Retail stores and shopping centers

Ventilation for retail stores

Significant energy savings

Unic Air has custom-built an air handling unit targeted at retail stores, shopping centers, and the sales areas of supermarkets. These stores often have a large volume relative to the number of customers. The ventilation needs in these stores are typically dictated by the need for heating or cooling rather than poor air quality regarding CO₂ and humidity.

Unic Air’s retail unit takes this into account in its design, allowing for demand-controlled ventilation based on temperature, CO₂, and humidity, which results in substantial operational savings for the store.

When the unit alternates between recirculation and fresh air operation based on air quality, it opens the possibility for significant energy savings on heating, cooling, and fan operation. Our many years of experience with double recirculation have, in several cases, resulted in energy consumption savings of over 50% compared to traditional ventilation units.

Double recirculation

The air handling unit from Unic Air is designed with a rotary heat exchanger, integrated cooling, and double recirculation. The advantage of this unit design is that during periods of low customer load – and thus the need for temperature control – it can recirculate the already treated (cooled/heated) air instead of ventilating with 100% fresh air, as traditional units do.

By “settling” for cooling/heating the already treated air, significant savings are achieved, as it requires far less energy (kW) compared to treating 100% fresh air.

Using double recirculation does NOT compromise air quality. The unit’s built-in automation is designed to automatically switch to fresh air operation if the air quality reaches a set point for CO₂ levels or humidity content, for example.

The fresh air operation is maintained until the air quality again reaches the set points, after which it switches back to recirculation mode.

Cooling savings

By using an air handling unit with double recirculation and integrated cooling from Unic Air instead of a traditional ventilation unit, it is possible to use cooling during air recirculation, thereby achieving savings on cooling the store. The savings are particularly significant in the cooling effect used to condense moisture in the warm and humid outside air. With double recirculation, the already cooled and dehumidified indoor air is recirculated over the cooling coil, thereby avoiding the high energy consumption for condensation. Additional savings are found in sensible cooling, as the indoor temperature is often lower than the outdoor temperature.

Heating savings

Heating savings arise because it is only necessary to cover any potential heat loss in the building. When the already heated indoor air is recirculated, the heating coil in the unit only needs to heat the air from 22°C or higher, whereas in a traditional unit, the air needs to be heated from the outdoor temperature to the desired supply temperature (e.g., 25°C). This significantly reduces heating costs. The same applies outside of the store’s opening hours, where the unit can continue to recirculate air to maintain heating in the store.

Savings on fan operation

Last but not least, significant savings are also achieved in connection with fan operation in a unit with double recirculation from Unic Air. The advanced automation in the unit ensures highly flexible control of the fans, as their operation is adjusted according to the current operating conditions during the store’s opening hours and outside of them.


Below you can see a selection of our references for retail stores and shopping centers

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