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.

7 Surefire Ways to Get Your HVAC Summer-Ready

Summer is creeping around the corner, so it’s time to start treating your commercial air conditioning system with some tender love and care.

Together, heating, cooling, and ventilation account for the largest energy expense for most Americans, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. This is especially true during the summer, when we crank up the air conditioning to cope with the weather outside. Pretty soon, the mild spring climate will vanish, paving the way for more expensive utility bills. Your AC system doesn’t have to be a cash vacuum, though. When your system is running efficiently, you’ll be able to cut your energy spending dramatically.

The Ultimate Guide to HVAC Preventative Maintenance

An HVAC system is built with lots of moving parts, and many of these parts have a short lifespan. A little bit of regular maintenance can go a long way. When tuning up your AC unit for the summer, follow these seven cooling tips:

Replace or Clean All Air Filters

The first step is to inspect each unit’s air filters. Most HVAC systems use disposable filters, so make sure you’re switching them out periodically throughout the year. For best results, it’s recommended that you replace your filters at least once a month. Many times, these filters can be reused, so be sure to clean off any pet dander, dirt, and debris that accumulates.

Keep the Outdoor Environment Clean

When it comes to HVAC maintenance, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings. Go outside and examine the HVAC system. If you start to notice a collection of leaves, branches, and other items piled up around the unit, you’ll need to do a thorough cleanup. Don’t wait until spring; this form of maintenance should be conducted throughout the year. You also may want to cover your cooling system with a tarp when it isn’t in use.

Install Programmable Thermostats

You can set a programmable thermostat to cool or heat your space only when it’s needed. These temperature gauge systems allow you to adjust the indoor climate to align with your schedule. So if you’re not home, you can schedule your unit to turn off until you return. This prevents your air conditioning system from exerting more energy, which helps reduce utility costs.

Use Fan Systems

Air fans are major assets to any HVAC system. By installing ceiling fans, you’ll be able to maximize the airflow in your building. These fans rotate clockwise to prevent excess heat from rising during the summer. Additionally, you should also consider using floor fans in certain rooms to keep the air flow circulating at a healthy level.

Take Advantage of Window Treatments

Windows can generate a lot of heat in a building. As the sun penetrates the glass, your windows can cause the temperature to rise indoors, which will cause the air conditioner to expend more energy. You can combat this heat buildup simply by hanging drapes, blinds, or other window coverings.

Clean Every Vent

When your air conditioner sits idle during the winter, your air vents become storage space for dust, debris, and other substances. Examine all vents and make note of any visible blockages. By unclogging your air vents, you’re opening up enough room for smoother and healthier air circulation. If there are issues that basic maintenance can’t resolve, contact a professional HVAC technician.

Practice Heat Reduction

Other appliances can have a massive effect on your air conditioner. Dryers, stoves, and ovens can generate more heat, which causes your HVAC system to work harder. Fortunately, several alternative practices can help amplify your energy savings. When cooking, try preparing your meals on outside grills. And instead of doing all your laundry at once, run smaller loads and hang your clothes to dry on a sunny day.

Finetune Your Air Conditioner With Service Unlimited

At Service Unlimited, we work tirelessly to help our customers get the most out of their mechanical equipment. Whether it’s residential or commercial HVAC, we have the tools and expertise to help lower energy bills and improve comfort.

Now’s the perfect time to start tuning up your air conditioner, so make sure to schedule your annual maintenance checkup with our team!

How to Tell When Emergency HVAC Repairs Are Needed

It’s easy to take your heating and cooling system for granted until it stops working.

Heating and air conditioning equipment are among the most important assets for any business. Whether you’re running a small startup or a large enterprise, you’ll need to keep the air temperature comfortable at all times. Insufficiently run HVAC systems can create an abundance of work hazards, many of which are severe enough to keep the business out of commission. These are emergency matters that require urgent HVAC repairs by trained HVAC specialists.

When a Commercial HVAC Repair Is Necessary

You might need to schedule an emergency repair for a variety of reasons, but a particular set of warning signs requires special attention. Here are some of the primary things that will sound off the alarms:

You Notice Leaks or Smell Heating Fuel

If you start to get a whiff of a gas or oil, there’s a good chance your HVAC system is malfunctioning. Other times, you may even hear dripping from an AC unit. Leaks can mean a number of different things, but they’re all serious issues. If you notice any gassy odors or spot any coolant leaks, shut off your system, inform your employees, and seek immediate help from a trusted HVAC provider.

The Right Air Temperature Isn’t Being Transmitted

Imagine a factory where the air conditioning doesn’t work on a hot summer day. Now, think about a furnace shutting down during the winter. When you’re running a business, safety is always the No. 1 priority, so if your HVAC system isn’t distributing the appropriate air temperature, you should halt production until working conditions are more suitable for the rest of your staff.

Your Energy Bills Are Outrageous

Have you looked at your utility bills and thought there must be a mistake? That’s probably because there’s a disruption in your HVAC system. Whether it’s an electrical issue or you’re just overdue for some maintenance, it’s best to get an expert onsite to perform an emergency inspection. They’ll be able to identify the source of the problem and patch things up to prevent any future issues.

The Air Conditioner Shuts Off Abruptly

No AC system should shut down by itself. If this happens, it’s an obvious sign that something is wrong. Usually, these issues stem from low coolant levels, which force the system to an abrupt shutdown. These issues are typically resolved through self-evaluation—all you need to do is raise the thermostat by 5 degrees. If the AC system doesn’t start running in a matter of minutes, it’s probably blocked and needs to be unclogged. In this case, it’s best to consult a repair technician to determine that nothing else is wrong.

Schedule an Emergency HVAC Service With Service Unlimited

The Service Unlimited team specializes in high-quality air conditioning repairs. We’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to help with any issues that arise. If your HVAC system shuts down, don’t panic. Just give us a call and we’ll be there to provide an immediate remedy.