Going Retro – The Art of Retrocommissioning in HVACR

July 20, 2017

In the HVACR industry, most know all about the commissioning process but a new resurgence of retrocommissioning is making a comeback in the HVACR industry.

Properly commissioning an HVAC installation is a necessary process that ensures newly installed systems operate as intended and since many existing buildings are in poor shape, through retrocommissioning, contractors are trained to identify problems and offer solutions.

The process of retrocommissioning refers to identifying improvements that can increase the energy savings and performance of existing buildings. Considering that about half of all commercial buildings in the U.S. were constructed before 1980, it’s easy to see why there is a growing demand for contractors who offer retrocommissioning.

Some of the problems that Richard Starr, President and CEO, Enterprise HVAC Service and Control, Twinsburg, Ohio, and former national chairman of Mechanical Service Contractors of America (MSCA), has uncovered during retrocommissioning include improper air pressures (zones that should be positive but are negative and vice versa), a lack of proper air changes per hour, and building controls that are not calibrated properly.

Ongoing retrocommissioning is absolutely vital to the performance of a building, said Thom Brazel, General Manager, Ruthrauff Service, Pittsburgh, PA, and former national chairman of MSCA.

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