Do you know how to properly maintain your central air conditioning system in your commercial building? Commercial HVAC maintenance is more complex and involved than the system you likely maintain at home. Here are 7 tips on how to properly take care of your business’s HVAC system.
Commercial HVAC maintenance is not the same as residential HVAC maintenance.
You have an entire workplace to account for, and putting off HVAC maintenance could actually negatively impact your business.
Take a look at these seven commercial HVAC tips to make sure your system is ready for the hot summer months.
1. Upgrade Your Old HVAC System
If your HVAC system is getting old, you could be spending more money than you need to keep your building cool.
An older system won’t work as well as a newer one. This means your system will have to work harder to run, which sucks up more energy. And the more energy it’s using, the more money you have to spend.
Upgrading your HVAC system could significantly reduce your overall costs. In fact, getting a newer, more efficient commercial HVAC system can cut your energy consumption by about 30%.
But before you make any new installations, you should always make sure you know the proper size of your HVAC system.
Buying a system that’s too big can leave you with some large (and usually unexpected) installation costs. A system that’s too small won’t be strong enough to get the job done.
Upgrading could make a big difference in your energy bill, just make sure you know the right sized system for your building. Talking with an HVAC professional could be a good place to start.
Other Benefits of a New HVAC System
A new HVAC system won’t just lower your energy bill, it can actually help your business make more money.
Your employees are most productive when they’re comfortable, and the building temperature is a big part of this. Employees that are too hot or too cold won’t get as much work done as employees that are in a comfortable environment.
And when your employees are more productive, you’ll have better business.
A newer HVAC system will also reduce your repair costs.
Think about it this way. A newer system will work a lot better than an older system, so it won’t need many of the repairs your older system needs. When it does need some maintenance, the problems will likely be cheaper and easier to fix.
So a new HVAC system can let you put that extra repair money back toward your business.
2. Before Summer Maintenance Check
If there are any problems with your HVAC system, you’ll want to know about them before the heat of summer comes. Putting it off could leave you without any air conditioning, meaning you and your employees (and even worse, your customers) will have to suffer inside a stuffy, hot building.
Your HVAC system should get a maintenance check at least once every year. If you’re planning to use your system during the summer, this check should happen during the winter.
This will give you plenty of time to address repairs and get your system working the way it should for the hot months.
So don’t wait until summer to do this maintenance check. Plan ahead and make sure this gets done in advance.
3. Replace Your Air Filters
You need to change your air filters at the right times, unfortunately, this time is different for every HVAC system. When you’re installing your system, make sure you know how often you should change your air filters.
If you aren’t sure when exactly you should change them, this is a good rule of thumb:
If you’re air filters look dirty, it’s time to replace them.
Clean filters let your system run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Remember, the harder your system has to work, the more money you’ll spend. When the filters are clogged and dirty, it takes more work to push air through them.
Besides, dirty filters can don’t keep the particulates out of the air like they should. That means you could be breathing in potentially harmful debris.
In order to keep your system efficient and your air clean, you should check your filters at least once a month.
4. Don’t Skip a Repair
Even though you may think your system “runs fine” without fixing those “unimportant” damages, it probably doesn’t.
You should never put off making repairs because you think it will save you money. Instead, you’ll just end up with a system that doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to and a higher energy bill.
All you’re really doing is spending more money in a different place.
No matter how small the damages are, you should always get them fixed right away. If you wait, the problem will just get worse, and a bigger problem means you’ll have to spend more money to fix it anyway.
Learn more about repairs here.
5. Give Your System Proper Airflow
This is especially important if you have an outdoor unit. Giving your system proper airflow allows them to run more efficiently.
But how do you give your system proper airflow?
Start by removing any plants that are too close to your outside unit. This includes things from small bushes to trees. Your unit should have at least four feet of open space around it on all sides.
So if there are any plants closer than four feet, either remove them or replant them in a different area. Leaving plants any closer to your unit could leaves, twigs, and other debris to get inside.
6. Check for Leaks
Your ductwork isn’t the only place you should be checking for leaks. You should also look for any leaks inside your building as well.
Think about cracks around the doors or window frames. Even a few simple leaks will make your system work a lot harder, which can up your energy bill by a lot every month.
7. Use a Programmable Thermostat
A thermostat like this will give you more control over your HVAC system.
If you know people aren’t usually in the building in the evenings or weekends, you can program your thermostat to adjust the temperature during those times. Maybe there are certain rooms in the building you don’t normally use? You can program your thermostat to account for those spaces as well.
Using a programmable thermostat can significantly reduce the cost of your HVAC systems.
Stay on Top of Your Commercial HVAC Maintenance
A commercial HVAC system isn’t like your HVAC system at home. You have an entire workspace to keep cool, and the pushing off your HVAC repairs can make your employees less productive.
So don’t fall behind on your commercial HVAC maintenance. Always take care of every repair that comes up, no matter how unimportant they seem to be.
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