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What are the benefits of a chilled beam HVAC system?

As an experienced HVAC installer and service provider, we’re often asked about the benefits of chilled beams compared to other systems. Here we answer a few key questions.

What are chilled beams?

A chilled beam is a HVAC system used to cool a commercial or industrial building. A chilled beam consists of a heat exchanger (also known as a beam) contained in a housing which is suspended just below the ceiling. Pipes carrying cold water run through the beam which causes the unit to cool the air around it. This air becomes denser and falls toward the floor, being replaced by rising warm air. This causes a continuous flow of convection and as a result the room is cooled.

What types of chilled beams are available?

There are two main kinds of chilled beam – passive and active. Passive chilled beams (PCBs) rely solely on convection while active chilled beams (ACBs) induce air towards the beam via ductwork. ACBs are able to provide a much greater capacity for cooling than PCBs and therefore tend to be more commonly used.

Integrated beams containing multiple services such as fire alarms, lighting, speakers and sprinkler heads are also becoming more widespread.

What are the benefits of chilled beams?

Here are the main advantages of chilled beam systems:

  • Because they do not contain moving parts such as fans or compressors, chilled beams are easy to maintain and are also much less noisy than some HVAC systems. A quieter system offers greater comfort to building occupants, which should have a positive effect on productivity.
  • Chilled beams are a real space saver as they don’t require complicated ductwork or equipment rooms. Chilled beams use around half the space of all-air systems.
  • Pumping water is less energy intensive than blowing air, so having chilled beams mean fewer air circulation fans are needed. Chilled beams are therefore more energy efficient than some other systems.

If you’re interested in having a chilled beam system installed, or you want existing equipment serviced or repaired, give HVAC Services Manager Andrew Knight a call on 07850 204915 or email

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