When is the last time you thought about the humidity levels in your Chicago building? If you’re like most people, the answer is not since the last 90-degree day when you felt like you were walking through a giant outdoor sauna while traversing the parking lot to your car. The truth is that the humidity levels inside your building are extremely important. If it’s too dry, certain finishes in your building may crack, like wood flooring and moldings, and your residents may feel cold, even if the thermostats are set correctly. If it’s too wet, your building may start to feel like that 90-degree day.
How efficient and safe is your heating equipment? Just because your HVAC system was working fine at the end of last year, doesn’t mean it’s going to be safe or reliable this year. This is because, with each cycle, your heating equipment experiences wear and tear, and if you have a natural gas or heating oil furnace or commercial boiler, lack of maintenance could cause dangerous carbon monoxide levels. An HVAC preventive maintenance inspection can help reduce the risk for common heating problems, including carbon monoxide, which is odorless, tasteless and undetectable without a carbon monoxide detector.
When is the last time you performed preventative maintenance on your fan coil unit (FCU)? Fan coil units are used to heat or cool a room without ductwork, which makes them easy to install in areas where installing air ducts is not feasible or financially viable. In order to extend the life of the unit and prevent extremely costly repairs or the replacement of your FCUs, it’s important to perform regular preventative maintenance.
Did you know that performing regular maintenance on your HVAC unit can help you save money on your cooling bills? According to IAQA, you could save as much as 30 percent on your summer cooling bills if you keep your A/C unit well-maintained.
As you prepare for the heat of summer, don’t forget to clean your boiler after you shut it down for the season. Boilers often run on fossil fuels, like natural gas and heating oil. Because of this, the inside of your boiler can collect soot. If that soot sits for a long period of time, it can erode the components inside your boiler. For this reason, we recommend inspecting and cleaning your boiler each spring.
How often do you think about your building’s indoor air? Most people would answer that question by saying that up until a few months ago, they didn’t give it much thought. When the building’s HVAC system turned on, warm or cool air was pumped through the building, and everyone was comfortable. Of course, indoor air pollution, Legionaries disease, mold, dust and odors permeated through buildings long before the appearance of COVID-19. If all that particulate matter built-up in significant enough quantities, a building was said to have Sick Building Syndrome, which is a condition that is noted by a sudden and significant increase in headaches and indoor allergy symptoms. In order to ensure that a building’s air is healthy, it has to have a mechanical ventilation system to source and distribute outdoor air in a controlled manner inside the building.
What steps are you taking to help keep your indoor air and spaces clean and free of viruses, like the novel coronavirus, bacteria and other indoor air pollutants? According to the EPA, Americans spend roughly 90 percent of their time inside. This could be inside their homes, a grocery store, their workplace or another indoor venue. This means that residential, commercial and industrial buildings all need to take steps to keep their indoor air clean, especially when considering the prevalence of COVID-19, and its ability to infect. The good news is that you can utilize certain upgrades and repairs to your HVAC system in order to help eliminate contaminants from your indoor air.
HVAC systems are designed to last between 15 and 20 years with proper maintenance. This means that if your current commercial or rooftop system was installed in 2005 or earlier, you may want to start thinking about replacing it. This is especially true if you’ve had to perform numerous repairs in the last 12 to 24 months in order to keep it operational.
Have you heard about the upcoming freon law change? If you aren’t, you should know that R-22, which is known by the brand name Freon, will be illegal in the United States as of Jan. 1, 2020. This means that R-22 cannot be manufactured or imported into the country. If you have an HVAC system that operates using R-22, you will still be able to operate that system. However, the next time you need a repair that requires a refrigerant refill, you may not be able to get more R-22 due to the decreasing availability as current supplies dwindle.
Are you ready for the changes in the HVAC industry in 2020? Next year is slated to be one of the best for commercial HVAC contractors and business owners looking to upgrade or replace their current systems. This is because new energy-efficient improvements combined with IoT and BAS systems are slated to help business owners save money over the entire lifespans of their HVAC systems, and owners who install new HVAC equipment before 2023 can take advantage of near-immediate tax breaks.