You may be wondering what we mean when we say that HVAC preventive maintenance plans prevent headaches. Is that metaphorical headaches in the form of HVAC problems, or literal pounding pain in your head? In this case, the answer is BOTH.
When you are a residence manager or property manager, stress is a way of life. You have so many problems and complaints to deal with on a daily basis, that it’s no surprise when the metaphorical headaches lead to the real kind. So if you’re reading this blog because you want to help your residents solve HVAC problems OR because you want to stop taking ibuprophen every day, learning about HVAC preventive maintenance plans can help.
Most of us tend to think of allergies as caused primarily by pollen and pet dander. So why are people still suffering who live and work in the city, where pollen-producing plants and furry critters are in much shorter supply than in the suburbs?
The answer for many is poor indoor air quality (IAQ). AC maintenance can help reduce contaminants and allergens in indoor air and help you breathe easier.
Getting reliable HVAC service for commercial facilities may seem like a double edged sword. It’s sometimes tricky (translation: expensive) to get everything right, but not spending the money to get it right can cost you even more in wasted energy, decreased productivity and even lost business.
Large corporate facilities are challenging to service because they have heating, cooling and ventilation requirements that can vary considerably throughout the space. For example, offices have different needs than computer rooms, conference rooms or storage spaces. Even areas that have the same function can have different needs depending on where they are in the building. In fact, the effectiveness of your HVAC system depends on many factors:
We tend to think about high humidity as a problem that impacts both our health and our comfort. However, dry air (caused by low indoor humidity) can cause just as much discomfort as humid air. In fact, recent research suggests that prolonged exposure to excessively dry air can even cause elevated stress levels.
Dry air may also compound the impacts of other indoor air quality problems. Some studies have shown that dry air increases the negative effects of high levels of particulate matter and VOCs.
It’s worth paying attention to the relative humidity levels of the air you breathe, especially since most buildings are not monitored or controlled for humidity levels that are too low. There isn’t even consensus on what constitutes air that’s too dry, but many experts recommend optimal humidity levels between 35 and 60 percent.
Here are some health symptoms you may experience as a result of dry air in your indoor environment, plus steps you can take to fix the problem and feel better.
Physical effects from dry air indoors
Respiratory symptoms and infections
Your respiratory system often bears the brunt of the impacts from dry air. The mucus membranes in your nose, sinus passages, and bronchial passages get dried out when fluids evaporate. That leaves them more susceptible to irritation and infection.
When people spend a lot of time in excessively dry air, they are more likely to experience symptoms of asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, and even nosebleeds.
Dry air also increases your risk of respiratory infections such as colds, the flu, or even Covid-19. Experts say that viruses can survive longer in dry air, and also dehydrated mucus membranes decrease your body’s ability to fight off infection.
It’s not only your respiratory system that gets dehydrated with long exposure to air with low humidity. Your eyes, skin and throat also feel the effects:
Eye irritation. Dry indoor air can cause dehydration of the tear film that protects your eyes, leading to irritation, dry eyes, itching, problems with contact lenses, and increased susceptibility to other eye conditions.
Throat irritation. Dehydrated tissues in the throat can lead to difficulty swallowing, throat pain and inflammation, as well as hoarseness and thickened mucus in the throat.
Skin irritation. Loss of moisture in the skin can cause not only discomfort, but also skin rashes and infections, such as eczema.
Did you know that dry air and poor indoor air quality can increase your body’s stress response? A US GSA Wellbuilt for Wellbeing study found that office workers exposed to dry air (with relative humidity levels below 30 percent) experienced 25 percent higher stress levels, as measured by cardiac activity. (Workers in environments with too much humidity also showed higher stress levels, but the effects were less pronounced.) Other studies have found a correlation between exposure to dry air and production of higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
The Wellbuilt for Wellbeing study also revealed an indirect link between dry air and sleep quality, since the workers that experienced more cardiac stress also showed reduced quality of sleep.
How to combat dry air in summer and winter
Add moisture to the air in winter
In the winter, air gets dry indoors because of heating systems that pump warm, dry air into the space. It can be challenging to make up for the lost moisture. If your heating system can accommodate it, you may benefit from installing a central humidification system that monitors the amount of moisture in the air and maintains the optimal humidity level in your space.
When the air is uncomfortably dry, the humidifier adds moisture (water vapor) to the air circulating throughout your space via your HVAC system. The central air or central heating humidifier, which is connected to your furnace and HVAC ductwork and also hooked up to your plumbing system, produces humidity by using water and heat from your furnace.
Keep your AC from removing too much moisture in summer
Air conditioners cool the air by removing humidity from the air. Which, ideally, should leave you with moderate and comfortable humidity levels in your space.
However, if your air conditioner is oversized for your space, or it has problems that are causing it to run constantly, you can easily end up with dry air in your space even in summer.
If you suspect that’s the case, have your air conditioning system inspected and maintained by qualified HVAC experts. They may be able to make adjustments or repairs that can better control humidity levels, improve your comfort, and even improve your health.
If you’re in the NYC metro area, Arista is here to help. Contact us today!
Your thermostat has two settings that control the HVAC fan that circulates heated and/or air conditioned air throughout your space. You can set it to AUTO, which automatically turns the fan on when your AC or furnace is running. Or, you can set it to ON, which tells the system to keep the fan running all the time.
Which should you choose? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of running the HVAC fan 24 hours a day, versus only when your heating or cooling system is operating.
Benefits of keeping the HVAC fan ON
More consistent temperatures with the HVAC fan on
When the HVAC fan runs constantly, it has a chance to keep moving heated and cooled air evenly throughout every area of your home or commercial space. That can help to eliminate hot or cold spots and improve comfort.
Running the HVAC fan can eliminate stuffy air & control odors
During spring and fall when temperatures are moderate, your heat or air conditioning may not be running very often, if at all. Especially in city buildings that are well sealed and may not have windows that open, the indoor air can get stuffy with a lack of air circulation. Running the HVAC fan can help keep the air feeling fresh, and also help to dissipate odors.
Improved air quality with constant filtration
When the HVAC fan runs all the time, more air is circulated through your HVAC filters (and air purification systems if you have them), which can help to reduce airborne contaminants. That can mean less allergens like pollen and dust, VOCs, pollution, and even mold and bacteria that cause illness.
One caveat to be aware of: the benefit you gain from filters depends a great deal on the type of filter your HVAC system has. Standard HVAC filters aren’t meant to trap particles as tiny as viruses, for example, or even some types of pollen. They are primarily meant to keep dust and debris out of your HVAC system. However, filters with a higher MERV rating can remove more types of particles, as long as your system can accommodate them.
If you have an air purification system installed in your HVAC ducts, you will benefit much more from keeping your HVAC fan running.
It may surprise you to learn that running the HVAC fan all the time can actually extend the life of the fan. That can be true because it eliminates the stress of the motor frequently turning on and off every time your furnace or AC starts up or shuts down.
Downsides of using your HVAC fan all the time
Higher electricity costs
Running the HVAC fan 24/7 may use quite a bit more electricity than running it only when your HVAC system is operating. Depending on your space and your system, that could cause a noticeable jump in your electric bill.
More frequent filter changes needed
With air circulating through your space, your ducts and your HVAC filters, those filters are going to get clogged faster. You’ll need to check and change or clean your filters more frequently.
Air temp from the registers when the HVAC system’s not running
When your furnace/air conditioner fan is running but the heating/cooling system is not, the temperature of the air coming from your registers may be warmer than you’d like in summer or cooler than you’d like in winter. That might not be a big problem unless you’re sitting right next to the register, but it’s something to keep in mind.
Less humidity control in summer
Not to get into the technical details, but suffice to say that the air conditioning fan blowing all the time can actually impede your air conditioner’s ability to control humidity in summer. If you notice that happening, you can decide to turn the fan back to AUTO until the problem is resolved.
So which HVAC fan control option should you choose? It depends on your situation and your priorities.
Also, be aware that no matter which way you set your fan, there’s something else you can do to optimize your comfort and keep your system performing efficiently and effectively: get regular maintenance.
HVAC maintenance helps keep your systems performing well
Have your heating and cooling systems inspected, cleaned, and tuned up at least every year, and possibly more often depending on your system and its usage. The most cost-effective way to do that is with a yearly maintenance agreement that’s customized to your specific needs. It’s a small investment that pays off in big ways:
Your system stays in good condition, so you can prolong the life of your equipment.
Your equipment runs more efficiently, which reduces energy consumption.
Minor issues get fixed proactively, so they don’t turn into bigger, more expensive problems.
Maintenance helps to prevent system downtime that disrupts your home or business.
If you’re in the NYC metro area, get a quote today for expert HVAC maintenance services.
Are you looking to save energy? If your business has an older heating and air conditioning system that’s driving up your energy expenses, you might be considering replacing your equipment. But what if you’re not in a great financial position to take on such a large capital expense right now? Or what if you’re considering moving your business to a new location in a couple of years? There are situations where replacing your HVAC system to save energy doesn’t make financial sense.
Does that mean you’re stuck with those escalating energy costs until you’re in a position to replace? Not necessarily. The good news is, there is another way to save energy: by retrofitting your existing HVAC equipment with energy-efficient add-ons.
When you are in the food service business, your refrigeration equipment is your lifeline. You depend on those blast chillers and display cases and low-boy refrigerators and walk-in freezers to keep your ingredients and your product both fresh and safe to consume. The problem is, when any one of those units breaks down, you have a serious problem on your hands and you need emergency refrigerator repair FAST.
If you’ve been in the restaurant business for a while, you’ve probably experienced the panic that sets in when you unexpectedly need refrigerator repair. And it always seems to happen during your busiest time! You may find yourself throwing away thousands of dollars in wasted product and losing significant business in a very short period of time. Not to mention the repair bill, which can often cost you double if it happens at night or a weekend.
When that happens (and it eventually will), you need to ensure that you can get fast emergency refrigerator or freezer repair. You may already know from experience that you’re unlikely to get fast service if you cold-call just any emergency refrigerator repair company you come across on the Internet.
So how can you find a company you can count on to fix your emergency refrigerator repair problems before your profits melt away like the ice cream in your broken freezer? Read on for three little-known strategies.
Each year, space heaters are the cause behind more than 25,000 home fires and over 300 fatalities, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Some space heaters release carbon monoxide that can be deadly as well. We all know it: using a space heater is a huge risk to your family simply to eliminate chilly spots in your home. So why do so many continue to use them? Probably because they are not aware of better space heater alternatives.
Remember when the term “smart” only applied to people? Today, the Internet of Things (IoT) has made it possible for just about everything in your home or business to be “smart” as well, including commercial HVAC controls.
You have probably heard about “learning” thermostats for your home, and maybe you even have installed one of these handy devices that lets you control your home’s temperature from your phone or computer. Yet there are even more benefits when small businesses upgrade to smarter commercial HVAC controls.
Is HVAC duct cleaning right for your home? Homeowners may question whether it needs to be done, how often to do it, and how to find the right company to perform the job. Some HVAC service providers also try to convince homeowners that it’s important to seal ducts and apply chemical biocides and treatments to kill bacteria and mold. True or false?
Homeowners are overwhelmed and perplexed about which HVAC services are necessary and which aren’t. Many customers have asked us if there are any guidelines or recommendations to follow, and fortunately, there are. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued guidelines and information that we’re going to share in order to help you make an educated decision about whether HVAC duct cleaning and other services are right for your home. We’ll also provide advice about how to choose a service provider should you decide you want these services performed.
What’s so special about residential HVAC services in Manhattan?
There’s no place in the world like New York City. The skyline, the culture, the diversity… it’s one of the most exciting and interesting places in the world. That’s why over 1.6 million people choose to make their homes in the 22 square miles that make up the island of Manhattan. That works out to nearly 72,000 residents per square mile, all competing for the same space and resources. No wonder living space is no outrageously expensive!
The crowded conditions in Manhattan make providing residential HVAC services a unique challenge. We have to deal with situations that just don’t happen in other parts of the country (at least not all at the same time!). These are just a few examples:
What value does your commercial HVAC maintenance vendor bring to your business?
Getting commercial HVAC maintenance services for a multiple-location business is different than sourcing those same services for a single location. Especially when you’re managing upwards of 20 or 30 locations, you need more than a vendor who’s technically competent and shows up on time for appointments.
To get the most value from your commercial HVAC maintenance vendor, you need a company that acts as your business partner: saving you time and money and helping you to make better decisions.
Have you ever been to a restaurant and thought the food was quite good, but you wouldn’t go back because you were so uncomfortably hot? You don’t want to be that restaurant. One way to avoid losing repeat customers is to have a restaurant HVAC service contract to maintain an inviting climate.
When your air conditioner was installed, chances are the installer mentioned the fact that your system needs maintenance at least every year (possibly more, depending on your usage). A regular AC tune up & maintenance visit keeps your system in good condition and prevents breakdowns.
People are heading back to the gym! With so many new and returning customers looking to catch up on their fitness goals, make sure your gym is the place everyone wants to keep coming back to. One of quickest ways to drive them away is having a bad locker room smell.
If you are among the more than 50 million Americans affected by allergies, listen up! As we head into prime allergy season, it’s time to learn about how HVAC & allergies are related. And learn ways to reduce pollen that gets spread by your HVAC system.
This time of year, you may be staying indoors, hoping to avoid allergens and reduce symptoms. However, pollen spores are among the most difficult allergens to avoid. Even indoors it can be hard to remove pollen particles because many of them are so tiny. They also lurk in places you haven’t thought of, like your HVAC system.
The benefits of humidification for your home and family
Humidification is an important yet often-overlooked aspect of your home’s comfort. You’ll certainly notice when the humidity reaches the 80 percent mark on those steamy summer days, yet you may not be aware of the detrimental effects of insufficient humidification (translation: dry air) during the winter season when the furnace is running.
If your home does not have a humidification system, you’ve probably noticed some of the symptoms, even if you didn’t realize the cause.
In fact, maintaining moderate humidity levels in your home is more important than ever, because the virus that causes COVID-19 thrives in low humidity conditions.
Your customers are the lifeblood of your business. You cannot underestimate the importance of giving them a comfortable shopping experience. How do you provide them with an appealing buying atmosphere?
One way to keep your customers coming back is to make sure your shop’s temperature and ventilation are right all year round.
There is no better way to keep your HVAC system working well than to learn about commercial HVAC service contracts and invest in one that is right for your business.
There’s no question that good air quality is vital to health, especially for older adults, children and anyone with conditions such heart or lung disease. In a city as big as New York, with a population of more than 8.6 million people and growing, air quality is an ongoing challenge.
While there is only so much you can do about outdoor air pollution, you can significantly improve indoor air quality with regular HVAC cleaning, especially air conditioner cleaning before you start up your system in spring.
For commercial spaces that are reopening after being closed for a long time due to the pandemic, HVAC cleaning and maintenance is essential to prevent problems with the system upon startup after a prolonged shut down. [If you’re concerned about preventing COVID-transmission, get our helpful guide to HVAC Solutions for COVID-19.]
Here are four reasons why you should take advantage of HVAC cleaning services in NYC.
Have you had it with the dry air this time of year? There’s the discomfort that comes from dry skin and cracked nails. And isn’t your hair bad enough from wearing hats and running around in the snow and wind? Yet dry, flyaway hair persists even indoors due to the bone-dry air in your home.
If you’re reading this, you already realize that it’s time to start looking at humidification systems for your home. Yet you may not realize the full extent of the problem. There are even more annoying winter issues (such as increased risk of COVID transmission) that are also caused by low relative humidity.
Corporate office space has transformed in recent years. Traditionally, these spaces included a ring of private offices around the perimeter of the space, with cubical farms occupying the center. Today, more companies have an open office plan, which requires different considerations for HVAC system design.
Most of those perimeter offices are disappearing, as companies want space that takes advantage of natural light. And the cubicles are being replaced with workspaces designed for specific types of activity, such as pods for quiet concentration and team lounges for collaboration. How does all this change impact HVAC system design? Read on for some important strategies.
Improving employee productivity is a key goal for just about every large corporation and many smaller ones as well. If you are in charge of facilities and looking for ways your workspaces can support that goal, it’s smart to increase your workplace ventilation to improve office air quality.
What would happen if you just stopped checking your email? What if – horror of all horrors- you never refilled the coffee machine?! It’s easy to imagine the resulting chaos from such a scenario. But there is another under-appreciated staple of the office routine: your AC air filter.
What would happen if you didn’t change your AC filter? It’s hard to believe such a small part could make a big difference in air quality and comfort, but it does. Think of cleaning the air (and the air conditioner) like cleaning the rest of your business space. It would get pretty bad if you neglected it for a month.
Consider all the dirt and grime you’d see on the floors, on counters and surfaces, and in bathrooms. That’s equivalent to what accumulates in your filter in a given month. What are the consequences of this uncleanliness? Let’s look at what happens after you don’t change your AC filter to find out.
As a building or property manager, it’s your job to maintain a safe and comfortable environment for everyone working or living in the building. The quickest way to get people complaining is to mess with the temperature.
Don’t leave your tenants out in the cold. Instead, be proactive and make sure your HVAC system is properly maintained. Your reputation depends on people knowing they can rely on you to keep the building running smoothly.
Also, it’s easier to fix problems before they become emergencies. This season, make HVAC system maintenance a priority so you can be sure your heating will keep working when you need it most.
Have you ever noticed an oily odor from your frying pans and other smells from the cooking process lingering long after the chefs retire their aprons for the night? Does it seem like it takes too long for smoke from the grill, the stove and steamy pots and skillets to dissipate?
These problems are likely the result of your exhaust fans sucking the air from your kitchen space, but not enough air replacing the exhausted air. By outfitting your kitchen with a restaurant make up air unit, you can avoid these suffocating problems.Read more
In houses, apartments, schools, and daycare facilities across the five boroughs, there may be a hidden threat to the city’s more than 1.7 million children: IAQ and mold.
Nationally and at the state and local levels, exposure to dampness and mold in buildings has been recognized as a public health problem.
In this article, we’ll reveal the link between IAQ and mold. We’ll also look at the dangers associated with mold as well as management and prevention strategies for mold problems. And finally, we’ll share some effective strategies for managing mold and improving IAQ.
RGF’s REME HALO device is an important component in Arista’s strategy to help our customers prevent the transmission of COVID within their spaces and keep occupants healthy. The following is an announcement from RGF with some great news about the proven effectiveness of their technology.
We understand why people sometimes question the value of HVAC maintenance. When you’re paying for a service that prevents problems, like HVAC maintenance, you may wonder what would happen if you skipped it.
After all, the equipment is tucked away somewhere out of sight, doing its thing to keep your space comfortable. Somebody comes in twice a year or more to maintain it, and you may not notice a difference. So what are you getting for your money?
Part of the reason people wonder about the value of HVAC maintenance is they don’t get the opportunity to see the state of their HVAC equipment before and after the service visit. So they have no idea what the technician did and how regular service keeps the system running smoothly and prevents problems.
So, today we’re going to share some evidence, in the form of before-and-after photos, that will help you understand the value of HVAC maintenance.
Your heating and air conditioning systems process the air you breathe every day. Over time, dirt, pollution, and illness-causing bacteria and virus particles can accumulate in filters, ducts, and other equipment components.
Since your HVAC system is hidden out of sight, it may get neglected when it comes to cleaning. However, it’s important to realize that the nasty things lurking in your HVAC system can contribute to health problems. That’s just one reason why HVAC system cleaning is so important.
When seasonal colds and flu spread through your workplace, the lost productivity is costing your business. For a company with 25 employees, the cost can be as high as $33,000 per year in lost productivity, sick days and temporary help expenses. (To figure out how much your company is losing, use the absenteeism calculator at Healthyworkplaceproject.com.)
The costs of spreading COVID-19 in your workplace could be considerably higher.
Airborne viruses can spread more easily in buildings with poor ventilation and poorly maintained HVAC systems. In this article, we’ll review strategies for preventing airborne illness.
After the oppressive summer humidity evaporates, we seem to jump right to heating season and the opposite problem: super dry air. Due to COVID-19, dry indoor air is a much bigger concern than usual, since the virus thrives in low humidity conditions. Installing a central air humidifier can be a helpful solution.
In this article, we’ll explore what a central air humidifier does, and help you find a central humidifier system that will best suit your needs.
Until recently, indoor air quality wasn’t a big concern for most people. Yet this benign neglect could put our health at risk. According to the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the air inside can be at minimum 2 to 5 times more polluted than outside.
It’s not only smog that threatens the safety of indoor air, it’s also VOCs, mold, bacteria, and viruses.
And now, with the pandemic raging around the world, it’s even more important for business owners and homeowners to do everything they can to ensure healthy indoor air within their spaces.
That’s a good reason to consider new technology that can improve indoor air quality, including an HVAC air purifier and air filtration system.Read more
Even if your air conditioning system was fine when you last used it, unexpected problems can happen when you start up your system after it’s been idle for months. That’s why an HVAC inspection is a must.
Whether your system has been shut down for the winter, or because your business was closed due to the pandemic, it’s smart to get HVAC inspection before turning on your system again.
Your gym or health club should not smell like your high school gym did after a wrestling match. With proper air conditioning and gym ventilation, you can rid your space of unpleasant odors and provide your clients with the healthy environment they were looking for when they joined your club.
Especially now when people are worried about the spread of COVID, it’s imperative to provide good air quality so customers feel safe working out in your space.
Let’s take a look at how you can retain your customers and attract new ones by maintaining good air quality.
With Americans spending an average of 90% of their time indoors, indoor air pollution poses a major health risk. This is especially true for young children, older adults, and people who have heart or lung diseases — who, by the way, all tend to spend even more time indoors.
Fortunately, HVAC technology offers a number of ways to prevent air pollution and improve indoor air quality (IAQ).
For facility owners and managers at medical facilities, healthcare HVAC is a critical component to the health and welfare of your patients. That’s always been true, but the COVID crisis has raised the stakes.
Let’s take a look at the symptoms of a poorly functioning healthcare HVAC system. Then we’ll discuss what you can do to prevent and fix healthcare HVAC systems at hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, physical therapy and wellness centers.
Cooling is obviously one of the greatest health benefits of air conditioning. But it does more than just keep you comfortable in the summer. AC can make conditions better for preventing heat related symptoms or for recovering from illness.
However, you may have heard some scary stories about air conditioning making people sick. Some are even concerned about air conditioners spreading COVID. Many people wonder, is AC healthy? Rest assured, the answer is yes, as long as you take proper care of your AC unit. Air conditioning health problems can be prevented with regular maintenance and cleaning.
Could there be a connection between your sneezing and your HVAC ducts? Well, it wouldn’t be the first time that dirty ducts turn out to be the culprit behind air conditioning allergies. Let’s look at the possible connection between your allergies and duct cleaning.
Read this before buying a HEPA AC filter for your home or business
Chances are, you have been hearing a lot about HEPA AC filters and HVAC filters as a solution for preventing the transmission of COVID. The idea got a lot of media attention here in New York after Governor Andrew Cuomo spoke about using HVAC HEPA filters in malls to prevent airborne spread of the disease.
Here’s what you probably don’t know: HEPA filters are not for everybody. There are significant downsides to using HEPA filters in your HVAC system.
Poor humidity control is not just a comfort issue for restaurants
Too much humidity makes us unhappy for a whole host of reasons beyond comfort: sticking doors and musty smells to name a couple. If you’re running a restaurant, poor humidity control creates problems that can actually drive away customers and hurt your business.
Plus, if you’re concerned about the spread of COVID, humidity control should be part of your mitigation strategy.
The air filter’s job is to keep dust and debris out of your HVAC equipment. You’d be amazed how much builds up on there in a very short time.
Recently, AC filters have gotten a lot of attention due to the pandemic. With the uncertainty about airborne transmission of the virus, some experts are recommending the use of higher-efficiency filters to trap virus particles.
If that’s why you’re looking to change your AC filter, read this first. And, learn about the most effective HVAC strategies for COVID from our helpful guide:
In this article, we’ll cover more reasons why air conditioner filter replacement is so important, and how to take care of it safely.
Are there indoor air quality solutions that can promote improved health, fewer employee absences and reduced insurance costs? By looking more closely at your indoor air quality and HVAC systems, you can offer your customers and employees an improved environment that will reap benefits for your business.
Take the guesswork out of getting commercial HVAC preventative maintenance
If you’re like many business owners and managers, you feel like a fish out of water when you’re faced with choosing a commercial HVAC preventative maintenance contract. When you’re not an expert on the subject, evaluating the merits of one contract or vendor versus another can be difficult and confusing.
Today, we’re going to take the mystery out the commercial HVAC preventative maintenance once and for all.
We know you have questions and concerns about the COVID-19 virus and operating/ maintaining your HVAC system. In this article, we’ll share the most accurate and up-to-date information available to help you make decisions.
Do you remember the episode of Mad Men where Ginsberg is literally driven insane by the constant, brain-numbing racket of the computer? If you’re working in an office with a noisy air conditioner, you may be concerned that you, or someone sitting near you, is headed for a similar fate.
If you’ve been stuck working at home due to the pandemic, dealing with an HVAC noise problem can be even more frustrating. You probably don’t have an office maintenance guy to complain to, or anywhere to go to escape from the distracting racket coming from your air conditioner.
Before that noisy air conditioner leads to a meltdown, it’s time to take control of the situation and find out how to quiet your noisy air conditioner for good.
First things first: you need to get to the bottom of the source of the noisy air conditioner.
Since the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in New York City a few years back, there has been a great deal of concern and confusion about what’s required for proper cooling tower maintenance.
With many NYC buildings preparing to reopen after being unoccupied for months due to the COVID-19 outbreak, there is concern about making sure cooling towers are restarted safely and properly maintained prior to building occupation.
In this article, we’ll share an updated cooling tower maintenance checklist aligned with the current regulations.
If your home or business has a furnace and an air conditioning system, these systems have air filters designed to protect the equipment from dust and debris. When these HVAC filters get clogged, system performance is compromised and your indoor air quality suffers as well.
Let’s take a look at exactly why you need to change HVAC filters regularly, how often to change them, and how to do so.
Improve air flow to improve comfort & indoor air quality
Do you sometimes look for an excuse to escape from your office or workplace just because you feel like you can’t breathe in there? You may have noticed others doing the same thing: going outside for a cigarette even if they don’t smoke, volunteering to make a Starbucks run, taking long lunches and skipping out early.
It doesn’t take long for stuffy air in your workplace to sabotage your business by seriously reducing productivity.
Indoor air quality problems often result from air flow problems with your air conditioning system. Read on for some simple tips that will improve air flow, air quality, and comfort in your space, and get people back to business.
ODORS. An unusual or musty odor is often the first sign of mold in air ducts or in air vents. In many cases, you’ll smell it before you can see it. If you notice a musty or moldy smell that goes away when you are not using your air conditioning or heating (if they share ducts), that can narrow the cause down to mold in your HVAC system.
We all know that heating and air conditioning systems are essential to the comfort of our homes and work spaces. Yet the “V” (for ventilation) in HVAC may be something of a mystery. What is ventilation and why do you need it?
You may have read recent research that suggests raising indoor humidity levels may help to deactivate coronavirus particles. During the winter months when our spaces are closed up and heated, humidity levels can drop to extremely low levels (as low as 20 percent).
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 virus has been shown to thrive and remain viable for longer periods in these low-humidity conditions. (Controlling humidity is just one way HVAC can help in the fight to prevent COVID. Get our guide to HVAC Strategies for COVID to learn more.)
However, too much indoor humidity can also cause health problems. For example, viruses are known to spread more easily in humidity levels higher than 60 percent. So what is considered high humidity and what are safe indoor humidity levels?
And most importantly, how do indoor humidity levels affect your body and your health?
When you add a make up air unit for your kitchen, it adds replacement air for what’s being drawn out of the kitchen by your exhaust hoods.
What is make up air? Simply stated, a make up air unit pulls air in to your space from outdoors and conditions it to the indoor temperature, to replace air that’s pulled out by your kitchen exhaust equipment. Without it, you get back drafting, poor temperature control, negative air pressure and air quality problems. Poor ventilation can also contribute to the spread of disease.
Let’s explore the reasons why a make up air unit is so essential for restaurant kitchens.
Thinking about an air conditioning replacement this summer? Don’t make the mistake of automatically getting a newer version of the air conditioning system you have now. Especially for a commercial air conditioning system, it’s important to consider how your conditions and needs have changed. And other factors that can save you money and ensure long-term satisfaction with your new system.
When you’re trying to run a business, HVAC maintenance is probably the last thing on your mind. However, “out of sight and out of mind” is a philosophy that can come back to haunt you when it comes to your HVAC equipment.
Are you getting by with aging air conditioning equipment that cools well enough, but costs you a fortune every summer in electric bills?
Chances are, you’ve heard that replacing your system can cut those costs by reducing AC power consumption. That’s definitely true if your system is more than 10 years old, because new systems are much more efficient. However, the cost of a commercial system replacement may seem prohibitive, especially when your old one still works.
Renovations are a fantastic way to improve the comfort, aesthetics, functionality, and resale value of your home or business property. But it’s a rough process, and many people experience tremendous relief and excitement once the project is complete. No more loud noises. No contractors in your space!
However, the work isn’t complete once you write your contractor the final check. Nearly all renovations bring in residual dust and debris to the property. If your contracting crew doesn’t do a great job of cleaning up after themselves (and many don’t), people turn to post-renovation cleaning services to get rid of it.
Renovating your commercial space and looking to improve your air conditioning in the process? When the work is done, do you want comfortable, consistent temperatures in your space? How about good air quality? Energy efficiency? If you do, then it pays to plan updates to your HVAC system and its ductwork design early in the renovation process to avoid mistakes.
Ceiling fans use much less energy to run than air conditioners, so it would seem like a simple conclusion that ceiling fans save energy. But in most parts of the country, fans don’t provide enough cooling to replace air conditioners. So the question is really: do ceiling fans save energy when used with air conditioning? And that’s more complicated.
Read on to find out if you can use ceiling fans to help improve your energy efficiency and keep you cooler.
A carbon monoxide leak can mean disaster for your business
You already know that carbon monoxide is deadly—you’ve certainly heard the horror stories that result from people unknowingly breathing in the colorless, odorless gas. So as a responsible business owner or manager, you don’t take those kind of risks lightly. That’s why you have carbon monoxide detectors installed throughout your space, right?
Have you been limping along with your older R22 air conditioner? Hoping to avoid replacing it during the high season? Especially if you know your unit has a refrigerant leak, you may be trying to decide how long you can get by before you’ll have to invest in a new system. An important factor in making that decision is answering the question: when is R22 no longer available?
If you are a facilities manager who has responsibility for older air conditioning systems, chances are you are alarmed by the news that R22 has been phased out. Does this mean you’ll need to replace a lot of expensive equipment? You’re probably also wondering about the R22 phase out schedule and how quickly you need to act.
In this article we’ll discuss the timeline for the R22 phase out to help you understand the urgency of the situation. Then we’ll discuss the options for facilities with R22 air conditioning equipment and some tips for making the best decision for your company.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have mandated phasing out refrigerants that have been commonly used for air conditioning and commercial refrigeration equipment for many years. As of January 2020, R22 (also known as Freon), the standard HVAC refrigerant for decades, is illegal to manufacture or import to the US. As a result, supply is dwindling & prices have risen dramatically. How will the R22 refrigerant phase out impact your air conditioning or refrigeration equipment and the cost to maintain it?
Chances are, you know that preventative maintenance keeps your heating and air conditioning systems running reliably and efficiently. What you may not realize is that regular service is just as important for your commercial refrigeration equipment.
After all, your commercial refrigerators and freezers are mission-critical equipment that can quickly cost you a fortune when they go down. Even when you think they are working properly, your refrigeration units can be consuming too much energy, which costs not only your wallet but the entire planet. Preventative care will save you some green and also help you do your part to be environmentally conscious.
Here’s what you stand to gain by scheduling regular cleaning and tune-ups for your commercial refrigeration equipment:
Wine requires precise conditions to age nicely. If you invest money in your wine collection, invest in an environment that keeps it safe for years to come. Let’s look at some of the necessary components of storing and preserving wine, and how the right HVAC system can help you achieve those conditions.
Don’t you just love the holiday season? There’s no other time of year when you’re actually encouraged to eat cookies and milk and watch animated shows on TV.
In case you need any more convincing to participate in these holiday traditions, there’s an additional benefit you may not have considered. Those holiday shows can be surprisingly educational! Here’s an example: if you’re in the restaurant business, Frosty the Snowman can teach you some important lessons about restaurant refrigeration. If you want to keep your commercial refrigeration equipment running reliably, read on to find out what you can learn from Frosty.
According to IFMA research, an uncomfortable workplace temperature is the number one complaint of office workers about their workplace environment. Actually, it’s both number one and number two (people complain most about being too hot AND about being too cold).
This complaint is really not surprising when you consider that 40% of office buildings–especially here in New York City–have HVAC systems that are somewhere between 16 and 30 years old. During that time, building tenants have changed, usage of the space has changed, more employees are packed into the same amount of space, and there’s a lot more heat-generating technology in place. So many of these systems were never designed for the current conditions.
It’s important to realize that workplace temperature impacts more than your employees’ comfort. Here’s what you’re risking when you have HVAC equipment that’s failing to properly control the temperature in your workplace.
Your restaurant’s “A” grade is something to be proud of. It’s a sign for all your customers (literally, right there in your front window) that you have passed your restaurant health inspection with flying colors, and proof of the superior quality of your food preparation. Diners are confident of getting a great meal prepared safely when they see top NYC health department restaurant grades.
Because that “A” is so critical to the success of your business, we’re betting you go to great lengths to make sure you maintain it through every restaurant health inspection. That means training and reminding your staff about proper food handling techniques to prevent contamination, being vigilant about cleaning and preventing pests, and constantly checking the temperature of cooked food.
Yet there is one critical task that you might be overlooking: maintaining your refrigeration equipment.
If your air conditioning system is getting older and performing poorly, it’s a great idea to plan for proactive system replacement in advance instead of waiting for a breakdown to force your hand. That way, you won’t have to deal with the inconvenience of going without AC while the replacement is in the works. For businesses, or even for homeowners who rely on AC for health reasons, living without AC for weeks or longer can cost you much more than that.
As you begin to shop for a new system, educate yourself by learning a little bit about the types of AC units. This article will help you do that in 10 minutes or less!
The holiday season is coming fast. You’re probably scrambling to get ready for the onslaught of New Yorkers and tourists lining up for a chance to enjoy the trendiest and tastiest fare the city’s restaurants have to offer.
But if your refrigeration equipment fails, you’ll be sending all those customers home dissatisfied or worse. So, today we are sharing some great tips and resources on how to keep your equipment (and your head) cool!
There’s no reason to settle for bad commercial HVAC service
Business owners and facilities managers sometimes struggle with concerns about their commercial HVAC service contracts — and the people behind the contract. But because of other pressing concerns or simple inertia, they live with what they’ve got rather than exploring other alternatives.
Settling for the devil you know might seem easier, but in fact it’s costlier and riskier for your business and your career. If you are a business owner, uncomfortable conditions can drive away customers and make your employees less productive, both of which eat into your profits. If you are a facilities manager, climate control is ultimately your responsibility. If your HVAC vendor is failing to do the job, and that failure hurts the business, you could find your job on the line.
Why repair or replace an air conditioner this fall?
If you’ve got an aging air conditioner, you may be breathing a sigh of relief when Labor Day rolls around. You made it through another summer with the old unit! But don’t talk too soon. You could still experience a breakdown during a brutal week of Indian summer. Then you’ll need to decide whether to repair or replace the air conditioner.
As air conditioning season winds down here in the New York City area, thoughts turn to upcoming heating requirements and the inevitable question: Is my heating system ready to do its job?
If preventive maintenance is part of your HVAC provider relationship — and it should be — your system has probably already been inspected and serviced in anticipation of the colder weather to come.
If you’re thinking about upgrading or replacing your system, you might want to consider an HVAC package unit — offering a combination heating and cooling system that is flexible, space saving, and energy efficient.
If you’ve noticed condensation on an AC vent (air conditioner vents “sweating”) or worse, an AC vent leaking water, you’re right to be concerned and start investigating what might be going on. If you let it go, you could end up with property damage along with a potential air conditioner repair bill.
Let’s go over how moisture can get on your AC vent, and the potential damage it can do. Then we’ll explain the possible causes. It’s important to check them out, because the water on your AC vent might be condensation, but it also might be coming from your ducts or your air conditioner itself.
If you’re in the market for an HVAC service contract, you have probably encountered a wide range of prices. And since you’re probably not an HVAC expert, it can be a challenge to compare options and figure out what’s included, if the AC maintenance plan is worth the money, and ultimately which one is right for you.
Here’s a heating & air conditioning price guide to help you understand the different types of HVAC service contracts and the variables that factor into HVAC service pricing. Armed with this information, you can figure out which options are important to you and be better equipped to choose the heating & air conditioning maintenance agreement with the right price for the coverage you want.
As a business owner, monitoring hard costs is a vital part of maintaining your livelihood. You’re constantly keeping an eye on expenses like payroll, rent or mortgage, and let’s not forget energy costs. Your HVAC system is one of the most expensive and integral parts of your business infrastructure. Do you know what is it costing you? And, more importantly, how can you minimize HVAC expenses? That’s the purpose of regularly servicing your equipment. Let’s take a closer look at the costs of HVAC problems and the benefits of HVAC maintenance.
Evaluating the work of commercial HVAC contractors is not always easy for business owners and facility managers. When you experience frequent and recurring HVAC issues, how do you know if the problem is faulty equipment or an unqualified or careless service provider? If you’re not an HVAC expert, how can you tell?
Since you’re reading this, chances are you suspect you’re not getting great service. If you’re repeatedly experiencing the following signs, it’s likely your equipment is not getting the right care. It may be time to consider a better solution.
Is your noisy air conditioner about to break down?
The cool air provided by your air conditioning system gives you welcome relief from the heat, but the noise coming from your air conditioner is quite another story. A noisy air conditioner that’s always been loud might not necessarily have a problem. However, if you’re hearing an unusual air conditioner noise like banging, buzzing, whistling, screeching or rattling, it can be a symptom of a system that’s struggling and headed for a breakdown.
When you need a qualified and reliable company to handle HVAC maintenance for your NYC business, it can be tricky to pick the right one. The one that can get to you fast in an emergency. The one that will show up when they promise. The one with skilled technicians who will fix things right the first time.
When you’re interviewing potential HVAC maintenance companies in NYC, here are 10 questions to ask. The answers will help you weed out the companies who are likely to disappoint you, and identify the star performers.
Air conditioner power consumption: how much are you using?
As anyone who has seen their electric bill skyrocket in the summer will know, your air conditioner power consumption can be a big, unpredictable cost. To try and understand your costs, you can start with your AC unit’s power rating (check the label on the condensing unit), which will tell you how much power it uses under perfect conditions. In real life, conditions are rarely as consistent as that.
There are many factors that affect how efficient your AC is and how much power it uses, including age and condition of the unit, the layout of your space, design of the air ducts, how air-tight the space is, and of course the weather. That’s why calculating your expenses is never an exact science.
If you’ve ever spent a hot summer in New York City in a home or business plagued with air conditioner problems, it’s certainly an experience you don’t want to repeat. Don’t leave your summer comfort to chance! Learn about the most common causes of air conditioner problems and the easy steps you can take to prevent repair issues.
It is definitely not cool when your air conditioning system has a meltdown during a heat wave. This cooling season, take steps to prevent air conditioner breakdowns.
For example, your AC not cooling well might be because your AC coils are clogged and you need air conditioner cleaning. Let’s take a look at how air conditioning coil cleaning can help you system work better.
If your home AC has not been working well, it can be tricky to figure out when to bite the bullet and replace it. In this article, we’ll share some tips for making that decision, as well as information that will help make sure you’ll be happy with your new unit.
It is a bit of a cliché, but it’s true: Most of us know the feeling of waiting for the cable repair or installation person to show up.
Not knowing when a service technician is going to arrive can be even more stressful when you’re a building owner or facilities manager who has to answer to frustrated tenants or a boss who is asking for updates.
At Arista, we firmly believe in leveraging technology to improve efficiency for our team and also to enhance communication in customer service.
That’s why we’ve now implemented a customer service technology designed to keep everyone informed when it’s time for an HVAC service or repair visit.
Managing everything on your to-do list is hard enough without worrying about if your HVAC contractor is doing the work they promised. That’s why it’s a huge help when you can find a service provider that can provide you with a tangible proof of the work they do. It’s absolutely essential to obtain that concrete proof of service if you’re a facilities manager engaged in a balancing act between multiple locations. The fact is, you don’t have time to personally oversee every HVAC maintenance and repair visit. So without that proof, how can you be sure exactly what was done?
Reputable HVAC contractors will supply you with evidence of the work performed. You should not settle for a contractor not willing or able to back up a job with proof of service. Let’s take a look at some service traits that you should look for when you are trying to find a contractor you can trust.
Do you tend to feel uneasy about signing a contract? That’s natural when you’re making a commitment to spend money. It can be a bigger source of stress when you don’t understand exactly what you’re getting for your money. That’s often the case when homeowners and business owners purchase an HVAC service contract.
Airflow issues are among the most common HVAC problems. If you suspect you have HVAC airflow problems, you’re probably experiencing one or more of the following symptoms:
Hot and cold spots throughout your space. This is often one of the first signs of HVAC airflow issues.
Pressure imbalance. Do you have doors slamming by themselves, strange whistling noises and drafty areas? These are symptoms of air pressure problems caused by poor airflow from HVAC systems.
No air coming out, weak air or low airflow from vents in your house or commercial space.The problem could be throughout the space, or you could have one AC vent not blowing air in one room. This is when you begin to realize something is wrong.
Your AC system blows warm air. Now you KNOW something is wrong!
If you ignore the problem for too long, the strain on your system can lead to compressor failure. The compressor is like the heart of your air conditioner, and when it goes, there’s a good chance you’ll need a new unit.
Do you trust your contractor to honestly answer your HVAC questions?
When you’re considering hiring a new HVAC service provider to install a new unit, do preventative maintenance, or fix broken equipment, we know you have questions. Over the years, we have figured out the HVAC questions people are thinking but feel uncomfortable asking. That may be because you don’t think you’ll get an truthful answer from a provider who just wants to sell you services.
Furnace fuse keeps blowing? This guide to electric furnace troubleshooting explains the common causes and fixes.
If you have been experiencing electric furnace problems (specifically the furnace fuse blows when the heat turns on) throughout the holiday season, you might have assumed the problem is those cheap holiday string lights. But when it happens again (even after Santa has left the building along with the spike in your electric bill), you’re probably wondering what to do now.