What is the best heating system for a High Rise, Condo or Apartment? Finding the right system can reduce ongoing running costs by between 20-49%.
HVAC for Condos, Apartments & High Rises
What is the best heating system for a High Rise, Condo or Apartment?
Each building is unique, there are guidelines, but each building should be assessed on its own merit and finding the right system can reduce ongoing running costs by between 20-49%.
Building is 6 floors or greater – generally a centralized system in a basement or rooftop (RTU) location is recommended.
Building is less than 6 floors
If the building already has central air or heating duct work – then a centralized unit either on the roof (RTU) or basement (AHU) is generally preferred. If the building has radiant heating then a non-window air conditioning system can be added, which can supply supplemental heat in the winter as well if needed.
If the building does not have duct work – often individual units are both more financially viable and preferred by the occupants, to have full control over their own heating & cooling options.
Low Rise Building HVAC:
For example – A 3 floor walkup (low rise) would have heat pumps, should no duct work exist – which would comprise of dual or quad options (can be discussed) depending on the number of rooms inside each living space, such that for every one outside mounted unit, 2 or 4 heat pumps can work off that one condenser, saving on cost and installation.
Each occupant could individually adjust their own temperature and not be reliant on someone in another unit, or the building maintenance dept. Each unit would have one condenser, and then the number of heat pumps (air in summer) would then be calculated depending upon the number of rooms in the living space of each condo unit.
Also, using this method, the exact power usage per condo is now measurable.
See our other articles for Hotel, Motel and other properties – combination units for large hotels such as RTU for main areas, and additional ductless systems for rooms for individualized climate control are generally the standard option, whereas for motels, usually ductless heat/air combo systems are the go-to option.
High Rise Building HVAC:
Again, each high rise building is unique, whether it be office space, condos, apartments, medical buildings, seniors homes, hotels and the like, and each building should be discussed on its own merit.
Some general options for High Rise Building Heating are:
Fan Coil Units AHU (RTU) – Air Handler Units (AHU) connect to an air conditioner/heat pump to provide air regulation for an indoor space. Often a fan coil system using two pairs of water lines (one pair for hot one pair for cold). This has good response time and has a great deal of comfort for the occupants.The AHU’s are designated by Tons from 1.5 Tons through 20 Tons and beyond. Variable Speed Air Handlers have a variable motor and can offer more consistent cooling or heating.There are many types of AHU’s – Four pipe vertical stack, Chilled water Fan Coil, Ductless Mini-Split Air Handlers, Hydronic Air Handlers and more.
Water source heat pump – also called a two-pipe system, it is a popular option. It uses two high volume pipes which circulate condenser water to the heat pumps in each of the zones. It has good flexibility and can have a lower up-front cost than other options.
Boiler & Radiator Systems – Industrial and Commercial boiler systems are more conducive to extremely large spaces as they work more efficiently than other heating systems in this setting. They are also used for multi-residential complexes and apartments for the same reason.
Each building is unique, and should be discussed on its own merit.