Is Your Commercial HVAC System Ready for Summer?
Here in the Southeast, spring temperatures are already giving way to the warmer temps of summer. We all know that our HVAC systems are under a lot of pressure to perform in the summer with average temps in our area ranging from 77°F to 91°F with the chance of soaring well into the 90s on many days. No one in our area wants the headache of HVAC downtime during the sweltering days of summer.
Facilities teams are well aware of the problems that can arise during the summertime, but this year, it could be especially important to be sure that systems are running efficiently prior to the dog days of summer. Here are five things your teams should be checking to ensure that your commercial HVAC system is running the way it should be.
1. Examine energy usage: Take a look at your energy usage over the last three summers. Are there any dramatic increases with no explanation? Has there been a steady, significant increase in usage without an increase in occupancy? You could be experiencing HVAC system problems. Have a certified HVAC technician review your system from top-to-bottom to uncover any hidden problems. Aging equipment can sometimes be the culprit with decreased efficiency as systems age, but problems could be coming from anything from dirty evaporator coils to leaks in the ductwork.
2. Low Air Output: If it doesn't seem like enough air is circulating through your building, the easiest thing to check is air filters. Ensure that your facilities teams are changing air filters regularly to keep your system clean. If your filters are regularly changed, you may want to examine your air handler.
3. Unpleasant smells: Indoor air quality is a critical factor in ensuring the comfort, health, and safety of your building occupants. If you are noticing unpleasant smells in your building, it's a great idea to examine ductwork, which can potentially grow mold and mildew if moisture builds up.
4. Noises: A properly running HVAC system shouldn't have loud clangs or whistling noises. It could be time for replacement equipment if you're hearing wheezing, groaning, clanging, or croaking from your commercial HVAC system. Have a certified tech or an HVAC design engineer examine your system pronto!
5. Uneven cooling: Have you noticed that some of the rooms in your building are sweltering while others could be mistaken for a frigid surgical suite? It could be time to invest in a commercial HVAC zoning system. These systems can be retrofit and could potentially save money in heating and cooling costs.
No one wants commercial HVAC system downtime in the summer. If you have any trepidations about the age or performance of your building system, call some experts who can help ensure that your building occupants stay comfortable inside even when outside temps are soaring.