Can you name the following?
RTU, MAU, AHU, EF/KEF, VAV, TAB, NEBB
How did you do? Seven out of seven? Two out of seven? Somewhere in between?
In the HVAC Testing, Adjusting and Balancing (TAB) industry, it does not matter if it you are a seasoned veteran or the new guy — there is no escaping equipment and material abbreviations. It is very easy to merely nod your head and smile when discussing these items without maybe ever knowing what you are talking about or thinking it is something different all together. Let’s break down these communication walls by reviewing some common abbreviations you may see on a TAB report or HVAC equipment.
HVAC Terms You Should Know
RTU – Roof Top Unit: A rooftop unit is located on the roof of small commercial building to provide air conditioning to specific areas. The RTU generally consists of outside air dampers, a filter, a heating element, a fan, a cooling element, and recirculating dampers. These components work together to bring in new outside air, condition it in some cases, and deliver it to various pre-defined spaces in a building.
EF/KEF – Exhaust Fan/Kitchen Exhaust Fan: These fans are commonly installed on the roof of businesses and they do exactly what their name suggests. Air is moved out of a space — occupied or not — and exhausts it to the atmosphere. This can help with regulating temperature, as well as air quality in the serviced spaces. These are commonly controlled by a Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) via a Demand Control Kitchen Ventilation (DCKV) system such as Melink Intelli-Hood®.
MAU – Makeup Air Unit: This pulls in fresh, tempered air from outside a building. The fresh air replaces air that has been exhausted that cannot be recirculated. This fresh air is also important to maintain a slightly positive building pressure and achieve high indoor air quality (IAQ).
AHU – Air Handling Unit: These units can be installed in many places such as the basement, roof, or any floor or mechanical space in between. The AHU will service only a specific area or have a single function in most cases. However, their purpose at its simplest is to bring in outside air, condition that air, and then distribute it throughout the designated service area.
VAV – Variable Air Volume: This is a common building air distribution system that allows different rooms or zones to receive variable air flow based upon a thermostat in the applicable room. This utilizes a VAV box attached to a branch off a standard AHU supply air duct. This box is made up of an inlet, a damper, an air velocity sensory, a controller, and an actuator all of which receives input from a local thermostat to achieve a preset temperature for the space. Read more about VAV systems.
TAB – Testing, Adjusting, Balancing: This is a process that HVAC technicians will utilize in order to identify and correct, if applicable, any HVAC deficiencies, as well as adjust (balance) the system as a whole to ensure even and adequate air flow is being sent to the serviced areas, all while maintaining a preferably slightly positive building pressure. This is accomplished by adjusting fan speeds, adjusting belts, fixing broken dampers, or ensuring proper operation of control devices such as thermostats.
NEBB – National Environmental Balancing Bureau: The NEBB is the international association that certifies firms and qualifying supervisors and technicians in HVAC TAB services among other certifications. NEBB also establishes and maintains industry standards, procedures, and work specifications for said disciplines.
So, now that you understand what some of the common abbreviations are, feel empowered to go into that next construction meeting with a better, clearer understanding of what is being discussed!
Melink: Your Industry Expert
But what can one expect when having a Melink NEBB-certified technician perform an HVAC TAB service? You can expect a 100% self-performing, knowledgeable professional, who acts as the eyes and ears for you as an unbiased third-party. Our technicians will treat you and your HVAC system with the respect and professionalism required to get the job done right the first time.
Whether you are in need of a Test, Adjustment and Balance of your HVAC system, have a desire to make your kitchen "smart" with Intelli-Hood, or wish to keep up to speed on the overall health of your building with PositiV®, Melink has a solution for you. We would love to work with you to make the world a better, greener place, one building at a time.
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