What is a makeup air unit?
A makeup air unit, also known as a make-up air unit or MAU, is a type of HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) equipment that helps to replenish the air that is exhausted from a building. These units are typically used in commercial or industrial settings where large amounts of air are being exhausted through things like kitchen hoods, bathroom exhaust fans, and other mechanical systems.
The main function of a makeup air unit is to ensure that the building has enough fresh air to maintain a healthy indoor air quality. This is important because buildings are often designed to be energy-efficient, which can lead to a lack of fresh air exchange. Without enough fresh air, the indoor air quality can become stale and contaminated with pollutants such as carbon monoxide, radon, and other harmful chemicals.
Makeup air units work by drawing in fresh outdoor air and then conditioning it to match the temperature and humidity levels inside the building. This conditioned air is then distributed throughout the building to replace the air that has been exhausted. Some makeup air units also include filtration systems to remove pollutants and other particulates from the incoming air.
There are several different types of makeup air units available on the market, each with their own unique features and benefits. Some units are designed for specific applications such as kitchens or bathrooms, while others are more versatile and can be used in a variety of different settings. Some of the most common types of makeup air units include:
Direct-fired makeup air units: These units use a burner to heat the incoming air, which makes them ideal for very cold climates.
Indirect-fired makeup air units: These units use a heat exchanger to transfer heat from an external source (such as a boiler or furnace) to the incoming air. They are more energy-efficient than direct-fired units and can be used in a wider range of temperatures.
Packaged rooftop makeup air units: These units are self-contained and can be installed on the roof of a building. They are ideal for retrofit applications and for buildings with limited space.
In conclusion, a makeup air unit is an important piece of HVAC equipment that helps to ensure that buildings have enough fresh air to maintain a healthy indoor air quality. They work by drawing in fresh outdoor air and conditioning it to match the temperature and humidity levels inside the building. With different types available, it is important to consult with a professional to determine which makeup air unit is best for your specific application.