Get around New York and you will come across several sheer curtain walls that are seemingly punctured by hideous looking punch marks of HVAC units. Regardless of where you stay, the outdoor unit of your HVAC is certainly the most unwanted, but nevertheless becomes a part of your architecture. From the luxurious skyscrapers of Manhattan to the tiny condos in Brooklyn suburbs, they are everywhere and they are as important as the comfort of your home. The outdoor units, also referred to as the PTACs are large, bulky and ugly looking boxes that need to be installed outside the house, especially along the higher edge of the outdoor walls. However, they are also the necessary evil, without which your indoor unit won’t work and you won’t be able to go about your life comfortably.
The only way to both integrate these HVAC units in your home and not make them an eyesore is to plan ahead in construction. If you don’t want a hole to be drilled right through your beautifully painted wall, you will need to integrate right in the building construction. The rapid urbanization and need for housing premises have led to mass construction of residential complexes. There are several buildings, even in the most modern/developed cities that don’t offer space for installing HVAC units and consequently, hey pop up from just about everywhere.
The need for planning homes that integrate HVAC
If you have long been planning to build yourself a home in Toronto, it is also the chance to live your dreams and at the same time, make your neighborhood greener. People dream of a comfortable home but not many do realize that HVAC soon becomes an essential part of it. Well, instead of dealing with drilling, patchwork and ugly boxes later, the construction phase of the home is the perfect opportunity to integrate the necessary technologies, or at the least, have the provisions for it.
The architectural solutions to conceal HVAC
There is nothing pretty about an outdoor HVAC unit. They look bulky, heavy, look dull, make a lot of noise, trickle water and are big enough to be noticed. But, of course, they don’t have an alternative to beating the heat, especially with global warming making our days hotter and our nights, even more uncomfortable. So, if you can’t really beat them, dress them up! There are plenty of ways to hide that hideous looking HVAC box on the outer walls of your home. The best ways however are to pre plan construction and make those boxes or box shelters, a part of the outdoor architecture.
Before planning an architectural cover for your outdoor AC unit, it is also necessary to understand how your specific AC works. HVAC units require some breathing space since it needs to vent out heat to keep your indoors cool. You can also ask for the working distance for the same to the manufacturer. Regardless of whether you are in the process of building a new house or are retrofitting, remember that a well working air conditioner is one that doesn’t have to work too hard. Energy efficient home designs consequently add to the efficiency to your HVAC device, wherein you can not only minimize your reliance of artificial coolants but also save money in the process.
It is necessary that your outdoor HVAC unit finds a cool and shady spot. It is best to choose a side of the house that is best protected from the sun or gets the shade of trees. This will also help it avoid malfunctioning, either from overheating or making too much noise. The scope for ventilation and proper air circulation throughout the home will also ensure that the HVAC unit demands less attention over time.
Now, coming to the visual cover up, the things you can do are endless. Fencing, dedicated covers, painting, panel gardening are just some of the ideas you can work on. Just make sure that they match the theme of your outdoor décor and take away the attention from the HVAC box! This is where you can get creative or hire a creative architectural service provider.
HVAC maintenance and problems
Another important part of this discussion is about the maintenance and care of the HVAC unit. Like any other electronics, HVAC units will regularly seek your attention once the initial glory days are over. However and as already said, you can hope to minimize the need for care by regular maintenance and architectural support.
Repairing an HVAC would require removing the unit for a thorough checkup. Consequently, your architectural the process is done at ease. One of the most common problems is of dusting. Since the outdoor unit is constantly in contact with the outdoor air, it collects a lot of dust and debris over time. Periodic cleaning is the only way to ensure that the unit doesn’t over heat, make too much of noise or consume more electricity than necessary. In most cases, dusting is something you can choose to do yourself over the weekend but it is also necessary to get is checked up by a professional service provider every once in a while. In Toronto, Accuserve Heating is one of the most recommended businesses.
The good and bad of HVAC
HVAC units are meant to cool our indoors and make our stay comfortable but somewhere, they also contribute substantially to the global warming in the first place. Coolants like Freon and CFC (chlorofluorocarbons) contribute to green house gas emissions which in turn lead to trapping of warm air in the earth’s atmosphere, consequently, making our planet hotter. Thankfully, we have also been able to graduate to technologies that offer more eco-friendly cooling and reducing emissions, thus lowering our carbon footprint. Evolving coolant standards ensure that the world is moving towards responsible use of technology and it can only come when technology is married to our lifestyle. This includes our home construction, design and our definitions for comfort.