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 significant part of your workplace, you need to understand the HVAC key performance indicators for it. You should also understand some HVAC fundamentals, like how to maintain your HVAC unit.
To optimize your HVAC system, 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 avoiding HVAC emergencies.
HVAC Best Practices
Install a Correctly Sized System
Choosing HVAC equipment that is properly sized for your building and facilities is critical. If the system is missized, it causes problems. If your system is too small, it does not heat or cool your building properly and it runs constantly wasting energy. However, installing a system that’s too big does not solve these problems. If the system is too big, it raises your energy bills with frequent start/stops, and it ultimately has trouble with its startup process. This leads to extra wear and tear and expensive repairs that shortens 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 provides you with cost savings and energy efficiency in the long run.
Pay Attention to HVAC System Design
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 installed, a consultative approach to design ensures that indoor air quality is meeting your standards; staff, customers, and visitors are comfortable; your system remains efficient throughout its lifespan; and that there is a plan for ongoing maintenance suited for the particular system configuration.
Service Unlimited can visit a facility and develop a complete maintenance solution for facilities that already have a functioning system. When you have a single-source provider design, procure equipment, maintain, and repair a system, you maximize your HVAC system’s efficiency.
Avoid Emergencies With a Preventive Maintenance Program
There are two types of maintenance: reactive and preventive. Reactive maintenance is waiting for a system or appliance to break down before having it looked at. Preventive maintenance is scheduling regular inspection and check-up visits for the system or appliance at least once a year to fix small problems before they become big ones. While reactive maintenance seems simple and easy, it often becomes the more expensive option in the long run. By waiting until the system’s problems grow large enough to cause a breakdown, you’re paying to fix expensive repairs that you could avoid.
Instead of waiting for major breakdowns to call an HVAC repair company, it’s best to partner with a commercial HVAC services company that performs routine preventive maintenance on your system. They can work with you to develop a maintenance contract and program that determines how often they perform inspections and what kind of repairs the contract will cover. An HVAC maintenance contract should include emergency repairs and outline the company’s response time when they occur. Working with an HVAC company to develop a maintenance program will help you in the long run because you will have access to preventive maintenance and emergency services.
Learn About and Recognize HVAC Emergency Warning Signs
You can also avoid making HVAC emergency calls by learning to recognize their warning signs. These warning signs include:
- Strange smells: If unusual smells are coming from your heating and cooling system, that means it probably leaks. When your HVAC equipment is leaking, it has serious problems that could derive from a variety of sources.
- Rising energy bills: Your system may have major problems if your energy bills keep rising, but your energy consumption has not. If this keeps happening in your building, request an appointment with a local HVAC company.
- Furnace runs cool air, AC runs hot air: When your heating and air conditioning emit the opposite kinds of air, your system has serious problems. You should schedule commercial HVAC emergency repairs immediately if this is happening in your building.
- HVAC equipment shuts off abruptly: Your HVAC system definitely should not shut off by itself. If it does, this means your system is experiencing serious problems and you should have it inspected immediately.
Learning to recognize these warning signs will help you determine if your system needs heating or AC repairs. The more informed you are about these problems, the better you can handle them when they arise.
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.
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.
Adhere to HVAC Best Practices With Service Unlimited
If you or your facility managers want to integrate HVAC best practices into the way you treat your system, reach out to us today. We help you keep your system in working order, no matter what types of problems it develops.