsheet

AC Condensate Drain Sizing and Layout

The proper sizing and layout of condensate drain lines is important for the protection of property and for the proper functioning of the air conditioning equipment.

If you prefer to watch our YouTube version of this presentation, scroll to the bottom.

Condensate Drain Pipe Sizing

The size required for the condensate pipe is dictated by the local code. Enclosed you will find the requirements for many local codes, but be sure to check your code for your local requirements. If the outlet size of the equipment’s condensate drain is larger than what’s shown in this chart then your required to use the larger outlet size.

Minimum Condensate Drain Pipe Sizing Chart
Minimum Condensate Drain Pipe Sizing Chart

Slope to be at least 1/8” per foot or 1 percent, that is for every 12” horizontally there must be at least an 1/8” drop vertically. 

Condensate drain piping to slope a minimum of 1/8" per every 12" horizontal
Condensate drain piping to slope a minimum of 1/8″ per every 12″ horizontal

Attics or Furred Spaces

If the Air Conditioner is suspended above an inaccessible ceiling, such as a gypsum board ceiling or attic space then you will need to provide a means for protecting the building elements from the overflow of the primary drain and for indicating that there is a leak.

Also, drain pans that are poorly drained can cause water to stay in the pan risking the possibility of algae and bacteria growth. Below are some possible solutions, but as always check your local code for the approved method.

  • Option 1 – Secondary drain pan with drain piping. This would hang below the Air Conditioning unit in case the A/C units primary pan overflowed. Also, there is a requirement to provide secondary drain piping to a point of termination that would provide notification to the occupants that there is a leak, such as terminating above a window or doorway.
Option 1 - Secondary drain pan with piping terminating in observable location
Option 1 – Secondary drain pan with piping terminating in observable location

  • Option 2 – An additional drain pipe connection that sits above the primary drain connection and whereby the secondary drain piping terminates in a location to alert the occupants of the clogged primary drain.
Option 2 - Secondary drain piping connection to primary drain pan
Option 2 – Secondary drain piping connection to primary drain pan

  • Option 3 – Leak detection device that automatically shuts down the Air Conditioner if the primary drain becomes clogged.
Option 3 - Primary drain with leak detection device
Option 3 – Primary drain with leak detection device

  • Option 4 – Secondary drain pan with leak detection, located beneath the coil that shuts down the unit upon a leak.
Option 4 - Secondary drain pan with leak detection
Option 4 – Secondary drain pan with leak detection

The additional drain pan or drain pan connection shall be provided with a drain pipe that will determinate in an observable area, such as in front a window or above a doorway, and be of a size not less than 3/4”. Secondary drain pan shall not be less than 1-1/2” in height and extend 3” wider on each side of the coil or AC unit.

Secondary drain piping terminating above window. Pipe doesn't have to be visible as shown.
Secondary drain piping terminating above window. Pipe doesn’t have to be visible as shown.

Drain Termination 

Where can and can’t you terminate the air conditioners condensate drain piping? There are several options where you can terminate the condensate drain line;

  • Indirect Drain
  • Condensate Pump to Indirect Drain
  • Drywell
  • Leach pits
  • Landscaped areas that are properly designed to handle the volume of condensate
  • To Properly designed stormwater treatment systems. 

Indirect Drain

  • Lavatory tailpiece in the same tenant space as the air conditioner
  • Laundry standpipe
  • Janitors Sink
  • Inlet of Bathtub Overflow – Must be accessible
  • Collect and send to cooling tower (See description below)
Cooling Coil condensate to sink tailpiece.
Cooling Coil condensate to sink tailpiece.

The connection to a plumbing fixtures tailpiece has to be made within the same tenant space as the air conditioner cooling coil that is generating the condensate.

Drywell

A drywell can be used for the termination of your air conditioners condensate drain. Check your local code for the specifics, but generally it includes some or all of the following depending on whether it’s for residential or a commercial project:

  1. A minimum size hole, such as 2 foot by 2 foot by 3 feet deep, or a round hole such as 12” diameter by 3 feet deep.
  2. A minimum of 6” of soil or concrete shall provide cover above the rocks
  3. Some form of barrier between the soil and the top of the drywell where the rock begins, such as building paper or plastic
  4. Drywell to be filled with gravel or crushed rock, often with a stated minimum size rock such as 1 inch diameter
  5. The termination of the condensate drain pipe shall connect indirectly to the drywell drain pipe.
  6. The drywell drain pipe to be a minimum of 1-1/2” PVC or other approved material.
  7. Drywell to be at least three feet away from the building structure or any footings.
Drywall for Air Conditioner Cooling Coil Condensate
Drywall for Air Conditioner Cooling Coil Condensate

There are various methods of providing drywells depending on the local code. There are prefabricated drywells that can be used and ones that are made by using a large diameter piece of PVC pipe or similar material.

Some codes will require you to collect the condensate from cooling coil drain pans and return it to the cooling tower if the equipment is served by a cooling tower and the total combined capacity of the HVAC cooling coils exceeds a certain amount like 65,000 btu/hr.

This is a water conservation measure, and there are some exceptions to this requirement, such as if the total capacity of the AC Equipment cooling coils are less than 10% of the total capacity of the cooling tower, or if the location of those AC Cooling coils are in a remote location, far from the tower.

Some locations where you can’t terminate condensate;

  • Public ways
  • Sidewalks
  • Driveways
  • Alleys
No termination of condensate on public area ways
No termination of condensate on public area ways

Excluded from Code Requirements

Excluded from these codes are non-condensing type of equipment like radiant cooling panels that are designed to prevent condensate from occurring by keeping the temperature of the chilled water above the dew point temperature/vapor pressure of the surrounding air. These are system designed to operate in sensible cooling only modes.

Piping Material

The material types that can be used for condensate drain piping varies by jurisdiction but the most commonly cited materials are: 

  • Copper
  • PVC – DWV
  • CPVC
  • ABS – DWV
  • Polyethylene
  • Galvanized steel
  • Cast iron.

Also the use of short radius 90-degree elbows are often prohibited. You can normally use standard fittings until you reach a certain size at which point you might be required to use drainage pattern fittings (DWV)

Traps

Traps are to be installed as required per the manufactures recommendation. No traps are required on the secondary drain pan, this is to allow immediate notification that the primary drain has failed.

Cleanouts

Cleanouts are required in case of plugged drain pipes. Provide as required to prevent the need to cut drain pipes for unplugging. Some of the following maybe used for cleanouts if approved by your local code authority;

  • Plugged tees
  • Union connections
  • Short clamped hoses at the unit (see image above)

When you have more than one air conditioning unit condensate tied to a main condensate pipe, then every change of direction shall have some method of cleanout. Check your local code as this maybe a requirement for even a single air conditioners condensate piping.

Condensate Pumps

Condensate pumps can be used to elevate the condensate vertically to a point where it will then discharge into a code approved gravity sloping condensate drain line. The condensate pump should be interlocked with the Air Conditioning Unit to prevent its operations if the condensate pump is inoperable. 

Checkout these Condensate Pumps

Please remember that code requirements are always changing, so check for the most current code in your area at the time of design and installation. Or ask an inspector for the current installation practice.

Refrigerant Line Sets

Video of this Article

MEP Academy Estimating Spreadsheet

Having an MEP Academy Estimating Spreadsheet that automates portions of your estimates, will save you valuable time that could be used to make more sales. All aspects of the cost of furnishing and installing an HVAC and/or a Plumbing system is contained in one spreadsheet made specifically for the MEP industry. For plumbing only see below.

For a Plumbing only Spreadsheet, use this Commercial & Residential Version. Plumbing Only. For a simple Residential HVAC & Plumbing Spreadsheet. Residential version.

Dashboard

The Main Dashboard provides you with all the information you need to make a quick decision on whether to make further adjustments, or if one of the metrics looks out of place based on historical data. The Dashboard gives you a quick overview of all that is going on within the Estimating Spreadsheet.

Estimating Dashboard within the MEP Academy Estimating Spreadsheet

Your MEP Academy Estimating Spreadsheet needs to be able to handle rental equipment, general conditions, subcontractors, piping and plumbing takeoffs, sheet metal, labor rate tables with crew mix capabilities, , and a bid summary. Each sheet in the estimating spreadsheet automatically calculates the values you enter, showing you a new total bid amount.

Will cover portions of the MEP Academy Estimating Spreadsheet starting at the back of the Excel spreadsheet and working our way toward the front summary page last.

Labor Rate & Crew Mix Table

Choose your crew mix based on the level of experience and the different pay scales based on each project. Pick any combination and quantity of tradesman based on the requirements of the project. 

Labor Rates and Crew Size within the MEP Academy Estimating Spreadsheet

There is a separate crew labor rate for HVAC Piping Shop & Field, Sheet Metal Shop & Field, and Plumbing.

Labor Crew Size and Labor Rate
Labor Crew Size and Labor Rate

HVAC & Plumbing Equipment

Enter the project equipment price and labor to rig the HVAC and Plumbing equipment into place. Compare supplier pricing easily side by side. The MEP Academy Estimating Spreadsheet automatically selects the lowest bidder but lets you override that decision.

HVAC Equipment page within the Estimating Spreadsheet
HVAC & Plumbing Equipment Sheets

General Conditions

Do you need a jobsite trailer or onsite management? Enter the quantity and level of the staff required to run the project, whether one person or dozens. Set the quantity and duration of each general condition, along with the rate. General Conditions is broken down into three sections as follows: #1 – Management, #2 – Construction Office (Non-Reoccurring Expenses), and #3 – Construction Office (Reoccurring Expenses).

General Conditions in Estimate
General Conditions in Estimate Spreadsheet

HVAC & Plumbing Subcontractors

HVAC & Plumbing contractors often subcontract out for Air & Water Balance, Sheet Metal & Piping Insulation, Water Treatment, Building Automation, Excavation and other specialty trades that they don’t self-perform. This spreadsheet was made especially for the HVAC & Plumbing contractor and their most often used subcontractors.

Subcontractors – Rentals – GC’s – Engineering Pages
Subcontractors Page in Spreadsheet

Plumbing Fixtures

For those contractors that do plumbing the following Plumbing Fixture sheet will give you a place to record your vendors quotes and the labor it takes to install each type of fixture. What is also revealed is the overall cost per fixture.

Plumbing Fixtures page within the Estimating Spreadsheet
Plumbing Fixtures

MEP Specialty Sheets

Each trade has a specialty sheet for those items that aren’t considered equipment or a fixture, but for which there is a cost impact. The MEP Academy Estimating Spreadsheet includes Sheet Metal, HVAC Piping & Plumbing Specialty sheets.

HVAC and Plumbing Specialty Pages within the Estimating Spreadsheet
Specialty Sheet In Estimating Spreadsheet
Specialty Sheets in Estimate Spreadsheet

Material & Labor Summary Sheets

You will find a Sheet Metal, HVAC Piping & Plumbing material & labor summary sheets where all of the other specialty sheets are summarized for your review and last minute edits. Each sheet will be divided between field & shop fabrication work. The first section covers the field installation items.

Sheet Metal Material and Labor Summary – Estimating Spreadsheet

Field Summary Section

This is where you will put your material takeoff information for the following:

  • Rectangular & Round Ductwork
  • HVAC Piping
  • Plumbing Piping

This is also where the other sheets that you filled out will be summarized, such as the following;

  • HVAC & Plumbing Specialties
  • HVAC & Plumbing Equipment Labor
  • Plumbing Fixtures
Material & Labor Summary Sheet in Estimating Spreadsheet
Material and Labor Summaries

Each of the field labor summary sheets contain a row to add for the following

  • Material Handling
  • Consumables
  • Punch List
  • Cleanup
  • Detailing
  • Supervision

Shop Fabrication Summary Section

For those of you that have a fabrication shop, there is a section to add material and labor.

Shop Fabrication Summary
Shop Fabrication Summary

Rentals

For those HVAC air conditioning and Plumbing projects that require a crane, fork lift, scissor lift or any other equipment that you don’t own but will be required on the project. Having a spreadsheet that maintains a list of the most common equipment you normally rent along with their rental rate will save you time and money while avoiding having to call for pricing on every job.

Rental Sheet in Estimating Spreadsheet
Rental Sheet in Estimating Spreadsheet

Engineering

If you do your own design then you should have a sheet of each of the personnel responsible for spending time on the engineering task. If you’re doing design/build work, but don’t do the engineering yourself, but hire a third party, then you should add some engineering review time. It’s your responsibility to manage your third-party engineer to make sure they design within your cost parameters.

Engineering Cost
Engineering Cost Tab in Estimating Spreadsheet

Estimate Summary

All of your estimates are summarized on the last tab of the  MEP Academy Estimating Spreadsheet for easy review. You can quickly scan each of the categories to see where all the project cost has shown up. There is the labor and material summary for HVAC Sheet Metal, HVAC Piping, and Plumbing and another section for Subcontractors, General Conditions, Rentals, etc.

Estimating Spreadsheet Summary Page
Estimating Summary
MEP Academy Estimating Spreadsheet Summary

Bid Risk Assessment Form

The MEP Academy Estimating Spreadsheet contains a bid risk assessment form that rates the success of winning any particular project that you are contemplating pursuing. The risk assessment form will help you determine if the project is worth bidding based on a set of questions that rate your answers.

Bid Risk Assessment Form
Bid Risk Assessment

The answers to these questions will give you a score from which you can use to see how the project rates on a scale of risk and reward. The total risk assessment score will also inform you which level of approval is required within your company depending on how you rate your risk values as the example shown below. The total score is 25, which according to this contractor would require the Vice President to sign-off on the project or approve the decision to pursue bidding on the project.

Bid Risk Assessment Score
Bid Risk Assessment Score

MEP Academy Estimating Spreadsheet Summary

The MEP Academy Estimating Spreadsheet is used to gather all the information for estimating a project, putting it into a format where you can make quick adjustments and decisions while the spreadsheet gives you an immediate update on the price.

Purchase this spreadsheet at its currently reduced price of ONLY $245.00, which usually sells for $599.00

Watch the YouTube video below to see the MEP Academy Estimating Spreadsheet in action.

Buy Now for ONLY $245

Adiabatic Cooling

We’ll discuss an adiabatic fluid cooler, an air-cooled condenser with water spray, and an air-cooled condenser using adiabatic cooling. 

Air-Cooled Condenser with Water Spray and Adiabatic Fluid Coolers
Air-Cooled Condenser with Water Spray and Adiabatic Fluid Coolers

An adiabatic fluid cooler is a device used for cooling fluids, typically water or a water-glycol mixture, while an adiabatic air-cooled condenser is used to cool a refrigerant based systems. These systems are used in industrial and commercial applications. They operate based on the principle of evaporative cooling combined with a heat exchanger. 

How Adiabatic Cooling Works:

The hot water in an adiabatic fluid cooler flows into the heat exchanger. The heat exchanger consists of coils of tubes surrounded by fins. These tubes are in contact with the hot water. As the hot water flows through them, heat is transferred to the coil surface and fins of the heat exchanger. The heat exchanger can be provided with an epoxy coating to increase corrosion resistance without sacrificing unit capacity. 

Adiabatic Fluid Cooler Image
Adiabatic Fluid Cooler

Water is sprayed or circulated over a pre-cooling pad, to keep it fully wet. This fully wetted medium sits in front of the heat exchanger, and is often made of corrugated cellulose, synthetic material, or fibrous pad. Cool, dry ambient air is drawn through the wetted medium by a fan located on top of the unit, the air becomes humidified as some of the water evaporates into the air, absorbing heat from the surrounding air in the process.

The evaporation of water from the wetted medium extracts heat from the surrounding air, reducing the ambient dry bulb temperature within proximity to the wet bulb temperature. This cooled air then passes over the surface of the heat exchanger where it absorbs heat from the hot fluid inside the tubes and on the surface of the fins. The heat is then discharged to the atmosphere by fans sitting at the top of the unit. As a result, the hot fluid inside the tubes loses heat to the cooled air through the heat exchanger.

The cooled fluid exits the adiabatic fluid cooler and can be recirculated back into the system it’s cooling, such as an HVAC system or industrial process. This effectively transfers the absorbed heat to the adiabatic fluid cooler and then to the atmosphere.

Variable Speed Fans

The variable speed fans inside the adiabatic fluid cooler draws air through the wetted medium and across the heat exchanger to facilitate the cooling process. The speed of the fan(s) can be adjusted to control the cooling capacity of the unit.

By combining evaporative cooling with a traditional heat exchanger, adiabatic fluid coolers can achieve significant energy savings compared to conventional air-cooled heat exchangers, especially in hot and dry climates where evaporative cooling is particularly effective. 

Reduces Water Consumption

The Adiabatic fluid cooler can eliminate or significantly reduce water consumption compared to the traditional evaporative systems. They can be operated without water until ambient conditions require additional capacity to meet demand. This reduces water consumption and the cost to treat and dispose of water. There is no water basin to hold water or that can gather dirt and debris. This is because the water passes through once and isn’t recirculated so there is no need for a recirculation pump.

Adiabatic Condenser

The adiabatic version of the air-cooled condenser uses a fully wetted medium that sits in front of the heat exchanger coil. The air flow and heat transfer process is the same as previously discussed using the adiabatic fluid cooler for water, except now it’s refrigerant as the medium.

Air-Cooled Condenser with Water Spray

For the air-cooled condenser, the refrigerant vapor enters the condenser and leaves as high-side refrigerant liquid. The system will turn on the water spray when it fails to maintain the refrigerant condensing pressure.

Refrigerant condenser cooled with a water spray system. Image
Refrigerant Condenser Cooled by a Water Spray System

The water is sprayed outward away from the coil into the air stream. The air is pulled across the coil by the variable speed fans. The heat from the hot refrigerant is transferred to this cooler air causing the refrigerant to condense into liquid. The condenser will conserve water by running dry and only spraying water when ambient conditions require a lower entering temperature. That’s why these systems are recommended for high ambient dry bulb climates or high temperature applications.

What is adiabatic Cooling?

Adiabatic fluid coolers or condensers operate like dry cooling systems, except they have water running over pre-cooling pads. The air is drawn through the pads depressing the ambient dry bulb temperature of the incoming air. The depressed or reduced dry bulb temperature provides for greater system heat rejection than a dry system.

How Adiabatic Cooling Works

HVAC School for Technicians

HVAC School for Technicians. In this article we’ll cover what you can expect to be paid as an Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technician, the education required, and what you can be expected to do while at work.

Air Conditioning and Heating systems play a crucial role in controlling the temperature, humidity, and air quality within residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. Essential items such as food and medicine rely on refrigeration to prevent spoiling. Skilled technicians are responsible for the repair, maintenance, and installation of heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems.

Average Pay for a HVACR Technician

How much money can you make as an Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technician?

Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technicians get paid anywhere from $37,270 and less for the bottom 10% of workers, to more than $84,250 per year for the top 10% of earners according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2023. The median wage was $57,300 in May 2023. 

The Average Pay for an HVACR Technician for the year 2023
The Average Pay for an HVACR Technician for the year 2023

Most of the HVACR technicians work at full time positions, which may require evening and weekend hours. During peak seasons for heating or cooling, HVACR technicians can be requested to work overtime or irregular hours to help customer get their systems up and running after they breakdown. Obviously working overtime will increase your hourly pay.

Current Job Opportunities

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Employment of heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers is projected to grow 6 percent from 2022 to 2032, faster than the average for all occupations.

About 37,700 openings for heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

EDUCATION

While a high school diploma or equivalent may be the minimum requirement for many entry-level positions, obtaining formal education through a vocational school, community college, or technical institute can provide a solid foundation. Some of these vocational programs even take individuals lacking a high school diploma. Look for programs specifically focused on HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) or refrigeration technology.

Training Programs

Consider enrolling in an apprenticeship or training program offered by trade associations, Unions, Technical Schools, or HVAC companies. These programs often combine classroom instruction with hands-on experience under the guidance of experienced technicians. If accepted into a Union apprenticeship program you’ll be paid while learning.

HVAC Service Technician fixing a Fan
HVAC Service Technician fixing a Fan

Certification

Although not always mandatory, obtaining certification can enhance your credibility and job prospects. A Certificate of Achievement can be secured from an HVACR technical school in 2 years or less. This can shorten the period from entering school to getting a full-time job. After your first semester in a technical school, you could seek a part-time apprenticeship job with a local HVAC contractor.

 The most widely recognized certification for HVAC technicians in the United States is offered by North American Technician Excellence (NATE). Other certifications may be available depending on your location and specialization.

Licensing

In some jurisdictions, HVAC technicians are required to obtain a license to work independently. This won’t stop you from working for others. Requirements vary by state or country, so be sure to research the specific licensing regulations in your area. States like California requires a contractor’s license to open your own company and require prior work experience.

Skills Development

Develop a strong understanding of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems, as well as electrical and mechanical principles. Good problem-solving skills, attention to detail, and the ability to work independently are also important.

Experience

Gain practical experience by working as an apprentice or entry-level technician under the supervision of experienced professionals. This will allow you to apply theoretical knowledge in real-world settings and develop valuable troubleshooting skills.

Continuing Education

Stay updated on advances in HVAC technology and industry regulations through continuing education courses, workshops, and seminars. This will ensure that your skills remain relevant and competitive in the field.

By following these steps and continually honing your skills, you can become a competent and successful HVACR technician.

The Work of an Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Technician

Air conditioning and refrigeration technicians, install, maintain, and repair, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems. These systems are found in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. 

HVAC Technicians working on Rooftop HVAC Units
HVAC Technicians working on Rooftop HVAC Units

This could include work on small residential systems such as split systems or packaged units. Also large chilled water plant equipment such as air-cooled and water-cooled chillers. Chillers provide cold water that gets pumped throughout the building. Or you could be working on commercial boilers that provide heating. There are various additional commercial systems that add an extra layer of complexity to the job.

Their responsibilities typically include:

Installation

Installing new HVACR systems, including air conditioners, furnaces, heat pumps, Variable Refrigerant Flow Systems, refrigeration units, and ventilation systems. Installing these systems in accordance to specifications and building codes.

Installation of new HVAC Units on a new construction site.
Installation of new HVAC Units

This includes learning how to cut and prepare copper tubing ends, including flaring, swaging, and brazing.

Maintenance

Performing routine maintenance tasks such as cleaning coils, replacing filters, checking refrigerant levels, lubricating moving parts, and inspecting electrical connections. This ensures systems operate efficiently and safely.

Repair

Diagnosing and troubleshooting problems with HVACR systems, including issues with components such as compressors, motors, thermostats, boilers, and pumps. This includes making the necessary repairs to restore functionality.

Refrigerant Handling

Handling refrigerants safely and in compliance with environmental regulations, including recovering, recycling, and disposing of refrigerants according to industry standards.

Customer Service

Interacting with customers to understand their heating and cooling needs. Providing recommendations for system upgrades or replacements. Ensuring customer satisfaction with the quality of service provided.

Safety Compliance

Adhering to safety protocols and regulations to minimize risks of injury or property damage during installation, maintenance, and repair activities.

Overall, air conditioning and refrigeration technicians play a crucial role in maintaining comfortable and efficient indoor environments, by ensuring that HVACR systems operate effectively and reliably.

Where HVACR Technicians Work

Air conditioning and refrigeration technicians work in a variety of environments, depending on the specific job and industry. Here are some common work environments for HVACR technicians:

Residential Settings

Technicians may work in homes, apartments, and condominiums to install, repair, and maintain heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems for individual homeowners or property management companies.

Commercial Buildings

HVACR technicians often work in commercial settings such as office buildings, retail stores, restaurants, and hotels. They may install and service larger HVACR systems to provide climate control for occupants and ensure comfort and productivity.

Industrial Facilities

In industrial settings such as factories, warehouses, and manufacturing plants, technicians may install and maintain specialized HVACR systems to regulate temperature and humidity levels for equipment operation and product storage.

Healthcare Facilities

Hospitals, clinics, and medical laboratories require precise temperature and humidity control to maintain a sterile environment and protect sensitive medical equipment. HVACR technicians may work in these facilities to install and service specialized HVACR systems.

Educational Institutions

Schools, colleges, and universities rely on HVACR systems to create comfortable learning environments for students and faculty. Technicians may be employed by educational institutions or contracted to provide HVACR services.

Government Buildings

HVACR technicians may work in government buildings such as courthouses, libraries, and municipal offices to maintain climate control systems and ensure the comfort and safety of employees and visitors.

Construction Sites

During new construction or renovation projects, HVACR technicians may work on construction sites to install piping. This includes installing HVACR equipment according to building plans and specifications.

Outdoors

Some tasks, such as HVACR system inspections, maintenance, and repairs, may require technicians to work outdoors, especially when servicing rooftop units or equipment located in outdoor enclosures.

Overall, air conditioning and refrigeration technicians can expect to work in a variety of indoor and outdoor environments. They will encounter different conditions and challenges depending on the specific job and industry. They must be prepared to adapt to different work settings and follow safety protocols. This is to ensure their well-being, and the efficient operation of HVACR systems.

HVACR School for Mechanics – Technicians

How many CFM per TON

How many CFM per Ton should you consider for an HVAC unit? How is CFM per Ton figured? Have you ever heard of anyone throwing around CFM per Ton numbers like 400 CFM per Ton? What do these numbers really mean? Is it better to have more or less CFM per Ton? We’ll cover the conditions that impact CFM per Ton on various air conditioning performance charts and how you can determine the CFM per Ton.

Affects of Outside Ambient Temperature on Capacity

We’ll first look at the Outdoor Ambient Temperature and how it effects the capacity of a 6-ton split system air conditioner. Here we have a chart for the 6-ton air conditioner with the 95 F highlighted in pink, and the AHRI dry bulb temperature of 80 F highlighted in blue under each outdoor temperature, and the AHRI wet bulb temperature of 67 F and the intersecting columns and rows for these temperatures.

We show the CFM settings for this chart at 2400 which corresponds to 400 CFM per Nominal Ton. The 2400 CFM row represents 400 CFM per Ton as follows 6 Tons x 400 CFM/Ton = 2,400 CFM.

  • TC = Total Capacity in MBH
  • MBH = btu’s in 1000’s
  • SHC = Sensible Heat Capacity

If we follow the 2400 cfm row at 67 F wet bulb temperature, you’ll notice that the total capacity keeps decreasing as the outdoor ambient temperature gets warmer. For instance, at 85 F ambient the AC unit provides 74.1 MBH of cooling, and at 105 F ambient the total capacity drops to 67.7 MBH.

How many CFM per Ton based on Outside Ambient Temperatures
How many CFM per Ton based on Outside Ambient Temperatures

Fact #1 As the Outdoor Ambient Temperature goes up, Total AC Capacity goes Down.

Affects of Outside Air Temp on CFM per Ton

If we plot these values on a chart, we can see how CFM/Ton changes with the Outside Ambient Temperature. With the air conditioner providing a constant air volume of 2400 CFM and the Capacity decreasing as the Outdoor Ambient Increases, this implies that the same amount of CFM is provided for less capacity (Tons) at higher outdoor temperatures, hence the AC unit goes from 389 CFM/Ton to 478 CFM/Ton. 

So, is more CFM/Ton a good thing? In this case no, as it reflects that more air is required to be delivered for every ton of air conditioning. This is due to the air conditioner having to work harder at the elevated temperature. Most Air Conditioners are derated in capacity when the outdoor air temperature exceeds 95 F.

Fact #2 As the Outdoor Ambient Temperature goes up, the CFM/Ton increases.

Affects of Wet Bulb Temperature on CFM per Ton

When the indoor wet bulb temperature increases, the CFM per ton of an air conditioning system typically decreases. As the indoor wet bulb temperature rises, the system may need to increase its airflow rate (CFM) to maintain the desired indoor temperature and humidity levels. 

CFM per Ton based on Changes in Wet Bulb Temperatures
CFM per Ton based on Changes in Wet Bulb Temperatures

Fact #3 As the Wet Bulb Temperature goes up, the CFM/Ton decreases.

CFM per Ton using Sensible Heat Only

There are two ways to look at CFM/Ton, one is based on total load, the other based on sensible heat. The system’s sensible heat ratio (SHR) represents the ratio of sensible cooling (temperature reduction) to total cooling (temperature and humidity reduction). Another is sensible heat capacity (SHC) as shown on this chart, which represents the BTU/hr. capacity of the system at the stated conditions. Let’s look at the effect on sensible capacity when the indoor wet bulb temperature changes.

CFM per Ton based on Indoor Wet Bulb Temperature and Sensible Heat
CFM per Ton based on Indoor Wet Bulb Temperature and Sensible Heat

A lower SHC means that a greater portion of the cooling capacity is dedicated to removing moisture from the air rather than reducing its temperature. We can see by this performance chart, that as the indoor wet bulb temperature increases the sensible capacity decreases.

This means that based on our 2400 cfm and the sensible capacity only, our CFM/Ton increases as the wet bulb temperatures increases. This is the exact opposite of the results we get from CFM versus total capacity. Because the system uses more of its capacity for removing moisture there is less left over to remove sensible heat. This is why it’s important to understand the latent heat load generated within a room or brought in for ventilation air or by infiltration.

Fact #4 As the Wet Bulb Temperature goes up, the CFM/Ton increases based on Sensible Heat Only.

Reading Air Conditioning Performance Charts

Here is a different manufacturers performance data for their 6-ton air conditioner. As we already learned in the previous examples, as the outdoor air temperature increases the system capacity decreases. Notice also as the outdoor temperature increases the high side pressure increases from a low of 275 to 527 psi. Also note that the higher the moisture content or the wet bulb temperature the greater the system pressure. The hotter it gets outside the higher the system pressure. As the high side pressure goes up, the low side pressure follows.

Fact #5 Higher Outdoor Temperatures increase discharge and suction pressures.

400 CFM per Ton Rule of Thumb

The “400 CFM per ton” rule of thumb is a commonly used guideline in the HVAC industry to estimate the airflow requirements for air conditioning systems. It suggests that for every ton of cooling capacity provided by the air conditioner, approximately 400 cubic feet per minute (CFM) of airflow should be delivered to the conditioned space.

This rule of thumb is based on a combination of engineering principles, empirical data, and practical experience in the design and operation of air conditioning systems. While it is widely used as a general guideline for estimating airflow requirements, it is important to note that actual airflow needs may vary depending on factors such as climate conditions, building characteristics, equipment efficiency, and occupant comfort preferences.

The 400 CFM per ton rule of thumb is intended to provide a starting point for HVAC designers and engineers to estimate airflow requirements during system design and sizing. However, it is not a substitute for detailed engineering analysis and calculation. It should be used with caution, taking into account the specific requirements and constraints of each project.

Factors that can effect the air flow volume per Ton or System Capacity
Factors that can effect the CFM per Ton or System Capacity

CFM per Ton Calculation Methods

CFM per ton can be based on total BTUH (British Thermal Units per hour) capacity or sensible heat capacity only. This depends on the specific application and design requirements of the air conditioning system.

Total BTUH Capacity

When CFM per ton is based on total BTUH capacity, it accounts for both sensible heat and latent heat removal. This means that the airflow rate (CFM) is calculated to meet the combined cooling load of the space, including both sensible cooling (temperature reduction) and latent cooling (humidity removal). In this case, the airflow rate is typically higher to accommodate the additional energy required for dehumidification.

Sensible Heat Only

Alternatively, CFM per ton can be based on sensible heat capacity only. This approach is commonly used in applications where humidity control is not a primary concern. In these cases, the airflow rate may be lower since it only needs to meet the sensible cooling requirements of the space.

In practice, the choice between total BTUH capacity and sensible heat capacity for calculating CFM per ton depends on factors such as climate conditions, building occupancy, humidity levels, and comfort requirements. HVAC designers and engineers evaluate these factors to determine the most appropriate airflow rate for achieving optimal comfort and energy efficiency in the conditioned space.

Daikin Zoning Kit

How do you serve several small zones with one Variable Refrigerant Volume (VRV) split system without adding additional indoor fan coils, and still provide individual temperature control? Currently to achieve individual temperature control you might need separate fan coils for each room with the ability to control air flow. This is where the Daikin Zoning kit can help.

Would if the building has a bunch of small spaces too small for the smallest VRV indoor fan coil unit? Then the use of air volume dampers to divide up the capacity into smaller zones works best in these scenarios. With the use of the Daikin Zoning kit, the ability to serve small areas is better achieved. This is because zone dampers divide up the air from a single indoor fan coil to serve each space. Daikin’s Zoning Kit eliminates the need for multiple indoor fan coil units to create individual zones. This should save money. 

This allows smaller spaces to be served and individually controlled. The smallest available indoor fan coil is currently 7,500 Btu/h. If your space required less than 7,500 Btu/h, then you would have a couple of options.

The smallest Fan Coil for this model of Indoor Unit is 7,500 Btu/h. Too large for these small spaces.
The smallest Fan Coil for this model of Indoor Unit is 7,500 Btu/h. Too large for these small spaces.

One would be to install an oversized indoor fan coil unit for the space or share the air with a fan coil that serves multiple rooms, leaving the room with a lack of individual control. There is the option to have up to 6 separate zone dampers supplying variable air flow to each zone based on the demand.

Daikin Zoning Kit with Six Zones
Daikin Zoning Kit with Six Zones

Daikin Zone Damper Box Construction

The zone kit is basically a sheet metal plenum with zone dampers attached at one end, while the other is attached to the indoor fan coil. The individual zone dampers respond to the demand from the corresponding controller in each space. 

Controls and Thermostats 

Each individual zone damper has a zone thermostat that controls the air flow to the room. The thermostat allows for on/off function, schedule control, temperature set point, touchscreen interface and sleep function. The zone thermostats use 915 MHZ wireless communication and 2 AAA batteries.

All thermostats can be hardwired or just one. They could all be wireless except one needs to be hardwired.
All thermostats can be hardwired or just one. They could all be wireless except one needs to be hardwired.

There is also a Main Thermostat with a wired color touch display that is used to configure the zone damper kit and can be used as a room controller. An add on BACnet gateway module allows the control of individual rooms using BACnet/IP compatible building management system. The main thermostat uses AWG 20 – 4 wire (shielded) communication cable supplied with 12 VDC from the main control box. This main controller can control all the zones, eliminating controllers in each zone, while still allowing each zone to have individual set point capabilities.

Hardwired Thermostats

There must be at least one hard wired controller to the control box mounted on the Daikin Zone Kit. The other controllers will communicate wirelessly to the control box which can be up to 164 feet line of site distance from the wireless controllers. There is the option to also hardwire all zone controllers if preferred or if wireless communication is troublesome. In this case, the total wiring allowable for each terminal is 130 feet.

Electrical Power

The DZK control box will need 120/240 VAC power. The control box has an alarm input that allows for an alarm to be used to shut down the fan coil and close all zone dampers. Each of the zone dampers are powered by 12 VDC from the control box. 

An interface board provides communication between the zoning control board and the indoor fan coil via the NAV controller. 

Lastly, there is the ability for their intelligent Touch Manager (iTM) using the BACnet Client option to provide individual room control.

You can use the DZK with a VRV Heat Pump or Heat Recovery system. See our video on the differences between a VRF Heat Pump and VRF Heat Recovery system.

Compatible Indoor Units and their BTUH, CFM and Static Pressure Chart
Compatible Indoor Units and their BTUH, CFM and Static Pressure Chart

Compatible Indoor Fan Coils and Capacities

The Daikin zoning kit can be attached to a compatible ducted indoor fan coil unit that ranges in capacity from approximately 15,000 Btuh to 54,000 Btuh and contains anywhere from 2 to 6 zones. So, depending on the capacity of your indoor fan coil, Daikin provides up to 6 zones with their zoning kit. With the largest indoor unit of 54,000 Btuh this allows the option between 2 to 6 zones, depending on the size of each zone.

4 Zones with a Daikin Zoning Kit (DZK)
4 Zones with a Daikin Zoning Kit (DZK)

There are 4 different zone damper configurations to choose from, and 7 compatible indoor fan coils. The zone damper kits come in 4, 5 and 6 damper configurations. This allows anywhere from 2 to 6 zones to be configured. This allows more than one damper to feed larger zones by combining dampers or allows one damper to serve multiple air distribution outlets.

Air Balancing

The air entering the fan coil is offset from the center of the zone box. This causes some of the zone dampers to receive less air than others. This is particularly relevant with the smaller DZK030E4 & E5 models. This causes a non-uniform air velocity, and the center dampers receive more air, while the outside dampers receive less. If all zone dampers are not required, then they can be blanked off. There must be a minimum of two zone dampers used.

Excessive amounts of refrigerant piping can be reduced by using a Daikin Zoning Kit. Image of a six zone VRF system
Excessive amounts of refrigerant piping can be reduced by using a Daikin Zoning Kit

Key Benefits of using the Daikin Zoning Kit

  1. Avoid adding indoor fan coils to achieve individual zone control.
  2. The ability to serve an area that is smaller than the smallest VRV indoor unit.
  3. Increased comfort with individual control.
  4. Increase in the VRV systems ability to meet the demand of smaller spaces.
  5. A reduction in the amount of refrigerant required.