Water- Your Building’s HVAC Key Component to Comfort
When it comes to building and maintaining better buildings, one might say water is the lifeblood of the entire operation. Ben Feeney, Water Technologies Manager at Boland, dropped in to provide Tyler Kern with a deeper understanding of how water impacts building systems and equipment.
Water’s high heat capacity and relatively inexpensive costs make it a valuable source for distributing and removing heat from a building. One downside is the impurities and minerals water brings that can deposit on and erode equipment over time. “Water treatment chemicals are important to stop corrosion, bacteria, and scaling,” Feeney said. “We can keep the equipment lasting quite a long time if we’re doing those things.”
One strategy for conserving water in a building is recirculation. “In water treatment, what we do is we have a controller that senses the minerals in the water,” Feeney said. “And when you get up to three to five cycles, that water treatment controller will dump some of that water to get some of the impurities out.” Keeping the proper balance of mineral concentration with the right chemicals and precise controls will extend the lifecycle of equipment and systems that come in contact with water.
Another tip to keep water systems from creating more harm than good is the use of water softeners, which remove calcium from the water. “Most minerals dissolve under warm temperatures,” Feeney said. “The problem with calcium is it’s the opposite. As temperatures are warmer, they will drop out of the water. If we can remove that, then we look at chlorides and other elements in the water, but it allows us to push those cycles up higher.”
Planning is everything, and starting a building off with a proper water treatment strategy will mean fewer headaches and costs over time. “Brand new pipe from a manufacturer wants to corrode quickly as soon as the water is put in that piping,” Feeney said. “There’s pipe slag, oils, and greases from manufacturing that pipe, so at startup, as soon as the water is put into that piping system, it is important that a water treater is involved.”