Category Archive: HVAC

Commercial HVAC Systems

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Waco performs  complete HVAC system replacement packages for our many commercial and institutional clients. New technologies from manufacturers have vastly improved  the quality and comfort of air as it is distributed throughout the building.  Waco has been proactive in advancing the implementation of these new systems.  We will explain the many components required for  constructing a properly functioning commercial HVAC system.

Important Components of a HVAC System:

Depending on what system or combination of systems that are being utilized in a building – these are the main components that we will review:

*Boiler                 *Cooling Tower

*Chiller                * Ductwork & Piping

* AHU                  * Controls & Instrumentation


The main components in a boiler are: the combustion chamber, burner, economizer, heat exchanger, intake fan, exhaust stack, pumps,  piping, valves, controls and instrumentation.

Boilers vary greatly in size, type of  fuel and the type of heat produced (usually steam or hot water). Many of the larger types of boilers used in the past have been replaced with new more efficient packaged boiler systems. These new units require less space, and ramp up times are greatly reduced so that needed heat is available quickly and effectively.


The main components in a chiller are: the evaporator, condenser, compressor, air separator, cooling towers, pumps, piping/ valves, controls and instrumentation.

Chillers vary greatly in size, too, and are dependent upon the size of the building and how much humidity control is needed. Data Centers are one example.  These buildings have equipment that generates vast amounts of heat and therefore require  larger chiller systems, very strict humidity controls and an extensive backup system. On the other hand, standard office buildings or schools  vary as to the time of day they are occupied, and will require a system that can more efficiently meet these fluctuations in occupancy.

Air Handling Units (AHU)

There are many types of AHU’s, some which incorporate a boiler or chiller and others which will operate independently.   These systems involve moving air within a building.  Fan coil units ( FCU’s) usually have hot and cold water piping entering the unit and piping to drain excess condensate. These systems are connected to a network of  air ducts that are controlled by dampers and instruments that allow the system to offer both warm and cold air to the required space. Variable Air Volume ( VAV’s) and Constant Air Volume ( CAV’s ) are another type of system often used and are connected to the ductwork as well.  Variable Refrigerant Flow ( VRF ) is a type of fan coil system that uses refrigerant  rather than cold or chilled water piping.

Cooling Towers

These are critical components to a commercial system. They typically transfer heat coming from piping through a network of fans, louvers, or spray nozzles and return the cooler fluid back into the system. Different fluids are used in these systems but the most common ones are water, brine and glycol.  Large cooling towers will have a substantial structural support framework, which can deteriorate over time.  Waco has an experienced team to replace both the structural steel and cooling tower.

Reference job: Richmond City Hall.

Ductwork and Piping

Properly sealed and sized ductwork is a critical component to ensuring proper air flow and ventilation in a HVAC system. Efficiently bringing in conditioned outside air and reducing pollutants entering the system is an important aspect of providing the occupants with a healthy environment.  Properly engineered ductwork (including transitions in duct size and other  airflow design) will further increase the efficiency of the system. Waco has invested in sheet metal equipment, plasma cutters and other  technologies to ensure  that airtight sealing of  all connections of the ductwork  and equipment will be done correctly and in accordance with engineered specifications.  Determining the right piping materials (PVC, Copper, Black Iron or Stainless Steel) are critical for maintaining an efficient system and one that will require the least amount of maintenance in the future.  Waco has many years of experience properly installing  pipe systems as designed for differing systems.

Controls and Instrumentation

No area of the HVAC system has seen more innovation and technical improvements than  controls and instrumentation equipment and software.  The ability to easily regulate the HVAC components that control temperature, humidity, airflow and ventilation is critical for a building owner.  The BAS ( Building Automation System ) of today, involves a system of sensors and controllers which submit or receive data and electronically send messages to the devices that operate the pumps, dampers, actuators, flow meters and other HVAC equipment. Most HVAC BAS systems utilize either BACnet (an ASHRAE designed system) or another designed system, and can be controlled through the internet.   These systems can be operated on site or remotely, allowing the building facility manager greater flexibility when changes are needed. Waco uses the services of several well known building control specialists when installing these systems on HVAC equipment.

Contact Waco for Your HVAC System Needs!

Waco is one of the leading commercial HVAC contractors in the industry.  Our company has been in business for over 60 years.

Partner with us today to learn more about our HVAC system capabilities!

Process of Asbestos Removal

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Asbestos is widely used in construction, industrial, shipbuilding, and automotive industries. Asbestos mineral fiber was once hailed for insulation, fireproofing, high tensile strength, water heat & chemical resistance, low cost and natural abundance qualities.  Most common uses include pipe & boiler insulation, fireproofing, floor tile & mastic, ceiling tiles roofing & roof flashings, and asbestos cement products.

Disturbance of asbestos requires the skill and knowledge of a professional contracting team that can protect you from the dangers and liabilities associated with an improper disturbance and/or abatement. Asbestos fibers can remain airborne for up to 72 hours and there is no known safe level of asbestos.

Asbestos fibers can be inhaled or ingested and can cause diseases such as asbestosis, mesothelioma, lung cancer, and digestive cancers. Many of these diseases have a latency period of 10-40 years.

This article is a basic guide to the asbestos abatement process

What Is the Asbestos Abatement Process?

The process usually begins with an asbestos survey and risk assessment of potential asbestos containing materials. This survey is needed prior to any renovation or demolition projects. Asbestos response actions include removal, repair, encapsulation, enclosure, and operations & maintenance. We can help you determine which response action fits your requirements and submit proper asbestos project notification forms as required by government agencies.

The process of asbestos abatement includes the following steps:

1. Preparing the Work Area

The process usually begins with background air sampling, posting of danger signs & barricade tape, lock-out/tag-out of HVAC/electrical systems, sealing of critical barriers with polyethylene, constructing containment chambers, installing HEPA negative air machines, and checking for proper negative air pressure within the containment. Containment integrity will be inspected by the supervisor prior to asbestos removal.

2. Removing Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM)

Specially trained, licensed, and medically monitored workers will don appropriate respirators and personal protective gear prior to entering the work area. ACM will be removed using wet, hand, and mechanical methods. Inside and outside air monitoring may be conducted to ensure the engineering controls are working and no exposure is released outside the containment.

3. Cleanup and Air Testing

Upon completion of the gross removal, the work area will be fine cleaned, wet-wiped, and HEPA-vacuumed to remove any remaining contamination. A final visual inspection of cleanliness will be performed prior to the application of a lockdown encapsulant which is used to trap any remaining airborne fibers. Once the encapsulant dies, then final air clearance samples will be taken as required.

4. Disposal

Asbestos waste will be doubled-bagged and sealed in labeled waste bags per regulations. All waste will be properly manifested and sent to an authorized asbestos landfill.

5. Post-Cleanup

Containment barriers and equipment will be removed once final air sampling standards are met. At this time, the work area will be ready for occupancy. Finally, we will provide the owner with waste shipment records and project records.

Why Is It Important To Hire Asbestos Professionals?

All abatement requires the skill and knowledge of a professional contracting team that can protect you  from the health dangers and liabilities associated with improper handling of ACM.

The regulations and governing agencies can be varied and complex and an experienced professional contacting team is required.

Asbestos National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP)

NESHAP is an Environmental Protection Agency regulation that requires building owners to perform asbestos inspections by an accredited asbestos inspector prior to renovating or demolishing a building. It also established project size criteria, industry definitions, work practices, training, notification, emission, and waste disposal requirements.

Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA)

The AHERA is an Environmental Protection Agency regulation that applies to all public and private schools, k-12 grades. The regulation establishes the requirement for inspections, re-inspections, periodic surveillance, development and updates of management plans, development of response actions, operations & development of maintenance programs, custodial staff training, and parental notifications.

Asbestos School Hazard Abatement Reauthorization Act (ASHARA)

ASHARA requires individuals working with asbestos in public and commercial buildings to have AHERA level training. This regulation established the training requirement for workers, supervisors, project designers, inspectors, and management planners.

OSHA Asbestos Construction Standard

Established Class1-Class IV definitions, industry definitions, work practices, multi-employer worksite requirements, permissible exposure & excursion limits for asbestos workers, training requirements, and communication requirements.

State and Local Regulations

Each state, city, or local agency can have their own set of asbestos regulations..

Waco’s Safe and Effective Asbestos Abatement Services

Waco, Inc. can handle your asbestos abatement needs throughout the Mid-Atlantic regions. We have numerous offices throughout Virginia and an office in Maryland that covers Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Northern Virginia.

We are dedicated to providing exceptional customer service at every process stage. Contact us today to learn more about our asbestos removal services, or request a quote now!

What Is an Industrial HVAC System?

HVAC projectWaco Inc. offers complete HVAC systems that include: fabrication, installation, renovation, and replacement services. With over 50 years of experience, our highly qualified technicians have what it takes to handle large commercial buildings and industrial facilities , from replacing a single chiller to renovating an entire HVAC system.

The term “industrial HVAC” can refer to an HVAC system used in an industrial facility, or a more general term for an HVAC system used in a large building like a hospital or large business. At Waco, Inc, our specialty lies with HVAC services for industrial facilities, and we’ve put together this guide for existing and potential customers. It outlines the types of equipment used and how they differ from residential units.

HVAC Systems for Industrial vs Residential

Industrial HVAC systems provide heating, cooling, and ventilation to larger facilities, such as chemical processing, manufacturing, power generation, and water treatment plants. While they follow the same basic operating principles as residential HVAC units, they are greater in capacity and complexity. Additional concerns such as excessive heat generation from equipment or toxic fumes, require greater attention than one would expect from a residential or commercial building. That’s why it is essential to partner with an experienced industrial contractor when you want to upgrade or replace a system. They will have the knowledge and skills to ensure that the entire HVAC systems components function correctly as it pertains to the individual facility’s needs.

Types of Equipment Required fwhat is an industrial HVAC systemor HVAC Systems in Industrial Facilities

Industrial HVAC systems consist of many components, which vary depending on the specific needs of the facility. The types of equipment commonly found in them include:


In HVAC systems, compressors reduce the volume of refrigerant gas, which increases its pressure and temperature. The high-pressure, high-temperature gas then enters the HVAC system’s condenser, which removes the heat it absorbed.

Air Separators

Air separators separate and remove entrained air from fluids. This function helps keep HVAC systems running efficiently and safely.


Chillers use water to transfer heat away from a space. They are available in two variations: water-cooled and air-cooled.

Control Systems

Control systems allow users to monitor and manage the operation of various elements within an HVAC system. Automated control systems enable any necessary HVAC system changes (e.g., increased or decreased temperature or airflow) to be made automatically.

Cooling Towers

Cooling towers are used in combination with chillers or condensers to remove heat from the facility. Their design and size vary depending on the cooling load of the facility.


Industrial facilities use fans for a variety of purposes. For example, they are used for exhaust, air intake, ventilation, and more.


Hot water or steam must be produced and maintained at much greater volumes in industrial facilities. Sizing and piping to the boiler is critical.

Humidification/Dehumidification Systems

HVAC systems can be used to control humidity within an industrial facility. If the facility requires more moisture, the system may have a humidifier unit. If the facility requires less moisture, the system may have a dehumidifier unit.

Industrial Ventilation Systems

In addition to temperature and humidity, industrial HVAC systems are used to establish proper airflow within a facility. The ventilation components help purify and circulate air as needed.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps extract heat from the air, water, or ground. They can be used to heat or cool a facility.

Rooftop HVAC Units

Rooftop HVAC units are installed on the roof of facilities. They use ducts to circulate the air into various zones of the facility.

Split HVAC Units

HVAC systems can be categorized into single-split and multi-split units. Single-split units require each indoor unit to have a corresponding outdoor unit, while multi-split units allow multiple indoor units to connect to one outdoor unit.

How Do Residential and Industrial HVAC Systems Differ?

Industrial HVAC systems operate similarly to residential HVAC systems. The main differences between them are:

  • Capacity. HVAC systems components for industrial facilities are much larger. A home or business might use a 5-ton unit while an industrial facility might use a 50 ton unit. Note: 1 ton is equivalent to 12,000 btu of cooling.
  • Location. HVAC systems at industrial facilities are generally located on the rooftop of facilities or in a courtyard where both noise and heat can be reduced while in operation. Most residential HVAC systems are commonly located near the home on the ground floor.
  • Complexity. HVAC systems at industrial locations are more complex and modular in design than residential HVAC systems. This means that multiple HVAC units will have all of the electrical and automatic controls in one panel box. This is critical for proper climate control and any adjusting as required.

HVAC System Solutions at Waco, Inc.

The experts at Waco, Inc. are here to help with your industrial facility’s HVAC needs. Whether you require a new installation or replacement assistance, we’ve got you covered. To learn more about our HVAC system capabilities, contact us today. To discuss your project requirements with one of our representatives, request a quote.