The primary cost parameters of any commercial installation of HVAC Spiral pipe are: (1) original material costs, (2) installation costs, (3) maintenance costs, (4) long-term energy costs, and (5) costs associated with workplace productivity.
Material and installation costs are basically one-time costs, which are amortized over a relatively short period of time, and periodic maintenance costs can be expected with any mechanical system. However, poor or inadequate insulation can result in significantly higher, long-term energy costs, which only increase over time with each increase in the cost of fuel and invariable swings in ambient temperatures.
Uninsulated or poorly insulated heating or cooling runs thru spaces with a high ambient temperature differential can give up significant amounts of heat energy to the environment. Inadequate duct insulation may also require an increase in the size of heating and cooling units, causing them to work above of their most efficient operational range, increasing their maintenance requirements and hastening their eventual replacement.
Finally, uninsulated or inadequately insulated duct on cooling runs thru spaces with high ambient humidity will result in significant condensation, causing expensive damage to other building components (such as ceiling tiles and drywall). This promotes the growth of unhealthy mold and bacteria (which are costly to eliminate), and further reduces the effectiveness of the duct insulation itself.
In addition, inadequately insulated duct on cooling runs thru spaces with high relative humidity or high dew points can result in condensation on external duct surfaces—leading to expensive damage to other building components (such as ceiling tiles and drywall), promoting the growth of unhealthy mold and bacteria (known health hazards which are costly to eliminate), and further reducing the effectiveness of the duct insulation itself.
Workplace noise in schools, offices, hospitals, and other commercial buildings is known to compromise worker focus, communications, health, and productivity. It is difficult to put a dollar figure on this, but it is a continuing cost that can be avoided with advance planning, improved system design and a well-insulated duct system.
System Noise: HVAC systems inherently generate noise from (1) the fan and other mechanical equipment that drives the air and pressurizes the ducts, and from (2) the noise of high-speed air passing through ducts, fittings and registers. But a duct system is also and ideal conduit for transmitting noise from sources outside the HVAC system.
Flanking Noise: An HVAC duct system is an ideal conduit for transmitting noise from sources outside the HVAC system. Uninsulated, or poorly insulated ducts, can pick up and transmit noise from the spaces the duct passes through. For example, ducts that pass through mechanical equipment rooms or equipment rooms or… manufacturing areas will pick up ambient noise and transfer it to office and other work areas.
Cross-Talk Noise: Any opening in the duct system such as registers allow extraneous noise to directly enter the duct system and be transmitted to other rooms through their respective registers. Such noise is not only distracting, but it can adversely affect privacy and confidentiality the designer might want to consider in the initial planning stages.
Note: Due to the ubiquitous nature of noise, its ability to traverse almost all media, and to generate harmonics and reverberation in materials and spaces, the desired level of control may not be possible without the considering the building and its spaces as a whole, along with many other factors aside from the HVAC systems itself. When the focus is chiefly on the design of an efficient air delivery system, as it often is, other opportunities to mitigate noise can be overlooked.