As the Director of Marketing for a manufacturer of makeup air equipment I am often asked about direct-fired makeup air units. “What is a makeup air unit?” “How is a makeup air unit used?” Wikipedia can answer the question as to what is a makeup air unit:
“A large air handler that conditions 100% outside air, and no re-circulated air, is known as a makeup air unit (MAU).”
ANSI Z83.4-2015 is a North American Standard for direct-fired technologies. The standard describes direct-fired technologies as a non-recirculating direct gas-fired commercial and industrial makeup air heating and ventilation technology whose purpose is to offset building heat loss, have a maximum discharge temperature of 160°F, and all air to the unit is ducted directly from outdoors… 100% outside air.
MAUs have several characteristics in common:
- They are Incredibly Safe to operate because they use 100% outside air.
- They are the most Cost Effective and Energy Efficient way to heat and ventilate a commercial and industrial space.
What is a Makeup Air Unit Used for?
MAUs have many uses. Today makeup air units are used in a wide range of buildings from commercial kitchens to high bay warehouse facilities and a lot of others in-between. The types of buildings where MAUs are used are diverse, but there are four common applications that use make up air.
Just as there are different types of applications there are also different technologies within the makeup air category to fit each of these applications including:
Low Temperature Heating & Ventilation
Typical applications for LTHV are buildings that need exhaust replenishment or tempered ventilation.
These units typically have a max discharge temperature of 120°F, and produce between 100-100,000 cubic feet per minute (CFM) of fresh air.
High Temperature Heating & Ventilation Units
Typical applications for HTHV are buildings that require ventilation and heating or just straight space heating.
HTHV systems are considered the gold standard in Warehouse Heating, because of their energy-saving capabilities.
In an effort to show the energy efficiency of HTHV products the Department of Energy conducted a study that compared the energy usage of a 92% energy efficient SA-250 HTHV MAU against an 80% efficient standard unit heater. The results… the SA-250 HTHV product used 20% less natural gas than the standard unit heater when used for Space Heating. Read the full DOA study here.
You now know what is makeup air, but remember this: makeup air units use 100% outside air for a variety of applications.
When trying to decide which MAU best fits the building’s needs ask yourself what you need a makeup air unit for. If you are looking for a makeup air unit for space heating – ensure you are using HTHV. If you are only looking for ventilation, make sure you are looking at LTHV systems. These simple guidelines will help you determine which MAU product is the best fit.
To learn more about the different types of makeup air technologies visit www.cambridge-eng.com and schedule a meeting or lunch and learn with us.