With autumn temperatures cooling off and winter on the way, it’s important to start thinking about fall chiller cleaning and winter shutdown. Properly cleaning and taking your chiller off-line prevents harmful bacteria and containments from building up in the chiller tank and making themselves known in the spring when you reactivate your system. Here at Althoff, serving Chicago, we want to make sure you know the proper steps to take and the reasons why your chiller should be professionally shutdown in the fall.
Do you know the best way to heat your multi-family property? For most apartment buildings, condos and co-ops, the choice boils down to natural gas, heating oil or electricity. In order to determine the best way to heat your multi-unit residential building, it’s important to look at a number of factors, including utility costs, costs to install and city codes and regulations.
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.
When you seek out the services of a mechanical contractor, there are certain questions the contractor should ask you in order to understand the current performance of your building and the required repairs and/or the upgrades your building needs in order to operate efficiently. These questions also help ensure that you receive the services and results you expect.
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.
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 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.
Have you noticed the winter heating bills for your multi-unit Chicago building dramatically increasing over the last few years? If you have, it may be your boiler. Older boilers have very few controls. In fact, many of them are either on or off, regardless of the inside temperatures. Because of this, outdated boilers are inefficient, often creating more heat than your building really needs, leaving residents and employees too hot and potentially leading to windows or doors being opened in order to control the indoor temperatures. Thankfully, there is a solution. Modern boilers are often more energy efficient than their older counterparts, and they can be connected together to create multi-boiler cascading systems, which can help better control indoor temperatures while reducing your energy consumption.