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The Top Commercial HVAC Problems: Solved

Studies have shown that your employees’ productivity, work satisfaction, and mood while at work can be affected by the temperature in your building. Even further, your health and the health of your employees is impacted by the air you breathe all day and that air is impacted by your commercial HVAC system.

We encourage all of our commercial customers in the same way – to take preventative maintenance seriously and to monitor system function. However, even in the best-case scenario, problems can happen and repairs can become necessary. Look for the following warning signs to know it’s time to take care of your system.

Commercial HVAC Problems: Warning Signs

  • Poor-quality of breathable air
  • Knocking, or other strange sounds
  • Airflow issues or a lack of temperature performance
  • Quick-rise in costs to operate your system

These warning signs – or any other anomalies in your system’s performance or behavior – could indicate that you have one of the following common commercial HVAC problems.

What are the Top Commercial HVAC Problems?

1. Your Air Filter Needs Cleaning or Replacement

One of the quickest and easiest ways to self-diagnose and DIY repair your commercial HVAC system is to check on the filter. If you find that your system isn’t performing well enough or that it is behaving erratically, checking in on the filter and changing it out is a great instant-fix. If your filter is filthy, your air conditioning or heating system will need to work harder to push air through the filter. Further, the quality of air that you and your employees breathe will obviously be affected. For optimal performance, replace your filter quarterly. You may find – especially if your building is industrial or involved in dirty work – that you require more frequent filter replacements as well.

2. Your Refrigerant is Leaking

Refrigerant is a liquid substance that allows your air conditioning system to work; it cools the air that moves through your system. With too little refrigerant, your system will perform poorly and your building’s air conditioning will feel too warm. This is a dual issue – your employees will be hot and mad at you, but your system will also be doing overtime and this could lead to issues.

3. Your Thermostat is Malfunctioning

If your building is too hot, too cold, or if the temperature fluctuates more than you’d prefer – your thermostat may be the cause. Troubleshoot your thermostat by testing various temperature settings and testing your system’s ability to meet the determined temperature with a thermometer. Many commercial building owners “set it and forget it” and neglect to check in on their thermostat, so they fail to realize that it is displaying an error or a blank screen.

4. Your HVAC System Needs Maintenance

Commercial HVAC Systems require as much – or more – maintenance than residential HVAC systems. Routine maintenance provides that minor HVAC issues that come up – and they do! – can be taken care of before they become highly expensive and complicated.  Complete system failure is common mostly among systems that do not receive consistent maintenance. If you find that your system is performing unsatisfactorily or behaving in a way that concerns you, we always suggest

As the owner and operator of a commercial building, it is important for you to understand all of the systems that make your building work while you work. Your air quality and the temperatures your team lives with while working every day impact your productivity, your health, and your happiness. By being proactive about the maintenance of your HVAC system you can preven the issues covered here today.

We would like to help! If you are ready to set up a proactive and preventive maintenance plan with a dedicated professional OR if your system is underperforming and you require a check-up, call us. We’re waiting by the phone!

Preventing Legionnaires Disease In Buildings

Legionnaires Disease was first discovered during an outbreak of pneumonia at an American Legion Convention held in Philadelphia in 1976. Conventioneers who attended the event went down with high fever, chills, cough, muscle aches, and fatigue. Eventually, the causative organism as identified as Legionella pneumophila and the disease was called Legionnaires Disease. Poor ventilation systems at the convention center were blamed for the spread of the disease and new regulations were put in to force to ensure that all building HVAC systems were disinfected and safe.

 

Can This Happen In Modern Day HVAC Systems?

Although most contractors and builders follow the new regulations, problems have cropped up frequently. Outbreaks are frequent during summer months and they are usually caused by higher temperatures and a greater use of water-spray based cooling towers. Ideally, Legionnella bacteria dies at temperatures above 70 degrees C but studies have shown that all HVAC systems show variable internal temperatures that may range from 20-50 degrees C. Apart from these ideal breeding temperatures, some cooling towers also contain waste biofilms that resulted due to stagnant water and poor maintenance. Even a short period of water stagnation could result in rust, scale and corrosion accumulation which will guarantee the growth of Legionnella bacteria.

 

How Can This Be Prevented?

Proper maintenance is the keystone to eliminating or reducing the risk of Legionnaires’ Disease. Currently, all HVAC systems companies have to follow ASHRAE Standard 188P while designing, installing and maintaining home ventilation systems. Most HVAC system companies follow a three-pronged approach involving regular on-site and office system assessments, monitoring of installed systems, and maintenance of heating and cooling systems. This will include the level of risk of a HVAC system for legionnaires disease, control regimens to ensure safe conditions, documenting of system maintenance checks, hiring adequately trained designers and maintenance engineers, and adhering to federal and national HVAC standards.

However, you have to work with the company as well. You do have to ensure that your home or office HVAC system is checked regularly. Apart from regular maintenance, non-chemical devices like pulsed electric fields, ultrasonic cleaners, hydrodynamic cavitation, and magnet cleaners can be used to ensure a clean and disinfected ventilation system. For more information, do get in touch with us through the comments section. Also, follow our blog.

Is The Air In Your Building Unhealthy

Commercial indoor air quality, and whether or not the air in your building is unhealthy, is not always one of the first things that pops into one’s mind, but the truth of the matter is that it is vitally important. The health of the individuals working in that building, as well as those just visiting from time to time, can be truly affected. It goes without saying that one’s bottom line results may also be heavily influenced by any unhealthy, negative air quality concerns as well. And the National Energy Management Institute has released the results of a study they conducted, which shows more than 30% of commercial buildings ranking as unhealthy!

The fact of the matter is that there are so many positive reasons to take the time, and make the efforts needed to make sure that air quality is safe, efficient, and healthy. Among these are providing a comfortable place to live or work, minimizing the risks of illness to those in the building, gaining greater productivity from those working there with fewer sick days being taken, and an overall reduction in operating costs because everything is working properly. And the fact that one’s legal exposure is minimized as well, is a less thought of but highly important consideration to be understood. There are many shades of gray in these areas, but taking the time and making the effort to keep your HVAC system working efficiently, is worth the costs involved in doing so. The truth of the matter is that maintaining the system properly is far less costly than allowing it to falter, and then require an extensive overhaul or replacement. That additional attention one takes the time to pay now, will wind up saving them a substantial amount of money moving forward!

If you have found yourself in a position of fielding some complaints from various people in your building, you will want to get on top of things at once! And if you haven’t yet heard any of those complaints, you can fortunately head them off by getting on things now! Please continue to follow us for additional articles regarding your HVAC systems running comfortably and efficiently.

Tips To Keep Your Business’ HVAC System Running Properly

Businesses depend on the HVAC system to keep their staff comfortable and productive. It also ensures that their machinery runs cool and efficient. Any breakdown will result in a number of difficulties including employee dissatisfaction, task delays, productivity plunge, overheating equipment, and so on. The best way to prevent all these is to introduce commercial HVAC maintenance measures such as the following:

 

Change Air Filters Regularly

Air usually carries minute particles that can be detrimental to health. HVAC systems have filters at the spots where air enters them in order to block these unwanted particles. This ensures that the people inside the building will enjoy good air quality and be able to do their jobs without respiratory irritations. Filters also prevent the buildup of dust inside the units which could potentially reduce efficiency and cause failures. Remember that these can get clogged after some time so they need to be replaced every few months. Refer to the manual for the manufacturer’s suggestion regarding filter replacement.

 

Carry Out Major Maintenance Work During Winter

Winter is the most logical time to carry out major maintenance work for air conditioning systems. It is during this season when the demand for cooling isn’t as high and the units can be shut down without that much of an effect on the operations, especially after office hours. This is also a period when AC technicians aren’t that busy so it is easier to schedule visits and complete exhaustive checks. It may even be possible to get off-peak rates.

 

Replace Aging Systems to Cut Repair Costs

It is normal for HVAC equipment to require a bit of repair every now and then. However, frequent breakdowns should be considered as a red flag. Review the maintenance history of the system to spot the biggest problem areas. Perhaps these parts could be replaced by new ones to avoid recurrence. If the system is older than a decade, then consider the installation of a completely new unit for a fresh start. The business will benefit from tremendous strides in efficiency over the last few years.

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