What Is HVAC Fabrication?

Most homeowners don’t spend a lot of time thinking about their home heating and cooling. Usually, that’s perfectly okay. A good HVAC system will do its job keeping their homes warm during the winter and cool during the summer without any problems. Usually, the only time people spare any extra thought for their HVAC systems is when they require maintenance or when the energy bill comes due.

The fact is, however, that many homeowners all over the country are wasting money every year, paying extra to run inefficient air conditioners and heaters that aren’t properly tailored to their homes. Over time, the energy bills for these inefficient HVAC systems can add up to thousands of dollars, not to mention the increased maintenance costs caused by the systems wearing themselves out faster.

Avoid the headache—and cost—of having an improperly sized HVAC system in your home by opting for a customized system of ducts and other equipment. Look to a company like Watts Heating & Cooling, which specializes in HVAC fabrication, for more information.

HVAC Fabrication

HVAC fabrication is simply the manufacture and production of customized parts for the HVAC system of a building. The fact is that each building is uniquely designed and has unique needs with regards to its heating, cooling, and ventilation. While there are “universal” types of HVAC materials mass-produced with the intention of fitting into as many different buildings as possible, these parts are often not versatile enough to do the best job possible.

Instead of attempting to use one-size-fits-all parts in buildings with widely varying construction styles, savvy home and business owners commission customized materials from a skilled craftsman, such as one from Watts Heating & Cooling. These master craftsmen design bespoke equipment out of various specialty metals, including aluminum, stainless steel, welded black iron, and more.

The Problem with an Inefficient HVAC System

Each year, many people are forced to pay needlessly high energy bills because their poorly fitted ductwork ends up wasting a great deal of power. Ducts that are too large draw power continuously to reach the required temperature. On the other hand, ducts that are too small will wear out quickly due to the added strain from the constant influx of heated or cooled air. Similarly, ducts with too many twists and turns won’t carry air efficiently. It’s crucial to have ductwork that’s properly sized for your building.

When you hire an HVAC company, they will attempt to install ductwork that is as efficient as possible at doing its job. A good HVAC company will send away to a contractor to have any necessary specialized items fabricated; a great company will do the HVAC fabrication themselves, in-house.

What Types of Equipment Can Be Fabricated?

In an average home, HVAC craftsmen will primarily be creating customized ductwork. These craftsmen also do work for industrial buildings, creating anything and everything related to ventilation and exhaust systems. For example, industrial furnaces often require specialized exhaust systems to draw away potentially harmful fumes. Similarly, laboratories make use of sheet metal “fume hoods” to keep toxins from spreading throughout rooms where lab work is done.

What Types of Materials Are Used?

HVAC fabrication primarily involves sheet metal, which is cut into the appropriate size by professional craftsmen. Most ducts are made from galvanized steel, which has been coated with zinc in order to prevent rust from forming. As you might suspect, this is critical to preventing the ducts from wearing out and developing leaks prematurely. Aluminum is another common material, largely because it is inexpensive and easy to work with. In either case, the ducts are cut into shape and then wrapped in insulation tape in order to prevent heat from leaking out of them and driving up your energy bill.

Some buildings require different types of customized HVAC fabrication, due to their unique and specific needs. For example, a building with a commercial kitchen will need a safe way to ventilate grease-laden vapors out of the building. Steel and aluminum cannot do this efficiently, so the HVAC professional will craft a grease duct from welded black iron.

Of course, your HVAC craftsman will create more than just the ducts themselves. They’ll work to maximize the efficiency of your ventilation system by crafting transitions, duct elbows, and any other parts that are required.

How HVAC Fabrication Is Done

Creating the parts for an HVAC system is done in a dedicated shop, where sheet metal is both cut and formed using machinery designed for the job. This is usually done with a machine like a stamping press, which can press sheet metal into the required shape. It can be bent along straight lines, folded over itself to increase thickness, or cut to fit any pattern. Nowadays, these machines are extremely sophisticated, making use of advanced technology such as lasers to get the job done. Of course, even the most advanced machine requires a skilled operator to produce the necessary parts.

When it comes to crafting HVAC parts, the person responsible must be an expert in both sheet metal fabrication and building ventilation. Often, they will be trained HVAC technicians who have practiced reading blueprints, designing ductwork for buildings, and working with the cutting and pressing of sheet metal. Usually, they will also have certifications from organizations such as North American Technician Excellence (NATE for short).

Asking for HVAC Fabrication

As we mentioned above, it takes a great HVAC company—such as Watts Heating & Cooling—to craft customized HVAC parts in-house. Finding a company that can do that is well worth it because it will save you a great deal of money in the long run. A company that can manufacture parts without having to send out for them will save money right off the bat. You’ll then end up with a highly efficient fabricated HVAC system, which will save you even more money on your energy bill over the years.