Selecting the Best Commercial HVAC Repair Contractor
HVAC systems are an essential part of any commercial building or establishment. Without central heating or cooling, there is no way for a building to sustain comfortable temperature day in and day out. Commercial HVAC systems are similar to residential systems with size as the main different. Although this may be the case, it is still essential to understand how commercial HVAC systems work. The following are components of a commercial HVAC system.
• Air conditioning unit. Both residential and commercial HVAC systems have an air conditioning unit responsible for dehumidifying air and absorbing heat from the inside of the building. An air conditioning does not cool air but consists of parts and elements which contribute to the cooling process.
• Condenser. In any HVAC system, a condenser removes heat and transfers it away from the building. It is also referred to as the heat exchanger and typically located outside the building.
• Terminal unit. A terminal unit is also called a blower or fan coil. It is made up of a blower, air filters, and coils. Terminal units vary in size depending on the requirements of an establishment. Large units are also called MAU’s and those located at the roof of a building are RTU’s or rooftop units.
• A chiller. The HVAC system’s chiller does exactly what it is intended to do, which is to remove heat from liquid refrigerants passing through the pipes. There are two types of chillers: water-cooled chillers and air-cooled chillers.
These components make up a typical commercial HVAC system. Because of the sheer scale at which commercial heating and cooling systems work, an HVAC contractor doing commercial HVAC repair should have expertise in handling these units.
Tips to ensure efficient operation of a commercial air conditioner
Operating HVAC systems take up a large portion of a business’ operational budget. Out of the total energy consumption of a building, 15% of it goes to space cooling. The US Department of Energy also estimate that about 30% of the energy used to power HVAC systems go to waste. How does a commercial business improve energy-efficiency and reduce the cost of running an HVAC system?
1. Every piece of equipment within the HVAC system should operate properly. These include air dampers, valves, and air-side economizers. Dampers should open and close fully. If heating and cooling valves malfunction, they can cause simultaneous heating and cooling. A commercial HVAC repair technician should check these sections of the system regularly.
2. As much as possible, the HVAC system should use programmable thermostats. These devices help save energy by having the flexibility to set temperatures according to different hours of the day specifically catering to the needs of the building occupants. Since commercial buildings are open only at specific schedules, it helps to use a programmable thermostat to have a weekday and weekend temperature setting.
3. It is also essential for commercial HVAC systems to undergo routine maintenance. A commercial HVAC repair and maintenance contractor should not only tune-up the system but also clean specific components and check parts that may need replacement. A well-maintained commercial HVAC system increases its efficiency and may help a company reduce energy costs by 40%.
4. Energy lost through air ducts reduce the HVAC system’s efficiency. If there are leaks in the air ducts, the system’s efficiency reduces by 20%. Routine inspection of ductwork detects tears and holes which you can fix with mastic, foil tape, or sealant. Another step in increasing ductwork efficiency is to wrap it with additional insulation.
5. For order buildings, it may be a good option to consider upgrading the HVAC system. Recent advancements in HVAC technology produce highly-efficient heating and cooling units which significantly reduce energy consumption and are better for the environment too. Commercial establishments are some of the largest contributors of carbon emission. By switching to a modern and high-efficiency HVAC system, the company will also have a greener operation.
These tips can help increase sustainability and cost-effectiveness. If the company is conscious about making an effort to improve the HVAC system and keep it properly maintained, they can prevent the additional cost of frequent professional HVAC repair.
Signs you need commercial air conditioning repair
A faulty HVAC system can derail the operation of a business. Although these systems are built to last and are generally reliable, there is always a change you’ll experience problems with your commercial HVAC system. This will happen more often if you don’t invest on routine maintenance checks. How do you know you need commercial HVAC repair?
• Loud noise. Commercial HVAC units are built to operate as quietly as possible. Normal operating sounds like occasional pops and squeaks are not signs of a serious problem. However, if the HVAC system starts loud, unusual noises that don’t seem normal, you should immediately call a professional technician to prevent further disruptions to the business.
• Unpleasant odor. Anytime you smell unpleasant odor coming from the HVAC system, you should have a technician investigate it. Musty smells could be a sign that mold is growing in some parts of the unit. If you smell rotten egg, it could be caused by a gas leak. On the other hand, if you smell something burning, some of the electrical parts may be overheating.
• Inconsistent and poor temperature. If you the HVAC system is always on full blast, yet you can’t seem to reach the right temperature, the system may not be operating well enough to cool the building. If the system is underperforming, you run the risk of raising energy costs.
• Increased air humidity. Commercial HVAC systems have built-in dehumidifiers to improve air quality and reduce moisture. You will know that something is wrong with the system if the air feels sticky or clammy.
• Issues with air quality. Perhaps the filters are clogged or not working, which can lead to poor air quality. If the HVAC system cannot effectively remove air contaminants, employees may suffer and get sick from allergens and other airborne pollutants.
You don’t have to wait for these signs to appear before you contact a commercial HVAC repair and maintenance contractor. It is best to schedule routine maintenance to help keep you mind at ease and ensure the comfort and safety of each person working in the building.
How to find the best commercial HVAC contractors
A reliable commercial HVAC repair and maintenance contractor is your partner in guaranteeing the efficient performance of your company’s HVAC system. If you are currently looking for a contractor, what should you do to ensure that you find not only the one with the most experience, but an HVAC contractor who will provide you exceptional quality service?
1. Check the necessary paperwork. This means you have to examine if the contractor holds all licensing requirements and certifications. Aside from state requirements, you should also look for additional credentials such as what’s provided by the North American Technician Excellence. Aside from these documents, you should also ask the contractor if they carry adequate liability insurance. Not all contractors bother to have insurance, but it is essential because it protects both the contractor and your company from unwanted incidents while rendering work.
2. Verify experience with current HVAC technology. HVAC technology is consistently evolving. This means that some contractors may not have up-to-date knowledge on current techniques, equipment, and procedures. You need to hire an HVAC contractor with technicians trained in recent technology related to the field of commercial HVAC repair and maintenance.
3. Schedule flexibility. An HVAC contractor should be flexible enough to work according to your schedule. You need an HVAC contractor which is not only reliable when you schedule an appointment, but also accommodate emergency requests.
4. An HVAC contractor should personalize the service contract. Beware of an HVAC contractor which uses the same service contract for all commercial maintenance jobs. Since businesses are different and may require special services, the HVAC contractor should customize the service contract depending on the current needs of the company.
5. Look for references. If you have personal references within the same industry who can recommend an HVAC contractor, you should take advantage of this opportunity. References from people you trust is a sure indication that you are choosing an excellent HVAC contractor. In addition to references, you should also read unbiased third-party reviews online to help guide your selection process.
6. Lastly, the HVAC contractor should be highly committed to safety. Not only of their technicians but in their practices. They should help you understand safety procedures in preventing leaks and accidents related to the HVAC system
The HVAC contractor you choose will have a significant impact on the performance of your company’s HVAC system. If you are looking for an HVAC contractor within the Seattle and Bellevue area, Fischer Heating has years of experience in the field of commercial HVAC repair, maintenance, and replacement. Call them today to get an estimate, or schedule your next maintenance check.
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