Question about unit location/fresh air
Hi everyone, I am new here and I hope someone can help answer a question.
I work in an office that currently has a Lennox roof top unit installed on the second floor (above my office) in an open space that serves as a storage area for automotive supplies. the entire space is open to the auto repair area.
I am told that the unit is currently pulling in shop air and then blowing that directly above my office via an open duct tube (no ceiling tile where it comes down).
As far as I am told by the owner of the business, the a/c filter does not get replaced and he simply hoses it off from time to time. I also have heard from another employee that he was informed by an HVAC technician that he needed to correct the air intake/location of the unit. This was prior to my employment, and I am now just being made aware. Is it possible to have a rooftop unit indoors, and where exactly should the fresh air intake be located.
As far as I can gather is that inside the office we are breathing recycled air directly from the automotive repair shop, the unit should not be inside the building and this is a serious issue that needs to be addressed.
Thank you for any advice you can provide. I will be addressing this with the owner, however I'd like to have some knowledge about this when I speak with him.
As a follow up note, I did ask my boss about the a/c system and he dud say that yes it was only drawing air from the shop area and pushing it through the system. So basically shop air, automotive exhaust, solvents, brake dust, etc, is the air being cooled and pumped directly into the 10x20 closed office area.
I think your boss is aware of the unpleasantness of the situation but is probably at a loss as to how to cure the problem short of a major overhaul of the HVAC system.
Here's my take on complaints at my company. When someone complains about an issue, I expect the comment to be a constructive criticism. That means I expect them to have a solution to the problem or at the very least, a suggestion about how we could explore a solution to the problem. If they just complain and then expect someone else to find the solution, I call that whining.
So in order to keep you from whining, I'd suggest that you recommend a mini-split ductless solution. That is, cap off the supplies that provide heating and cooling to your offices. Have mini-split heat pumps installed to provide for heating and cooling in the offices. This will accomplish multiple benefits.
1. Clean air for the offices. You'll now just be cooling and/or heating the that as it exists under normal conditions.
2. You'll have separate thermostatic control for each office, thus allowing for different thermal needs instead of the larger 'gang' temperature.
3. You'll eliminate any real or imagined hazards from the repair shop being directly introduced to the offices by way of the ducted system.
4. The offices will heat and cooling much more economically than the main shop.
5. The may be able to maintain a lower temperature setting for heat in winter and higher for cooling in summer at the shop level, thus saving money on energy costs when one t-stat runs the whole show.
Suggested systems could be Mr. Slim by Mitsubishi, Sanyo, Fujitsu to name a few.