In Charge of HVAC for a Place of Worship? Here’s the Best Strategy for Your Needs

In Charge of HVAC for a Place of Worship? Here’s the Best Strategy for Your Needs

a dog with its tongue out


UPDATED June 2019: Churches, synagogues, and mosques serve many purposes; activities which require custom HVAC for a place of worship. They accommodate a wide range of events and all rooms are not always in use. 

These facilities are mixed capacity depending on occasions and days of the week. They often have large, open spaces, soaring ceilings, small rooms, and sometimes old and inefficient insulation and windows. They might have inefficient equipment, like old boilers, or have multiple additions.

Whether your building is old or new, custom HVAC for a place of worship is a great opportunity to partner with professionals like Estes Commercial. For 70 years, Estes has provided comfort solutions to greater Atlanta in buildings large and small, old and new. 

A plan for HVAC design for a place of worship ensures the heating and air is adequate to handle all events it hosts, keeping occupants comfortable at all times. Buildings like this have unique cooling needs. 

In this blog, we’ll cover how commercial air conditioning systems, programmable thermostats, and even ductless cooling technology keep guests cool or cozy despite your facility’s challenges.

First: An HVAC Inspection for Custom HVAC for a Place of Worship

The first step to solve HVAC challenges in a place of worship is to schedule an inspection with Estes Commercial. A commercial HVAC inspection identifies and assesses system deficiencies, energy consumption and comfort needs. Our technicians evaluate your current equipment as well as the construction of your building. 

We learn about the needs of your facility, schedules and the types of activities and attendance you host. From there, we can determine how your existing system underperforms, leaving your congregation and guests uncomfortable while costing the facility excessive energy bills. 

We present solutions to fit your budget, meet your needs and create a better commercial heating and cooling system for your facility.

Second: Design a Plan with Custom HVAC for a Place of Worship

Houses of worship are often multi-purpose and host varying crowd sizes depending on the day of the week and season. Your commercial HVAC system must handle all the challenges day-to-day activities bring. Custom HVAC design allows adequate heating and cooling of large, mixed-use spaces as well as comfort control of smaller offices and classrooms.

When creating custom HVAC design for a house of worship, there are many tools Estes Commercial uses to ensure your facility is kept comfortable.

Commercial Air Conditioning Systems

In churches and other places of worship, additions are common, plus construction techniques and materials may differ from the original structure. These unique elements make heating and air conditioning a house of worship a challenge. 

Finding the right solutions and sizing them correctly is a job best handled by a commercial air conditioning contractor. In many cases, the original HVAC equipment was sized for a smaller portion of the current structure. At Estes, we do the research to make sure your HVAC system is sized for your updated space.

Commercial air conditioning systems may be composed of single or multiple units. Multiple units effectively zone the building, allowing certain zones to be cooled separately from the other areas of the facility. 

This allows spaces to be cooled based on their occupancy needs. Adjust temperature settings to provide additional cooling to accommodate guests in specific zones.

Using a zoning system with a single commercial air conditioner also allows for the same control. Large, open rooms with high ceilings, such as sanctuaries, gymnasiums and dining halls, quickly become uncomfortably warm from body heat, especially with large crowds. 

Use ceiling fans rotating counterclockwise to maximize the efficiency of the commercial air conditioning system. Pull warm air up to the empty high ceiling area, keeping guests cooler without additional AC use. 

Zoned HVAC and Ductless Mini Split Heating and Air

Depending on the layout and use of your place of worship, it might not make financial or energy sense to run a large commercial HVAC system at all times. Heating and cooling large mixed-use rooms and sanctuaries on days of worship may need this. Otherwise, offices and classrooms may benefit from independent heating and cooling. One method is ductless HVAC systems. 

Ductless systems for commercial air conditioning and heating are another way churches and places of worship use zone cooling, setting precise, independent temperatures for areas hosting events. Ductless systems can be air conditioners only, to cool. They can also be heat pumps, which both heat and cool. 

The ductless air handler installs on the wall or in the ceiling and connects to an outdoor compressor unit. In fact, a single outdoor unit can support multiple ductless air handlers, depending on the model. 

Many ductless systems are ENERGY STAR certified and provide energy savings over portable or old-fashioned window units. They are quiet and usually controlled with a remote. 

With a zoned commercial air conditioning system, each zone has its own programmable thermostat. This allows personalized settings for the individual needs and occupancies of each area.

Adjust temperatures to ensure rooms used stay comfortable, without wasting energy cooling the entire facility.

Commercial HVAC contractors, like Estes Commercial, also assist with indoor air quality needs. For example, dehumidifiers, to control moisture in your place of worship. Excess humidity makes the air feel warmer and puts additional strain on your air conditioners to extract it. A dehumidifier is a great partner for air conditioning systems in the South. Our team also provides ventilation and exhaust fan solutions.

Programmable, WiFi or Smart Thermostat in HVAC for a Place of Worship

Programmable thermostats are a useful HVAC tool in a church or a place of worship. They allow effective and energy efficient control over commercial air conditioning systems. Programmable thermostats adhere to temperature schedules around occupancy schedules. 

Set the temperature lower before services start. Raise them to raise later in the day after everyone is gone. Depending on the model, you can set specific temperature schedules for specific days of the week. 

For planned events throughout the year, use the ‘hold’ feature to temporarily override programmed settings. Select desired settings for the event time to keep guests comfortable, and raise the temperature once the event ends. 

Building Automation Systems (BAS)

One of the most popular upgrades in HVAC for a place of worship are controls and automation. Fluctuating occupancy creates a burden on the facilities manager or energy director to ensure HVAC systems to provide comfort and conserve energy to control costs.

Building automation controls allow HVAC units to be controlled easily. WiFi connections allow facilities managers to program temperature settings based on the facility’s activities and change them as needs arise. Automation provides control to both HVAC and lighting, for example. In advanced systems, it’s WiFi-connected, which allows remote access. 

This provides improved comfort and precise energy control, helping your facility cut utility costs. It’s also helpful for last-minute events or meetings. Turn on the system from a smartphone or connected tablet. Monitor the use and any odd behavior which indicates usual energy consumption or potential repair needs. 

Estes is happy to provide exceptional customer support in this area. We want your staff to get the most use from this technology so we’ll make sure you’re comfortable with it. Our friendly professionals are happy to walk you through the features and how to assess the data it provides. 

Bring Comfort to Congregants with Custom HVAC for a Place of Worship

For solutions to your facility’s heating and cooling challenges, contact Estes Commercial today. Our NATE-certified commercial HVAC technicians assess your needs and match you with the dedicated solutions to create comfortable indoor environments no matter the size, age, insulation or occupancy of your building. Need assistance with insulation for a place of worship? We help with insulation too!

Keep your guests comfortable while hosting weddings, events, and services with the right commercial air conditioning solutions. Free estimates and finance options for new equipment. We help keep budgets intact.

To truly simplify your routine, invest in a preventive maintenance plan with Estes Commercial. Don’t wait until a breakdown to call for help. You wouldn’t ignore oil changes in your car, would you? Take care of your HVAC for a place of worship and it will take care of you. 

Our team designs custom heating and air service plans to include seasonal tune ups. We’ll call you to schedule twice a year so you don’t have to have it on your to-do list! Seasonal tune ups for your air conditioners, heat pumps, furnaces or boilers keep them as energy-efficient as possible. 

This translates to utility bill savings and fewer repairs. Regular preventive maintenance from a professional HVAC contractor keeps you compliant with manufacturer warranties, too.

Our commercial HVAC team serves places of worship throughout Greater Atlanta, including Buckhead, Marietta, Kennesaw, Johns Creek, Peachtree City, Fayetteville, and Midtown. We also help houses of worship in Druid Hills, Decatur, Roswell, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, and Virginia Highland. 

Have an urgent situation? We take calls 24/7 for emergency HVAC services.