Summertime—it’s sunshine, warm breezes, barbecues and the gentle hum of air conditioners keeping houses cool throughout the neighborhood. In a split second, that gentle hum can turn into an unnerving hissing, banging or screeching. While all air conditioners make noise, it’s important to be able to recognize which noises are normal, and which noises require a professional inspection.
How prepared are you in the event of a tornado? The standard advice when a tornado warning has been issued or the tornado warning sirens are blaring is to move to the lowest floor of the building and take shelter in an interior room. If the building has a basement, it is best to go all the way down to the basement. However, this advice isn’t necessarily ideal if you live or work in a high-rise building in Chicago.
Are the mechanical systems in your building functioning correctly? When we talk about mechanical systems in a building, we are talking about the machines and systems that help the building operate smoothly. Common mechanical systems include the HVAC system, electrical wiring, plumbing, ventilation, escalators and elevators. Basically, if it has moving components or helps something move, like water, gas or electricity, it’s probably a mechanical system. Below are the various types of mechanical systems that can be found in buildings.
Properly maintaining your HVAC system can keep your heating and cooling bills low and extend the useful life of your unit. In order to complete all the preventative maintenance tasks needed for your commercial HVAC unit in Chicago, you’ll need to have a maintenance checklist. If you aren’t sure where to start, we recommend starting with ASHRAE’s Standard Practice for Inspection and Maintenance of Commercial Building HVAC Systems, which will give you a list of quarterly, seasonal and yearly HVAC maintenance tasks. If you aren’t sure what types of preventative maintenance your HVAC unit needs, we would be happy to help you create one and perform all the needed preventative maintenance.
It’s a homeowner’s worst nightmare. You flip on a light switch and nothing happens. You check an outlet, also no power. Finally, you head to the breaker box to see if anything needs to be reset. If that doesn’t work, then you’re calling an electrician and spending the rest of the day in the dark ages until your power is back up and running.
Have you noticed a decrease in the amount of heat produced by your boiler and/or radiators? If you have, it could be due to a faulty circulator pump, which is responsible for circulating the hot water from your boiler to your radiators and back to your boiler. Thankfully, there are some things you can check to determine if is it your circulator pump and if you need to call a professional, like the HVAC technicians at Althoff, serving Chicago.
With increasingly strict energy efficient guidelines and a continuing push to make every building as energy efficient as possible, modern buildings are increasingly airtight. This means that indoor and outdoor air do not mingle aside from the occasional and briefly opened door. Because of this, modern buildings can trap air pollutants, moisture and other particulate matter, which decreases the indoor air quality and can lead to sick building syndrome. One of the ways to combat excess moisture and indoor air pollutants is to install a Dedicated Outdoor Air System (DOAS) that does nothing but filter outdoor air and bring it into the building.
It should be common knowledge by now that signing up for a service membership plan with a reliable heating, air conditioning, plumbing, and electrical contractor has a lot of benefits.
It may come as no surprise that all buildings in Chicago need periodic maintenance in order to prevent health and safety issues, reduce the risk of equipment failures and to keep the occupants and visitors comfortable. The difference is in how that maintenance is performed. Ideally, every building would practice preventative maintenance, which seeks to locate and identify equipment problems before they result in catastrophic failures. However, some buildings practice a type of maintenance known as deferred maintenance, usually due to budgetary problems. Unfortunately, deferring maintenance to a later date can actually result in an increase in building expenses.