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Trade Ally Network Northwest

HVAC Tech Tip: ARC and Building Improvement

September 16, 2020 | Trade Ally Network NW

Customers looking for improvements to help re-open buildings safely should consider an investment in advanced rooftop unit controls (ARC). ARC systems can improve the comfort and energy-efficiency of commercial properties. Its many features can improve your customer’s controllability, comfort, energy costs, and ability to adapt to the ever-changing demands of the workplace. And, it’s a great opportunity for you to grow your business and offer a unique solution.

Recently, ASHRAE published an interactive infographic with clickable links to resources regarding COVID-19 and commercial buildings, with strategies for mitigation and building readiness. Some of the strategies they suggest that can be addressed with ARC-Full are:

  • Increased ventilation—DCV: This can be achieved via demand control ventilation (DCV), a ventilation control strategy included with ARC-Full products. While DCV typically reduces the outside air intake compared to traditional control schemes, ARC has the ability to adjust the CO2 setpoint that allows DCV to respond and call for additional outside air to be delivered to the occupied space. This can reduce the potential for airborne particulates present in return air from being recirculated. One important thing to consider when introducing extra outside air to the building is the unit’s capacity. This means the unit will have to do added work to condition increased outside air.
  • Increased ventilation—economizer control: Another method to introduce additional outside air to a space is by simply adjusting the minimum outside air setting of the economizer. Making this adjustment is typically easy and can be done remotely with many of the approved ARC-Full solutions. It’s important to let your customer know the impact this will have on their energy usage and also a good idea to record the original setting so it can be set back when appropriate. 
  • Remote access: While not a required feature of ARC-Full, the majority of the BPA-approved offerings can be configured to enable remote access. This makes it possible for the system to notify you or your customer of an issue with the unit by detecting faults and sending alarms. Some alarms or faults that ARC-Full systems can detect and report include a failed outside air damper actuator, a failed CO2 or temperature sensor, or if the unit isn’t maintaining set point.

The operational flexibility these features offer is especially useful now and can benefit your customers well into the future. If you’re interested in learning more about ARC, the Network recently debuted a new three-part course that can be found in our Online Learning Center. The course covers selling ARC, identifying good candidate equipment, its benefits to contractors and to building owners, how it saves energy, and an overview on installation. Remember, all online courses are free to registered trade allies.

If you have any questions about any of the above suggestions, please don’t hesitate to contact your regional field specialist. For more HVAC tips and best practices, search the Trade Ally Network website.

Category: Best Practices

Tags: advanced rooftop controls ARC hvac