Knowing the ins and outs of your heating and cooling equipment can help you prevent expensive breakdowns and unwanted repairs while keeping your equipment 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 system 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 Heating & Cooling 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
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:
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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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.
The right preventive maintenance program creates more energy efficiency and higher cost savings, while also reducing headaches associated with an HVAC system.
It’s easy to take our commercial HVAC maintenance equipment for granted until it stops working—and that always seems to happen when we need it most. The fact is, an efficient heating and cooling system is an integral piece of equipment for any type of business. Just think about your air conditioning breaking down during a smoldering summer day or the furnace shutting off during a brisk winter. These types of issues can put your employees’ safety at risk, curtail production, and cost you a lot of money to repair. Luckily, you can avoid most problems by protecting your HVAC system with regular maintenance.
The Importance of HVAC Preventive Maintenance
Signing a preventive maintenance contract with the Service Unlimited team is one of the smartest business decisions you can make. By working with our team, you’ll be able to get optimal results from your HVAC system. These are just some of the primary benefits you’ll be able to take advantage of:
Higher Energy Savings
Heating, cooling, and ventilation account for a majority of energy bills. If your equipment isn’t being cared for properly, accumulated dust, dirt, debris, and other substances can strain its performance. This forces the system to exert more energy, which results in higher utility bills. You can conserve more energy by scheduling a routine maintenance checkup to keep your HVAC equipment in pristine condition.
Extends the Life of Your HVAC Equipment
If your HVAC system isn’t being properly maintained, expect to replace it every five to seven years. This “run-to-failure” method may cost you less in the short term, but in the long run, it can be a major financial setback. By regularly servicing your commercial HVAC system with professional maintenance, you’ll be able to garner its best results for more than 20 years.
Safer Air Quality and More Comfortable Indoor Climate
By establishing a maintenance routine, you’ll be able to keep your system clean and this will help generate a healthier, more consistent air flow. A professional HVAC specialist is responsible for eliminating mechanical obstructions. This helps balance humidity levels, eliminate hot and cold spots, and optimize indoor comfort all around.
Less Downtime, Fewer Repairs, and More Peace of Mind
Without proper maintenance, your HVAC system is bound to encounter a mess of problems. When you face a mechanical disruption, you’ll have to schedule a repair to get your system running again. This can steer you away from your operation and even force a halt in production. When you’re running a business, any downtime is detrimental. Professional maintenance patches up issues before they expand into emergencies. This keeps your HVAC system functioning smoothly and your operation in motion.
Establish Your Maintenance Schedule Today
At Service Unlimited, we take pride in being more than just an ordinary HVAC contractor. We are full-service problem solvers who want to help you get the most from your HVAC system for years to come. If you want to take advantage of a healthier, more comfortable air flow with exceptional cost savings, contact us today to set up your maintenance program!
Service Unlimited has worked for more than 55 years to become your single source HVAC solution. We are your partner in providing a climate that boosts your company’s future through the most energy-efficient practices and services that promote the longevity of your equipment.