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What is Demand Controlled Ventilation and Is It Right for You?

Posted by: Cooper MechanicalWednesday, August 09, 2017

A crowded store needs increased ventilation through a DCV system

What is Demand-Controlled Ventilation?

Demand-Controlled Ventilation (DCV) is a ventilation system for commercial facilities such as large retail stores or restaurants. DCV fluctuates the rate of outside air ventilation by sensing the occupancy and need for ventilation. 

Think of it this way: a traditional Myrtle Beach restaurant or bar will see high outside temperatures, lots of people, and hot kitchens during peak hours of the day. There may be sometimes when the restaurant is slow, such as between rushes or on certain days of the week. Instead of continuously ventilating your restaurant through these slow times as the rate needed for when it is at full occupancy, a demand-controlled ventilation (DCV) system will automatically adjust air intake when it is needed.

The result is annual energy savings of up to $1 per square foot

How Do DCV Systems Work?

The difference between a DCV system and a more traditional air handler is that a DCV controls ventilation rates based on carbon dioxide concentrations. The more people inside a restaurant or retail store at a given time, the higher the CO2 concentration. The DCV senses this increase and automatically signals HVAC controls to increase ventilation and airflow. 

What are the Benefits of Demand-Controlled Ventilation

  • Reduce Energy Consumption: DCV systems can help reduce the need to heat and cool outside air. One study showed that DCV systems save from $.05 to $1 per square foot, which is significant when you consider that the average U.S. retailer spends $1.11 per square foot on HVAC costs.

  • Deliver Efficient Ventilation: DCV systems are efficient ways of ensuring your restaurant or store is compliant with proper ventilation codes. 

Is a DCV System Right for You?

Demand-controlled ventilation makes most sense for larger commercial spaces that see high variable occupancy. If the traffic in your restaurant or store is steady, a DCV may not make the most sense. Facilities that see wide and unpredictable swings in traffic are in the best position to save costs with a DCV system.

Additionally, DCV best serves businesses in moderate to extreme heating and cooling climates. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is an ideal location for DCV because a lot of energy (and cost) is required to cool spaces during much of the year. Restaurants, supermarkets, and industries with high refrigeration costs also stand to benefit from DCV.

Call Cooper to Learn More about DCV and Energy Savings

Cooper Mechanical Services always provides customers with the solutions that make the most sense for their unique situation. An energy audit and analysis helps us determine whether an upgrade such as a demand-controlled ventilation system makes sense for you. We provide professional and dependable service, and we are proud to have been serving the Grand Strand HVAC, refrigeration and ventilation needs since 1989.