If you’re a real estate developer, you know how important energy efficiency is for a new build. If you’re a property manager or real estate investor, you know how important it is to keep tenants in your apartment or multifamily complex happy. Choosing efficient and effective apartment heating and cooling units is a decision that will influence both considerations.
So how do you choose efficient heating and cooling units for multifamily homes? There are several factors that must be considered.
How to Choose the Best Heating System & Air Conditioning Unit for Apartments?
Depending on the size of the property, current HVAC expenses, peak loads, and ease of maintenance, your decision to choose a heating system & air conditioning unit for your apartment will differ. But there are considerations that must be addressed in order to choose a good multifamily HVAC system.
Size of the Property
You will need to choose a system that can service the entire property, with as few hiccups as possible. Investing in an HVAC system that’s too weak for the size of the property is a waste, and investing in an HVAC system that’s not efficient enough can cost money down the line.
Peak Load Flexibility
It’s not going to be easy to accurately estimate the peak energy needs of an apartment complex. The system then needs to allow for a variety of peak loads and have the flexibility to deal with changing situations.
Layout and Airflow
Not all apartments are built the same. You’re not going to use the same system for a high rise as you are for an 8-plex. Discuss with your HVAC contractor about your housing unit’s needs.
What Will Tenants Want?
Tenants, above all, want control over their own comfort. For this reason, they’re going to need to have individual comfort controls for their living space alone. Not everyone likes the same temperature, and expecting every tenant to be happy with 68 degrees is simply not realistic.
They also want a system that does not have high operating costs, if they’re going to be paying the utility bills. Choosing a high efficiency HVAC system for your apartment complex is important for keeping energy costs low.
You’re going to want to choose an HVAC system that does not have rigorous maintenance requirements. HVAC maintenance is a fact of life, but it should not be prohibitively expensive nor should it impact the tenant’s comfortability too much.
Decentralized HVAC systems are easier to maintain and have lower maintenance costs overall. If maintenance costs are a concern, consider a decentralized HVAC system.
Decentralized vs. Centralized HVAC Systems
Centralized HVAC systems consist of a single unit located in the building’s basement or penthouse. Centralized systems are typically more energy efficient than decentralized ones but have greater installation costs and maintenance needs. These are perfect for high rise buildings and large condominium complexes.
Decentralized HVAC systems have separate units for each living space. Installation and maintenance are more cost-effective, but decentralized systems are not as energy efficient. These systems are recommended for smaller apartment and multifamily complexes.