MRO Magazine

How a hydronic air handler can help

By Rahul Goyal   

Industry Machine Building Manufacturing air air handler commercial building HVAC hydronic air handler

As an output of COVID-19, more information has become readily available on achieving the quality of air to influence positive health.

Photo: Rinnal

There is always big emphasis on the types of foods you are supposed to eat and the exercise you should do, but another area of health that isn’t talked about enough is the kind of air you should be breathing.

While this may seem extreme, the reality is the quality of air you consume is equally as important as the foods or vitamins you put into your body. One of the best ways to achieve good quality of air is to replace or adjust the HVAC powering your commercial building.

As the cooler months set in, many people begin to spend more time indoors, requiring a heating system that provides comfort, and clean air. One piece of equipment that can help to improve the comfortability and heated air quality is a hydronic air handler. Combining this technology with a tankless water heater, hydronic air handlers can be an effective alternative to oil, gas or electric furnaces, meeting heating capacities ranging from 17,000 to 77,000 BTUs. The hydronic air handler provides high level of quality heat, and helps maintain uniform relative humidity within a space, aiding with consumers health and comfort.

For a hydronic air handler, the maximum temperature is a fraction of a furnace, providing less extreme heat to help avoid stratification, in which the air close to a duct is much warmer than spaces farther away. In comparison, furnaces heat at a very high temperature, sometimes ranging from 1,200 to 1,400 Degrees Fahrenheit. With the extreme heat from furnaces, stratification is often felt when sitting under an air duct that blasts out heat from a gas furnace. Your eyes may feel dry, or your lips may start to chap. Extended periods of exposure to dry air can lead to bloody noses, cracked lips or dry sinuses. With a hydronic air handler, the air is heated at a more reasonable temperature.

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On the flip side, supplement humidifiers are not required when using a hydronic air handler, as the air handler lowers the chances of having very high humidity within a space. This is beneficial because high humidity can promote development of mold spores, impacting overall health.

The hydronic air handler helps maintain uniform temperature and relative humidity within a space, adding comfort. Additionally, other improvements to the air conditioning system can help enhance overall indoor air quality, including:

1. Installing an HVAC system that can cycle a percentage of outside air indoors. With a slight increase in the circulation of outside air, it helps dilute the buildup of dust, odours, gases and other air pollutants.
2. Incorporating ultraviolet (UV) light into an already established duct system. Certain wavelengths of UV light have the ability to kill microorganisms in the air, such as germs, viruses and mold spores.
3. Adding high-quality filters to an HVAC system. Investing in a higher quality filter can add an extra level of filtration and improved air quality, and most hydronic air handlers already have the capability to add filters built-in.

By taking the time to learn more about the HVAC system within a commercial building, you can take the proper steps to improve overall indoor air quality, impacting comfort and health. MRO
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Rahul Goyal, HVAC Product Director at Rinnai, has over 20 years of experience in consumer products. Throughout his career, he has managed and produced several IoT-based products, including solar technology, LED lighting, wiring devices, and gas and HVAC appliances.

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