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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 not to mention the impact it has on your indoor air quality with poor ventilation and high humidity.

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.

HVAC System Design Is Critical

The correct size is important, as discussed above. However, there is more that goes into an HVAC system than just the equipment size and capacity. Before your system is even installed, a consultative approach to design will ensure that 1. indoor air quality is meeting your standards, 2. staff, customers, and visitors are comfortable, 3. your system remains efficient throughout its long-term life, and 4. that there is a plan for ongoing maintenance suited for the particular system configuration.

Yes, Service Unlimited can come through a facility and develop a complete maintenance solution for facilities that already have a functioning system. The truth is though that by having a single-source provider design, procure equipment, maintain, and repair a system, efficiency can truly be maximized.

Specific Air Conditioning Best Practices

Air conditioning systems are generally only in heavy operation during the warmer months. This presents an opportunity: maintain AC equipment when it is not in heavy use. During the fall, inspections and routine tune-ups can ensure that your system is ready to be turned on when the spring comes.

Cleaning up brush and debris around outdoor units is appropriate in the fall as well. In the spring, nearby plants will begin to encroach on the area around your units, making things more difficult to clean. Give yourself some peace of mind and take care of it during the easy months.

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 Preventative 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 25-30% 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.

What Makes the Best Commercial HVAC Systems?

At Service Unlimited, we will take the time to consider how our services can best meet your system’s, building’s, and business’s needs. We strive 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.