Make up air W/ Devin Skipper

Devin Skipper comes on the podcast to give you an introduction to make-up air systems and explain their purpose. This time, we pull out all of the initials: MAU, MUA, DOAS, and MHGRV.

Make-up air is outdoor air that we bring in to replace exhausted indoor air, usually in commercial systems. We use dedicated systems to bring in humidity-controlled air to rebalance the building to a positive pressure; hotels, restaurants, and medical facilities with significant exhaust need fresh air to compensate for that exhaust and negative pressure. Unsurprisingly, design is critical for these systems, especially in humid climates.

For example, in a restaurant, fresh air must come in from an area where it can add positive pressure without too much humidity. So, exhaust devices AND make-up air units will be on the roof. Undesirable infiltration occurs through cracks and under doors and usually isn't enough to make a satisfactory difference in the building pressure. In commercial facilities, excess negative pressure can make it difficult for people to open doors, which could present a safety hazard for building occupants.

MHGRVs (modulating hot gas reheat valves) modulate discharge gas through a reheat coil. These components allow a system to keep running and maximize dehumidification without overcooling the space. When a reheat valve opens, the condenser valve closes and redirects discharge gas to the reheat coil, but they are NOT the same parts that facilitate hot gas defrost. These also keep systems from tripping on high head pressure.

Devin and Bryan also discuss:

  • High-latent markets and design conditions
  • Measuring pressure (in wc)
  • Excess positive pressure complications
  • Floor drains and negative pressure
  • Reheat strategies
  • MUA fans vs. units
  • MUA controls

Learn about Refrigeration Technologies HERE.

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