Are you ready to start the process of replacing your rooftop HVAC unit? If you answered yes, you may be waiting until spring because you’ve been told no HVAC work can be performed until the outside temperature reaches a certain point. While that’s true, the process of getting an estimate, looking at your budget, choosing the right equipment and getting it installed can take months. This means that if you wait until early May to start contacting commercial HVAC contractors for estimates, you may not receive your new unit until the end of summer.
Are you concerned about the efficiency and reliability of your commercial HVAC system in Chicago? If you haven’t had your system inspected and repaired recently, now may be a good time to call for preventative maintenance. This is because HVAC systems can wear out over time, leading to a loss of energy-efficiency and unexpected breakdowns that could leave your building without heat for several hours or even several days, depending on the complexity of the needed repairs. Here at Althoff, we want you to be aware of the common problems commercial HVAC systems experience in the winter so that you can take steps to avoid these scenarios.
When is the last time you had the plumbing system in your Chicago building inspected for water leaks? For most commercial and large residential buildings the answer may be months or years ago minus a few repairs for obvious water leaks. The truth is that large buildings in Chicago should have their plumbing systems inspected for leaks and partial or full clogs at least once a year and preferably twice a year for buildings that have heavy water usage. Having your Chicago building’s plumbing system inspected twice a year can catch common problems, including, pinhole leaks, running toilets, leaking faucets and problems with drain and sewer lines before they cause a catastrophe. Here are some of the common water problems we diagnose and repair in the commercial and multi-story residential buildings in the greater Chicago area.
With the end of summer rapidly approaching and the eminent onset of fall, you may be thinking about switching your HVAC system from cooling to heating, but is it ready? When it comes to ensuring that your commercial HVAC system in Chicago is ready for fall and winter, one of the best things you can do is schedule a fall inspection, which helps ensure there are no excessively worn parts and usually includes an interior and exterior cleaning of the system.
Have you noticed an increase in your HVAC costs? While HVAC energy usage isn’t itemized on utility bills, most buildings spend about 38 percent of their total energy usage on heating and cooling costs, according to the Department of Energy. The rest of the energy usage breaks down into lights, security, running mechanical equipment, like elevators and escalators and running computers and office equipment. Therefore, when you see a sudden increase in your energy usage and your bill, it’s reasonable to assume it’s due to your HVAC system not operating efficiently, and the number one reason HVAC systems fail to run efficiently is due to lack of maintenance. In other words, your lack of HVAC maintenance negatively impacts your energy savings and bottom line.
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.
With the outdoor temperatures warming, it’s time to think about spring cleaning your Chicago property. For most superintendents, maintenance teams and property managers, this often means checking the building envelope for leaks, visually inspecting facades for winter weather damage, scheduling roof and HVAC inspections and cleaning up the exterior of the property. However, you shouldn’t forget about your plumbing system. Cold weather can cause damage to your plumbing pipes, and as everything begins to thaw, you may notice water spots appearing on walls and ceilings.
Is your commercial or multi-unit residential building in Chicago ready for its next building inspection? Each year, certain items must be inspected in order to make sure your building is up to code. Common items that are inspected include the backflow preventers, elevators, boilers, sprinklers and facades, and plumbing systems, and if you aren’t ready, you could be surprised by your inspection results, especially if it results in a Life Safety Violation.
Is your Chicago building still relying on traditional building optimization? If it is, you could be spending more on your energy usage than you really need to spend. This is because modern building optimization provides real-time data and metrics so that you can make adjustments immediately rather than relying on separate inspections of your critical equipment so that you can implement energy-saving ideas.