4 Things to Consider When Choosing Commercial HVAC

Heating and cooling are two of the most important elements of a commercial property. Make sure you’re getting the most from your HVAC system by partnering with the right mechanical service provider. 

Every HVAC system comes with a limited lifespan. Older equipment not only exerts a lot of energy, but it also requires much more maintenance. You could opt to keep your HVAC system on life support, but that can be an exhausting way to prolong some of the mechanical issues you might already be facing. If you’re tired of dealing with the mess, you may need to partner with an experienced HVAC provider to find the next best solution.

Fortunately, a few important steps can help make the decision-making process a lot easier. 

Weigh Your Options

Your first order of business is to choose the right heating and air conditioning setup. Not all heating and cooling systems are the same because HVAC equipment comes in different shapes and sizes. Before you schedule an installation, perform diligent research to see what capabilities each system has to offer. This will help you determine which solution makes the most sense for your building. 

Here are three of the best options:

  • Packaged Units: This is the ultimate space-saving solution. A single cabinet is programmed to provide a consistent flow of cool air during the summer and warm air during the winter. These central-air systems also come with powerful dehumidifying capabilities.
  • Heat Pumps: This is your best option for heat compression. Instead of forcing air into the building, the heat boiler condenses water into a safe, comfortable gas. Heat pumps provide exceptional heating and cooling efficiencies in any venue.
  • Ductless HVAC: If you want to improve energy efficiency, ductless air might be your best option. Ductless HVAC systems heat and cool different zones of the property while reducing energy usage in the air handling equipment.  

Select the Appropriate Size

When choosing an HVAC system, it’s important to know that bigger isn’t always better. Oversized units consume a massive amount of energy, which may cause your utility bills to skyrocket. On the other hand, choosing equipment that is too small will hinder your system’s ability to cool effectively. Schedule an appointment with an experienced HVAC contractor like [Service Unlimited] to find a solution that aligns with the size and design of your building. 

Account for the Outdoor Climate

When choosing HVAC equipment, you need to select a system that can keep up with any extreme climate. Buildings need to maintain a steady level of efficiency, and to ensure they are able to do this, you’ll need to keep the temperature at a level that can cope with the weather outside. Partner with an HVAC provider that designs custom solutions to help you maintain a comfortable indoor climate that combats the outdoor weather. 

Claim ENERGY STAR® Support 

ENERGY STAR is an energy-efficiency assistance program offered by the [U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)]. Its HVAC solutions offer the strongest energy performance. If your HVAC provider is steering you away from ENERGY STAR products, you may need to continue shopping around until you find a partner that leads you down the right path.

Service Unlimited Offers HVAC Support at the Highest Level 

Our team is more than just a group of HVAC technicians. We are problem solvers committed to helping you get the most from your heating and cooling setup for as little as possible. The team at Service Unlimited offers only the highest-quality products from the industry’s leading manufacturers. Our professionals design authentic solutions to help you maintain the perfect indoor air quality for years to come.  

Give us a call at 302-326-2665 to learn how our [world-class solutions] can help your property! 

An HVAC System’s 6 Most Critical Components

Knowing the ins and outs of your heating and cooling equipment can help you prevent expensive breakdowns and unwanted repairs while keeping the system performing at an optimal level. 

Fixing a mechanical issue is not easy, especially when you don’t know how the equipment works. When it comes to HVAC maintenance, however, it’s important to understand the role each piece of equipment plays. Air conditioning (AC) and heating systems are engineered with several moving parts, and this blog will show you the purpose each one serves.

The Most Important Parts of Your HVAC System

If you take the time to really examine your heating and cooling system, you’ll notice six particular components: 

  • Heat Exchangers 
  • Blower Motors
  • Combustion Chambers 
  • Condenser Systems
  • Evaporator Coils
  • Thermostat

These mechanical parts are more than just pieces of equipment; they are essential to greater indoor comfort, safer air quality, more cost savings, and long-term peace of mind. Here’s what you need to know about each element: 

Heat Exchangers

The heat exchanger houses the furnace. It not only absorbs heat from the outside, but it also masks cold indoor environments with warm temperatures. Every furnace is equipped with a heat exchanger, and it must be protected with layers of stainless steel and temperature-resistant alloys. Damage to your heat exchanger can lead to carbon monoxide leaks, which can be poisonous and even fatal. Make sure to have this piece of equipment professionally inspected at least once a year.

Blower Motors 

Once the heat exchanger presents the right temperature, the blower motor activates. Blower motors move warm air through the duct system before it enters the air handling vents. This sets up warm air to be appropriately distributed throughout each room. Blower motors do not produce any mechanical sounds, despite running at high speeds. They do, however, help keep humidity at an appropriate level. 

Combustion Chambers

The combustion chamber is the most important part of your furnace. Its purpose is to trap an appropriate amount of heat in the furnace. Combustion chambers work like a science experiment in which a mixture of air and other gases are combined, resulting in the beginning of the heating cycle. This component also captures carbon monoxide and compresses it into a safe, natural gas, allowing you to get every bit of energy from each fuel source. 

Condensing System (Compressor)

HVAC condenser coils can be found in all air conditioning and heat pump systems. Their purpose is to cool the building by releasing heat into the outdoor air. This occurs when a refrigerant is compressed into a cool gas that is released in the fan blower. Inspect your condenser on a regular basis and make sure it is free of any leaves, grass clippings, dirt, or other debris. Additionally, you’ll want to protect it by letting the unit rest in the shade. This helps mitigate the risk of overheating.

Evaporator Coils

Evaporator coils are essential elements in any air conditioning system or heat pump. Commonly referred to as the evaporator core, these coils help absorb heat the refrigerant generates. They are often located inside the air handler right below the blower fan. And while this mechanical part helps your AC system lower the building temperature, it also helps bring heat indoors when the temperature starts to drop. Be sure to perform maintenance on your evaporator core at least twice a year to prevent condensation. Otherwise, it may start to breed mold and cause significant damage to the rest of your HVAC system.

Thermostat

Thermostats are usually centrally located in your home or office building. These temperature sensors are connected directly to your HVAC system through a special set of wires. Some heating and cooling systems are equipped with multiple thermostats for different zones of the building. For maximum energy efficiency, it would be in your best interest to invest in a programmable thermostat. With this solution, building owners and facility managers can easily control different temperatures and humidity levels straight from their computers, smartphones, or tablets. 

Get the Most out of Your HVAC Equipment

The experts at Service Unlimited are there to help keep your HVAC system performing at its best. Our team of problem solvers delivers peace-of-mind solutions to help save you money and conserve energy. We’ll help you install, repair, and maintain any heating and air conditioning system, no matter what type of unit you have. 

Book your appointment today so you can start taking advantage of any of our [best-in-class solutions]!

Getting Your Commercial HVAC System to Work in Large Buildings

The majority of a commercial building’s energy costs go toward operating its HVAC systems. However, you can reduce your energy costs and improve your system’s energy efficiency in many ways. One way to make these changes is by implementing an HVAC preventive maintenance program.

How Does a Preventive Maintenance Program Work?

To implement this kind of maintenance program, your business should partner with a commercial HVAC services company that will oversee your heating and cooling systems. You will have to sign an agreement that outlines the terms of the HVAC company’s services. The agreement should be tailored to fit your business’s needs, not a cookie-cutter list of services the company offers all its customers. It should also outline the company’s commercial HVAC preventive maintenance services as well as its emergency services. Read the fine print and look over everything in the agreement before you sign it.

In terms of a maintenance schedule, the company’s HVAC technicians should make routine maintenance visits at least twice a year. You can negotiate with your service partner for four or more annual visits when you draw up the agreement, if that’s what your system needs to be properly maintained. 

What Happens During a Maintenance Visit?

During a visit, the technician inspects your HVAC system and fixes any problems they find so larger breakdowns don’t occur in the future. This often involves changing the air filters, brushing the coils clean, checking the belts and fans, and inspecting electrical components. Of course, the specifics vary depending on whether you have a packaged system or a split system, traditional HVAC or a heat pump, or a chiller with a water tower and a boiler. What should not vary is the care and attention the technician gives your system.

What Are Some Examples of Preventive Maintenance Program Offerings?

At Service Unlimited, we offer the following services to our preventive maintenance agreement customers:

  • Up to 25% off our standard pricing on parts and labor
  • On-call emergency assistance and 24-hour service
  • Two-hour response to your call for service
  • Priority scheduling of service orders
  • Scheduled system maintenance visits and complete documentation of the unit’s operation
  • Comprehensive system operation evaluations
  • Free estimates for equipment replacement projects, including design and engineering support

When you enter into a preventive maintenance agreement with an HVAC services company, it should be able to offer you priority services so your commercial heating and air conditioning system will keep operating well.

What Are the Benefits of HVAC Preventive Maintenance?

Having preventative maintenance performed on your system provides many benefits. These benefits include:

  • Prolonged HVAC system lifespans
  • Reduced downtime
  • Improved system capacity
  • Improved energy efficiency
  • Improved air quality and a safe and healthy work environment
  • Reduced energy costs

HVAC Maintenance With Dedication

At Service Unlimited, we maintain your HVAC equipment with prompt, courteous service. If we see a problem during one of our inspections, we will go out of our way to fix it so your system won’t need more extensive repair services in the future. If you would like to become one of our service agreement customers or if you have any questions about our preventive maintenance and HVAC repair services, contact us today.

Your HVAC System’s Most Critical Components

Your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is made up of many different parts. You may have heard of some of them, while others may be a mystery to you. Understanding how the most important HVAC components work will help you identify when your HVAC system has a problem. Below are the most critical components of your system and how they operate within it.

Visible Components

These are the HVAC parts you may be most familiar with. They are built into the building and connected to the HVAC system, and they are at least somewhat visible. These components carry the heated or cooled air between the system and the building’s rooms and hallways.

Thermostat

The thermostat is usually your system’s most visible component, and it is wired directly to your HVAC system. It has temperature sensors that turn on the heater or air conditioner based on the conditions in the building, room, or zone it heats or cools. You can install a programmable thermostat that allows you to set its temperatures in advance or control it manually. 

Additionally, you can use your thermostat to make your system more energy efficient. When you leave the building, lower the temperature only a few degrees in winter and raise it a couple of degrees in summer. This will reduce the amount of energy your HVAC system consumes when no one is using it. You can use remote thermostat controls to adjust the temperature back to its normal settings before you return.

Ductwork

Your building’s ductwork is the system of ducts that connect back to your HVAC unit or system. It carries the warm or cool air from the system out to the rest of the building. Ducts are often made of steel, but they can also be made from other materials, including fabric, fiberglass, polyurethane, and aluminum.

Registers, Grilles, & Diffusers

Registers, grilles, and diffusers are where the ductwork system meets a room or hallway. They can be round, square, or rectangular and are covered with angled slats that can be closed manually or controlled to change the airflow to a particular room. Registers, grilles, and diffusers can be made of temperature-safe metal, wood, or plastic.

Hidden Components

These are the HVAC system components you often cannot see, but that are critical for heating and cooling air within the system. Without these parts, the ducts and vents have nothing to carry to the rest of the building.

Condenser Coil and Compressor

The condenser coil and compressor are the parts of your air conditioner or heat pump that move and condense refrigerant to cool the building and release heat outside. A fan blows over the coil while the compressor pumps the refrigerant to release the captured heat more quickly. After the refrigerant is cooled and condensed, it travels through the refrigerant lines. These components are typically part of your HVAC system’s condensing unit, which is usually outside the building. 

You can maintain your condensing unit by annually clearing debris away from it and cleaning it off with a hose, or more often if necessary.

Refrigerant Lines

Refrigerant lines are copper tubes that carry refrigerant between the condensing unit and the evaporator coil. They carry superheated refrigerant vapor to the condensing unit where it is subcooled and delivered in liquid form to the evaporator. The liquid refrigerant is forced through a metering device installed between the refrigerant lines and the evaporator coil. This metering device lowers the pressure and subsequently the temperature of the refrigerant allowing it to flow into the coil for the absorption of heat.

Evaporator Coil

The evaporator coil is within your HVAC system’s indoor air handler. It receives liquid refrigerant from the condenser, and it uses warm air in the space to turn the refrigerant back into a gas. This process restarts the cooling cycle, so the refrigerant lines can carry the gas back to the condenser to be cooled and liquefied again.

Monitor your evaporator coil for mold growth and dust and dirt buildup, as well as ice caused by low pressures/temperatures. This could be an indicator of various system issues. If your HVAC system is not properly maintained, these problems can lead to breakdowns and expensive repairs.

Heat Exchanger

This component is present with fossil fuel burning heaters. The unit will burn the fuel and reject the products of combustion through the heat exchanger. This is basically an exhaust pipe reshaped to fit within the heaters casing. The cool air from the space is blown across it and it is heated by contacting the hot metal tubing. This tubing is consistently stressed with the acidic exhaust gases inside and the rapid heating and cooling of the metal.

Make sure your heat exchanger is properly inspected annually. If it isn’t, it could develop carbon monoxide leaks, which can cause headaches and nausea, and even lead to death. Installing carbon monoxide detectors around your office is recommended since carbon monoxide can’t be seen or smelled.

Combustion Chamber

The combustion chamber is the part of the furnace that combines oxygen with fuel. The fuel type depends on what kind of furnace or heating system you have. If you have a gas furnace, for instance, the fuel will be gas. Then either a pilot light, glow plug, or sparker ignites the fuel and oxygen mixture to create a controlled fire that is drawn through the heat exchanger.

A pilot light is a small flame that constantly burns fuel at the combustion chamber to light the main flame on a call for heat. It is found mostly in older heating systems. If it goes out, you may smell gas and a competent person must relight it. Glow plugs and sparkers, however, are electric ignition systems that light automatically. They are found in newer systems.

If you have an older heating system that contains a pilot leak, monitor it carefully. If the pilot light goes out, it will likely release gas into your building, which will cause major safety risks. 

Maintain Your HVAC Components With Us

At Service Unlimited, we provide preventive HVAC maintenance that will keep your system’s components in good working order. If you have any questions about our maintenance services, contact us today. We want to make sure your system produces conditioned air safely and efficiently.

The Ins and Outs of HVAC System Best Practices

Your HVAC system is a major investment. It heats and cools your building, keeps your staff comfortable, and helps keep inventory in usable condition. Your HVAC system also makes up the majority of your building’s energy consumption. Because it’s such a major part of your workplace, it needs to be designed for your building and the facilities within it. It also should receive proper maintenance, as well as HVAC system repairs when needed. 

To make sure your commercial HVAC system is properly installed and maintained, you should understand commercial HVAC best practices. There are techniques, methods, and procedures that have been shown to produce the best results. For HVAC systems, best practices involve improving energy efficiency, reducing energy costs, and making sure the system fits the building.

HVAC Best Practices

Install a Correctly Sized System

Choosing HVAC equipment that is properly sized for your building and facilities is extremely important. If the system is too large or small, it will cause problems. If your system is too small, it will not heat or cool your building properly and it will run constantly wasting energy. However, installing a system that’s too big will not solve these problems. If the system is too big, it will raise your energy bills with frequent start/stops, and it will ultimately have trouble with its startup process. This will lead to extra wear and tear and expensive repairs that will shorten the system’s lifespan.

Doing the research and the calculations to find a correctly sized system will provide you with cost savings and energy efficiency in the long run.

Pay Attention to the System’s Energy Efficiency Rating

When you select an HVAC system for your building, pay attention to its SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating. The SEER rating measures a system’s energy efficiency over a typical cooling system. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the HVAC system.

Reduce the System’s Load

Your system’s load capacity is the amount of heating and cooling energy it uses during operation. To reduce the system’s heating and cooling loads, seal and insulate your building’s doors and windows, and install energy efficient window coverings or window films. These will help reduce the amount of energy your HVAC unit or system needs to run. 

Perform Preventive Maintenance

Routine maintenance saves a lot of money in repairs over time. It also provides your building with better, healthier air quality. Preventive maintenance includes small tasks, such as changing the air filters, and semiannual inspections performed by a professional HVAC technician. When a technician inspects your HVAC system, they can locate and fix small problems before they grow into larger ones. These maintenance inspections and techniques will help prolong your system’s lifespan and prevent it from suffering major breakdowns and system failures.

Use Automated Controls

Automated controls adjust your system’s air output based on the conditions in the zones your system and your thermostat supply with heating or air conditioning. These controls include programmable thermostats, blower controls, and variable-speed fan controls. When your HVAC system uses automated controls, its daily energy costs are reduced because the controls base the system’s output on factors including room temperature and occupancy.

Consider Natural HVAC Solutions

If you’re worried about your carbon footprint and other environmental concerns, you could consider more natural HVAC solutions. For instance, if your building is in a moderate climate, you could install a heat pump, which operates by moving heat from one area and distributes it to another. 

Air-source, water-source, and ground-source heat pumps pull heat from or distribute it into the air, water, or ground. These heat pumps draw the heat from natural resources instead of generating hot or cool air with gas or electric power. You can also use wind-driven ventilation to improve the building’s airflow and air distribution. Using environmentally conscious commercial HVAC design solutions will help your building and your system become more energy efficient and eco-friendly.

Distinguish Between HVAC System Replacement and Repairs

Waiting until the very end of your system’s life cycle to replace it can raise your energy costs as you wait for your system to die. Instead, consider using this rule of thumb to determine when to replace your HVAC system: When the repairs cost more than 30% of a new system, it’s time to consider a replacement. This guideline can help you determine which repairs are worth the money and when you should begin shopping for a new system.

An HVAC Contractor You Can Trust

At Services Unlimited, we will take the time to consider how our services can best meet your system’s, building’s, and business’s needs. We do our best to employ best practices to make sure your HVAC system runs well for a long time. If you have any questions about our services or if you’d like a consultation, contact us today.