What is a Dedicated Outdoor Air System?

air conditioning unit

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New energy efficiency standards for the commercial HVAC industry are driving innovation. As a result, new equipment helps businesses better maintain indoor temperatures and improve air quality, while reducing their carbon footprint. 1

In a push for more energy efficiency manufacturers are offering commercial customers configured rooftop systems known as dedicated outdoor air systems (DOAS). These systems are becoming more popular in the United States and those currently taking HVAC classes could very well work on them when they enter in the field. 2

How Does a DOAS Work?

A dedicated outdoor air system is an HVAC unit that is installed outside and is often used with other HVAC equipment. DOAS units bring fresh outside air into interior spaces independently from heating or cooling efforts. Addressing ventilation and air conditioning separately can save fan energy while improving indoor air quality. 3

The type of equipment used with a DOAS may vary depending on brand name and building type. In some instances, a chilled water network is employed to supply the DOAS cooling coils with cold water. 4 Other DOAS models may utilize digital scroll compressors, a microchannel condenser coil, and an electric expansion valve to heat, cool, and dehumidify air.

What Are the Benefits of a DOAS?

While dedicated outdoor air systems could help businesses comply with new commercial HVAC energy efficiency standards, there are a host of other benefits as well:

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  • They improve indoor air quality by removing contaminants from outdoor air before channeling it into a building.
  • DOAS units are effective dehumidifiers, and they help prevent moisture-related problems like sick building syndrome and mold growth.
  • Decoupling ventilation from air heating and cooling can also lead to energy savings.

Staying Current with Industry Changes

Industry leaders report that DOAS units and other HVAC innovations are here to stay, thanks at least in part to new standards mandating better energy efficiency and indoor air quality.

Staying abreast of new developments in the field can help those in HVAC training select the right equipment for the job, match components properly, and clearly explaining new rules to customers once they’re working as technicians. Energy efficiency is a trend that’s likely to shape the industry for years to come.

Additional Sources

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