Hvac Component Start Up

HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Airconditioning) component start-up procedures describe how to start the operation of each component. They specify the methods to be used and the checks that are needed. Start-ups and related measurements are carried out by the contractor. Commissioning provider assists the contractor in the beginning of each start-up process and reviews that no systematic errors are made.

HVAC Components

As an example, the following components or systems need to be started:

  • Dedicated outdoor air units, treated fresh air units and air handling units;
  • Variable Frequency Drivers (VFD);
  • Exhaust and supply fans;
  • Ductwork balancing;
  • Chillers;
  • Cooling towers;
  • Pumps;
  • Pipework balancing;
  • Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) system;
  • Heat pump system;
  • Precision air conditioning units;
  • Building management system (BMS).

Most of the start-ups also require measurements. The contractor must have sufficient measuring devices to carry on tests (Table below). Accuracy of each measuring device shall be good enough and the measurement range sufficient to the measured level. It is also important to have each measuring device calibrated less than one year ago. The contractor shall incorporate equipment type, accuracy, measurement range and calibration certificate of each measuring device as part of startup reports.

All measurement data shall be recorded using the template specified in the commissioning plan. After the start-up measurements of each equipment or subsystem, the contractor gives all reports for Cx provider, who provides a start-up review report to a client.

Measurement device   
Air flow rate   
Vane anemometer   
Velocity in AHU filter section or grille   
Hot wire anemometer   
Velocity inside duct   
Pitot tube and manometer   
Pressure difference in duct   
Capture hood & manometer   
Air flow rate of grille or diffuser   
Air velocity   
Hot wire anemometer   
Velocity of air   
Vane anemometer   
Velocity of air (>0.5 m/s)   
Ductwork leakage   
Duct leakage tester   
Static pressure inside ductwork   
Pressure of air   
Pressure manometer   
Differential pressure in ductwork or e.g.   
(Barometric) pressure meter   
Atmospheric pressure   
Pressure difference data logger   
Continuous pressure difference recording   
Pressure of water   
Hydronic manometer   
Differential pressure   
Pressure data logger   
Continuous pressure recording   
Water flow rate   
Hydronic manometer    
Pressure across control valve   
Digital flow rate meter   
Water flow rate   
Liquid or air temperature   
Hot wire anemometer   
Air temperature (dry bulb)   
Surface temperature meter   
Surface temperature   
Infrared temperature meter   
Surface temperature   
Thermal imaging camera   
Surface temperature   
Sling psychrometer   
Wet/dry bulb temperature   
Temperature data logger   
Continuous temperature recording   
Absolute and relative humidity   
Sling psychrometer   
Dew point   
Relative humidity meter   
Relative humidity   
Indoor air quality   
Carbon dioxide meter (NDIR)   
CO 2-level of air   
Carbon monoxide meter (NDIR)   
CO-level of air   
Particulate meter (gravimetric, light-
   scattering or beta-attenuation)   
Particulate mass concentration and/or
   particulate count   
Photo-ionization detector (PID)   
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Electro-chemical sensor   
Various gases like SO 2, NO2, O3   
Andersson active air sampler withpetri dish   
Total Fungal and Bacterial Count   
Vacuum gauge   
Refrigerant system vacuum   
Refrigerant leak detector   
Refrigerant leakage   
Refrigeration manifold   
Pressure difference in pipe   
Filter leak testing   
Aerosol photometer and generator   
tCoo cnhdietciok nins sotfa ltlhatei oHnEPA filter as well as   
Sound level meter   
Sound pressure levels in octave bands,   
Fan operation   
RPM of rotating objectives   
Energy and power   
Plug-load meter   
Power consumption of device   
Clamp meter   
Voltage and current   
Electricity multi-meter   
Voltage, current, resistance   
HVAC COMMISSIONING GUIDEBOOK  - Maija Virta  ((M.Sc.Eng) is the Founder Director of the Santrupti engineers Pvt Ltd. She has over 30 years of experience in construction and HVAC-industry around the world)


What is the purpose of HVAC component start-up procedures?
The purpose of HVAC component start-up procedures is to ensure that each component is started safely and efficiently. These procedures outline the methods to be used and the checks that need to be performed to prevent systematic errors and ensure proper operation. By following these procedures, contractors can ensure that HVAC components are started correctly, reducing the risk of equipment damage, energy waste, and safety hazards.
Who is responsible for carrying out HVAC component start-ups and related measurements?

The contractor is responsible for carrying out HVAC component start-ups and related measurements. However, the commissioning provider assists the contractor in the beginning of each start-up process and reviews the process to ensure that no systematic errors are made. This collaborative approach ensures that start-ups are performed correctly and efficiently.

What types of components or systems require start-up procedures?

A wide range of HVAC components and systems require start-up procedures, including dedicated outdoor air units, treated fresh air units, air handling units, chillers, boilers, pumps, and fans. Each of these components has unique start-up requirements, and following established procedures is essential to ensure safe and efficient operation.

What checks should be performed during HVAC component start-ups?

During HVAC component start-ups, various checks should be performed to ensure proper operation. These checks may include verifying electrical connections, checking refrigerant levels, inspecting ductwork and piping, and testing safety devices. The specific checks required will depend on the type of component being started, and contractors should consult the manufacturer’s instructions and relevant industry standards.

What is the role of the commissioning provider in HVAC component start-ups?

The commissioning provider plays a critical role in HVAC component start-ups by assisting the contractor in the beginning of each start-up process and reviewing the process to ensure that no systematic errors are made. The commissioning provider’s expertise helps to identify potential issues and ensures that start-ups are performed correctly, reducing the risk of equipment damage, energy waste, and safety hazards.

What are the consequences of not following HVAC component start-up procedures?

Failing to follow HVAC component start-up procedures can have serious consequences, including equipment damage, energy waste, and safety hazards. Improper start-ups can also lead to reduced equipment lifespan, increased maintenance costs, and decreased system efficiency. By following established start-up procedures, contractors can minimize these risks and ensure safe and efficient operation of HVAC components.

How often should HVAC component start-up procedures be reviewed and updated?

HVAC component start-up procedures should be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure that they remain relevant and effective. This may involve updating procedures to reflect changes in equipment design, new industry standards, or revised safety protocols. Regular review and updating of start-up procedures help to ensure that contractors are equipped to perform start-ups safely and efficiently.