Owners and managers of commercial buildings frequently look for ways to decrease maintenance and energy costs related to their HVAC systems. In the state of Florida, AC is a particular concern. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has released helpful advice that applies to commercial interests nationwide.
A basic overview of NYSERDA tips:
The current standard to properly inspect and maintain HVAC systems in commercial buildings is ANSI/ASHRAE/ACCA 180-2012. This standard lists minimum requirements for HVAC operation, guidelines that can cut AC costs in any commercial environment.
Quality Maintenance (QM) is a philosophy advanced by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America. Though of course HVAC contractors get paid to work on AC systems, the national standards provide a balanced scientific perspective that allows a reduction of up to 20 percent in AC bills. Additional benefits include more reliable operation and less costs for repair and replacement of units. The notion of QM includes the following core components:
- Airflow gauges, duct status checks, air filter replacement, coil cleaning, and refrigerant checks. These activities allow the AC system to function at a higher level, decreasing the energy required to condition the air and push it through the system.
- A general cleaning of the system. This removes particles that can be dangerous for occupants of the building to breathe. It also saves money because the air is allowed to keep its cool as it works its way into the rooms of the building.
A licensed HVAC contractor can be valuable to decrease the carbon footprint of the facility while simultaneously reducing the likelihood of shutdowns, providing healthier indoor air, and cutting costs.
HVAC firms are standardly trained by state government on any updates in codes, such as Standard 180 within the ANSI / ASHRAE / ACCA code system, which allows business and government to work together to increase accuracy and reliability of HVAC systems.
Maintaining the system via the Quality Maintenance model is essential, according to NYSERDA. This is because just like the body, if left unmonitored, components of an HVAC system deteriorate over time. HVAC firms can be vetted with the following list of questions:
• Is the firm following the appropriate US standards that apply to commercial buildings?
• Does the firm standardly gauge air flow?
• Does the firm standardly gauge refrigerant charge?
• Does the firm give customers an itemized list of all services it performs?
• Does the firm supply a list of references upon request?
• Is customer care exemplary? Are the firm’s employees timely, consistent, and friendly?
• Does the firm ensure its representatives are up-to-date with all relevant continuing education?
• Does the firm provide annual servicing packages?
• Does the firm conduct business professionally? Is it fully licensed and insured?
• Does the firm have reasonable explanations to legitimize the value of all its services?
• Does the firm stay abreast of recent developments in the industry’s science and equipment?
• Is the firm attentive, flexible, and helpful regarding specific attributes of your commercial enterprise?