Retrofit – when prevention is better than cure for ageing HVAC systems

HVAC equipment coming to the end of its service life can mean expense and unplanned system down time.

Albion Valves Ltd, a leading UK valve supplier to the building services and air conditioning industry, believes that facilities managers can preempt potential issues with ageing HVAC systems by timely retrofitting.

A retrofit and taking preventative measures with HVAC systems can ultimately mean less investment, less operation downtime and less ongoing maintenance issues.

For the purpose of refurbishments and renovations, Albion stocks a comprehensive range of older valve models and HVAC components commonly specified in older buildings.

In addition, Albion’s specialist sales team can also help evaluate the system in question to identify potential technical issues that may arise effecting comfort, air quality and water flow issues and advise the best engineered solutions and products for the job.

Albion Valves, Technical Specifications Manager, Paul Wightman commented:

“To upgrade a water system it is not always necessary to tear out all the building infrastructure and pipework. It is entirely feasible for a modern, efficient system to be created using existing materials with a few strategic tweaks. This will result in saving money on energy for a fraction of the cost of a new installation, as well as achieving a short pay back period via the savings.

For example, on a hot water system engineers could consider updating to 2 port PICV hydronic balance control, meaning only the water required is delivered to a specific location with no wasted energy. Hence, the 4 port constant volume system could be upgraded quite easily and cost effectively at each terminal unit to variable volume with PICV systems, offering significant savings – even on older systems.”

Similarly, on a HVAC project if the pipework is in good condition then the terminal units such as FCUs and AHUs internal water coils are likely to be equally sound. This is central to the delivery of the water service so may not need replacing. However, to boost efficiency and prevent future problems the controls may benefit from improving speed control on the fan, so optimising air flow over the coil and adding years on the system’s service life.

Additionally, another simple measure to be considered to help avoid problems in the longer term is that heating systems could have TRVs fitted on radiators. This would mean that the circuit closes down at optimum temperature, therefore preventing overheating and wasteful energy in terms of gas and boiler power and pumping costs.

Building Management Services specifying technical products for retrofits, should also consider installing zone valves on HVAC systems to help prevent the unnecessary heating or cooling of an unoccupied building controls.

Solenoids are another invaluable and inexpensive preventative measure that can easily be fitted to increase the efficiency credentials of older systems, by preventing dripping taps, non-closure and leaks to save water.

For more information on Albion’s retrofit range of HVAC products contact customer services on 01226 729900 or visit

Tel: +44 (0) 1226 729900

Published in Valve User Magazine Issue 42

Autumn 2018 // Issue 46
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