Here in the New York City area, we’re all pretty tired of the cold weather by now. No matter how you travel to work, whether it’s by bus, car or train, your commute probably ends with a cold walk in the icy wind. When you get to your destination, you expect to walk into a toasty warm space. The last thing you want to find is that the furnace is not heating. Even worse, the furnace is blowing cold air!
NYC Metro Area’s HVACR Blog
Heat Pump Troubleshooting Can Be Tricky
If your space has a heat pump system that provides both heating and cooling, it may seem like there are twice as many possible causes when something goes wrong. A heat pump system does operate somewhat differently than a traditional air-cooled air conditioner. So how do you begin heat pump troubleshooting? And are there heat pump repair issues you can fix yourself?
In some cases, there are issues you can prevent and problems you can solve on your own when you are aware of the heat pump troubleshooting steps. Here is a list of the most common problems we see with heat pumps, possible causes, and what to do next.
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. R22 (also known as Freon), the standard HVAC refrigerant for decades, will become illegal to manufacture or import to the US at the end of 2019. In the meantime, supply is dwindling & prices are rising dramatically. How will the R22 refrigerant phase out impact your air conditioning or refrigeration equipment and the cost to maintain it?
In a 2013 study by the Daily Mail of ice cleanliness at British food establishments, 6 out of 10 restaurants were found to be serving ice that contained higher levels of bacteria than the water in their toilets.
Experts attributed this finding to the likelihood that the toilets were regularly cleaned, whereas the ice machine cleaning and maintenance was neglected.
Have you been regularly cleaning and servicing your ice machine? Do you know how to clean an ice machine the right way? If you neglect ice machine maintenance or do it wrong, you’re putting your customers at risk for illness, and your restaurant at risk as well.Read more
There’s a saying about saving power: the cheapest kilowatt-hour is the one you don’t use. HVAC energy efficiency starts with a mindset of using less and getting the most out of what you have. Since HVAC systems represent a significant portion of typical energy costs (experts say as much as 50 to 60 percent), these measures can make a big difference.
Today we’re sharing with you the top 11 ways to increase your HVAC energy efficiency.
Taking the guesswork out of 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 might seem overwhelming.
Today, we’re going to take the mystery out the commercial HVAC preventative maintenance once and for all.
Here’s a primer to help you choose the right contract and the right provider for your needs, including:
Rid yourself of a noisy air conditioner
The hot weather has hit and the cool air provided by your air conditioning system gives you welcome relief, but the noise coming from your air conditioner is quite another story. When your system was initially turned on, you thought the air conditioner noise would go away, but it hasn’t.
The seasonal temperatures are here. You know the air conditioning system has been turned on, yet you’re just not feeling the comfort you would expect. The disappointing lack of cool air coming through the air conditioning vents prompts you to ask yourself, “Why is my AC not blowing?”
It’s incredibly frustrating when you just can’t get cool on a hot day, even though your air conditioning sounds like it’s working (it’s blowing). Is it you or is it really hot in here? You check the thermostat, and in fact the temperature is soaring well above the set temp. When you place your hand over one of the AC registers, you find your AC blowing warm air.
You may expect your air conditioner to be cold, but if it’s covered in frost or ice, that’s not a good sign. When your air conditioner is freezing up, it can’t properly cool your space. And worse, if you don’t do something about it quickly, you can end up with water damage in your walls and ceilings as well as an expensive AC repair on your hands.
Finding water anywhere it doesn’t belong in your house is a major cause for concern. Not only are you worried about where the leak is coming from (and how much it will cost to fix it!) but you’re also concerned about damage to your home. When it’s your air conditioner leaking water inside, you need to act fast to prevent water damage as well as expensive repair bills.
It’s the last thing you need on a hot summer day: your air conditioner keeps shutting off and the AC circuit breaker keeps tripping. You’re probably wondering what’s going on, and if there’s an easy solution. Do you need to call someone to fix the problem and if so, who should you call? The AC service company or an electrician?
Did you ever walk into a hair salon and want to walk out after almost being overcome by chemical fumes from hair dyes, aerosol sprays and other products? You don’t want to be that salon and there is no reason why you have to be with the well-designed HVAC systems available today.
Whether you manage a museum or library that contains a significant collection or own a gallery that showcases the works of an emerging artistic talent, the ideal temperature for art storage and finding the proper temperature and humidity control system for your building are important topics to consider.
As the owner or operator of a warehouse, you are concerned about warehouse temperature issues and whether warehouse temperature control improvements are warranted. By looking at ways to enhance warehouse temperature control measures, you have taken your first step in providing consistent warehouse temperature comfort and maximizing your dollars spent on energy.
Have you ever walked into a health club and almost made an abrupt about-face because of the nasty air? Your gym or health club does not need to smell like your high school gym did after a wrestling match or intense basketball game. 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. Let’s take a look how you can retain your customers and attract new ones by maintaining good air quality.
It’s one thing when your air conditioner is not working properly at home, but it’s quite another thing when the air conditioning system is not performing at optimal levels at a business where computers are at the core of the operation. As a facility manager, you know a top-performing computer room air conditioning system is essential to commercial success. So let’s take a look at what can happen if the computer room air conditioning is not functioning at a high level.
Do you own a New York City/State building that has a cooling tower as part of your HVAC system? If so, you know about the new cooling tower regulations recently passed by the city and the state following last summer’s outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease.
We have been hearing about quite a few companies that have been getting violation notices and receiving hefty fines as a result of the city’s efforts to enforce Local Law 77 – 2015. If you’re one of them, or worried that it might happen to you, here is some clarification and advice that can help you get in compliance.
Here are some answers from Gary Berkowitz, Arista’s Manager of Chemical Cleanings and an expert in cooling tower maintenance and the new cooling tower regulations.
Maybe you’re looking to renovate your shop and have a particular style design in mind, but the unsightly HVAC ductwork is crimping your vision for your space. Or maybe you already have designed your boutique and have everything aligned with your distinctive taste, except for those ugly ducts. Believe it or not, you may be able to pluck those ducts from your space and have a beautiful air conditioner system. Imagine this – you can have an AC without ductwork.
Following the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in New York City in 2015, there has been a great deal of concern and confusion about what’s required for proper cooling tower maintenance. As a business owner, you want to keep your employees and customers safe from deadly bacteria. And if you’re in New York City and State, you must make sure you stay in compliance with NYC’s recent updates to regulations.
Here’s an updated cooling tower maintenance checklist aligned with the new regulations.
It may be hard to believe that coils could be responsible for taking down your commercial HVAC system or making it operate at a low efficiency level. Routine coil cleaning can help your system turn out a peak performance, reduce your energy costs and bolster the comfort level in your store, which will make it an attractive place to shop and work.
While combining facility services under one contractor is not always the best approach, some combined services are as a natural fit as a burger and fries. It makes perfect sense to put a commercial HVAC service contract and a refrigeration service contract under the same contractor’s roof and can actually provide for a more efficient operation, reduce your costs and your stress level.
Are you providing your visitors with an inviting climate that will entice them to stay and shop and return to your store often? One thing that will chase your customers from your shop perhaps even before they make it to the register is a hot or stuffy store.
Before you know it, those living in the residential building you manage will be cranking up their air conditioning systems. It goes without saying that you’ll want to start off the warmer weather months in a comfortable zone, which for you and the residents means as complaint-free as possible. A preemptive air conditioning troubleshooting mission and appropriate residential air conditioning maintenance can aid you in your goal of smoothly operating air conditioning systems and happy residents. Let’s take a look at the most common air conditioning problems.
Let’s face it, your air conditioner is an essential component of your luxury home, but it’s not something you want front and center. Most of us would rather hide the AC unit. It can be downright embarrassing to have ugly AC equipment cluttering up your patio or ruining your perfectly designed interior. So today we’re sharing 24 fun ways to hide air conditioning units. That includes both the outside condenser and wall-or ceiling mounted boxes indoors.
The warm air hits. You turn on your air conditioning and you find yourself and those around you sneezing. You start to think, I can’t be allergic to the air conditioner, can I? After considering the air conditioner allergy theory, you move onto chalking it up to something more plausible: seasonal allergies. Though you might not be exactly correct with either one of your diagnoses, you could be on the right track.
Your air conditioning system and seasonal allergies may both be playing a role in what you perceive as an air conditioner allergy. It’s not that you are allergic to your air conditioner unit, it’s that you are allergic to the contaminants that are being circulated through it, which could include seasonal allergens and other nasty stuff. Let’s take a look at what is blowing your way and could be the source of your air conditioner allergy.
Maybe you have noticed that the air in your home no longer smells fresh as a daisy and is even verging on objectionable, but you haven’t been able to put your finger on the source of this uninvited change in your living space’s atmosphere. Could it be that your home is the victim of a smelly air conditioner system and is in dire need of some HVAC spring cleaning?
You are not alone. Tis the season for malodorous problems to crop up and a common time to eradicate those unwanted odors coming from a smelly air conditioner system by undertaking a little HVAC spring cleaning. As a luxury homeowner or one who manages luxury properties, surely you should not have to put up with subpar breathing conditions. Let’s take a look at some of the possible causes for the smelly air conditioner, which has diminished the indoor air quality in your home.
Renovating a luxury residential property comes with a lot of tough decisions: about the design and layout of the space, and all the interior furnishings and finishes that make the home perfect for you. You probably didn’t expect to have to decide on an HVAC system. Yet when it comes to luxury homes, comfort is essential, and that means you need the right luxury HVAC system. That’s why so many high end homeowners (especially in New York City) are choosing VRF technology. What’s more, according to a report by Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, equipment manufacturers are introducing VRF systems specifically designed for luxury residential homes.
What is VRF technology? It’s an HVAC system that works differently than the traditional split system that has one big outdoor condenser and one large (noisy!) air handler inside. Those older-type systems run at only one speed- full blast. Instead, a VRF system has multiple smaller air handlers that run at the exact capacity needed for the current conditions. “VRF” stands for “Variable Refrigerant Flow,” meaning that the system precisely controls the amount of cooling refrigerant required to provide the perfect comfort conditions.
Why is that better for your luxury residence? Read on to find out.
Rest assured, it does not have to be that way. Not all HVAC companies have been created equal and you can choose a company that will provide topnotch service and install quality equipment to match your needs. Let’s look at how to choose an HVAC company that can provide you with the services you deserve.
If you’re in line for a new HVAC system installation, there is important information to digest before you undertake such a considerable capital investment. Your comfort along with your employee’s comfort and productivity depends on your comprehensive review of the myriad of options for your HVAC replacement; not to mention its impact on your wallet upfront and down the road. Let’s take a look at some of the things business owners and facility managers should take into account when sizing up a HVAC replacement project.
Whether you prefer old world charm or a modern twist, it took your painstaking decisions to furnish your home in a way that reflects your distinctive taste. Now you need a company that will make the same effort to protect your investment with a premier climate control system.
As a luxury homeowner or a property manager, why would you trust the installation of a high end air conditioner system or maintenance of that system to any company that does not have impeccable credentials and the capability and personnel to provide you with white glove customer service? Rest assured, there are companies nearby that can offer you with white glove customer service when installing a high end air conditioner system.
You hear the coughing and sneezing, but 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.
Though you may not have related indoor air quality and HVAC systems with your employees’ health, OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) lists inadequate HVAC maintenance as a major cause of poor indoor air quality. OSHA claims poor indoor air quality can cause headaches, fatigue, concentration problems, skin rashes, and eye, nose, throat and lung irritation.
Additionally, chronic health problems such as asthma are linked to indoor air quality and HVAC systems. Prolonged exposure to certain contaminants has even been connected to life-threatening medical conditions including heart and lung disease and cancer.
So with so much at stake, isn’t it time to look at indoor air quality solutions?
HVAC service contracts and the project management triangle
If you’re having difficulty comparing widely differing options when evaluating HVAC service contracts, it may be helpful to use the project management triangle as a guide.
Are you familiar with the project management triangle? It’s a model that describes the relationship between three opposing constraints that impact work: time, quality and cost. It means that your choices in one area impact what you get in terms of the others. For example, if you decide you need the lowest price for a commercial HVAC service contract, that choice impacts what you get in terms of quality and/or timeframe.
The rule of thumb you’ll often hear with regard to time, quality and cost is that you can choose any two, but the contractor controls the third one. When it comes to HVAC service contracts, we find that this rule breaks down: getting the best quality for the lowest cost is not a realistic option, no matter how much time you throw into the equation. However, understanding the relationship between these three constraints for HVAC service contracts is a useful exercise for focusing your priorities and clarifying what you’re getting for your money.
How to choose an HVAC contractor for your business: why is it so hard?
If you’re in charge of your company’s facilities, you’ve certainly had experience dealing with heating and air conditioning contractors. You’ve likely vetted quite a few over the years. Yet, since you’re reading this article, you are probably finding yourself disappointed yet again. You may be wondering why it is such a challenge to find an HVAC service provider that meets your expectations.
The answer is: not every HVAC company is qualified to handle the challenges of commercial spaces, especially large corporate environments and businesses with multiple locations.
Also, you want a company that’s willing to customize its service according to your needs and priorities. Read on to learn about how to choose an HVAC contractor that’s both willing and able to deliver superior service that goes beyond your expectations.
If you’ve got a business located in an older building in an urban location, such as brownstones in New York City, chances are you have heating and air conditioning systems with ducts. And it’s likely that those ducts have been there for a number of years. Especially given the pollution levels in the city, a lot of nasty stuff can build up in those ducts over time: including dust, allergens, chemicals, microorganisms and mold.
If you are experiencing comfort problems in your building, such as odors, inconsistent temperatures, and even allergies and other health issues, cleaning air ducts can make a big difference.
When you’re renovating an older building for modern living (especially one in an urban setting like NYC), adding modern conveniences can be a challenge. Air conditioning is a prime example.
Older buildings often don’t have the space to install the ductwork needed for traditional systems. Also, electrical systems may be sufficient to handle the load of today’s AC equipment. While upgrading the electric can be expensive, finding the space for air conditioning equipment is more of a problem. Doing it wrong can often mean damaging original plaster, floors and woodwork. Even in the best case, installing traditional equipment usually means giving up closet space or lowering ceilings to make room for equipment.
That’s why it’s smart to consider alternative air conditioning systems for older homes, as well as small businesses renovating older buildings. In New York City, historic brownstone townhouses are frequently renovated for both uses. Here we will discuss the problems with older solutions, and introduce 3 more modern air conditioning options for older homes that you may not know about.
New York is a historic city, settled by the Dutch in the 1600’s. There are actually quite a few structures dating back to the mid-17th century. As a result, we have many unique and beautiful historic buildings mixed in with the glass and concrete high-rises throughout the city. Many of those older buildings are protected by law and must be renovated according to strict rules for historic buildings conservation. That impacts an HVAC retrofit or replacement that’s typically needed to restore a historic space to a condition that works for a business or even a luxury residence.
Here at Arista, we have been working on historic building renovations for decades (no, not since the 1600’s but we’ve been at this for a long time!). So we’ve learned a thing or two about the unique requirements of historic spaces for HVAC.
Last week, we shared the first article in a two-part series about some of the issues you need to address with an HVAC retrofit or replacement for historic buildings. In part 1, we began with a list of 9 DOs when installing HVAC solutions in a historic space.
In case you missed it: HVAC Solutions: DOs and DON’Ts for Historic Building Preservation
Today, we’ll reveal the all-important HVAC DON’Ts for historic buildings conservation in part 2.
HVAC retrofit or replacement: DON’Ts for historic buildings conservation
1. DON’T install a new system unless you need to
Even when you’re making structural fixes or cosmetic changes to meet the needs of a new commercial tenant, it’s possible that the existing HVAC system, or components of it, can be salvaged for the sake of historic buildings preservation. That’s especially true of the heating system. For example, you may be able to keep the old radiators and replace the old boiler with a new one. Or, consider an HVAC retrofit to add AC to parts of the building not cooled by an existing system.
There are some situations where a repair or an HVAC retrofit may be a viable option for historic buildings conservation. There’s one caveat to be aware of, though: think carefully about keeping AC systems that use the old R-22 refrigerant. That refrigerant is currently being phased out due to the environmental impacts, and getting R-22 is becoming more difficult and expensive every day. That means you may need to consider a replacement system that uses one of the newer refrigerants.
2. DON’T forget to consider modern HVAC options for historic buildings conservation
If an HVAC retrofit will not meet your needs, don’t assume you have to replace an older system with the same type of older system! There are newer HVAC technologies that have significant benefits for historic buildings.
A variable refrigerant flow (or VRF) system is one such option. For one thing, these system don’t typically require ductwork, which can be a boon when you’re trying not to damage existing walls, ceilings and building structures. Also, the system consists of multiple air handlers which are smaller and take up less space.
What’s more, these new systems are extremely quiet, energy efficient and customizable for zoned operation.
3. DON’T cut through exterior walls
In many buildings, it’s standard practice to cut holes through exterior walls to install what’s called “through the wall” HVAC units. This is usually forbidden by building regulations for historic buildings conservation. That means an HVAC retrofit to add a small unit onto an existing system might not be an option.
In some cases, you’ll have to get creative using existing penetrations through exterior walls, and consider ductless systems.
Related article: Ducted vs. Ductless Air Conditioning? How to Choose
4. DON’T alter historic architecture
Just like you have to be creative to avoid cutting through the exterior, it takes some expertise to find solutions that avoid altering architecture in a historic buildings conservation project.
Here are some of the things you should avoid doing whenever possible: avoid dropping ceilings, covering window openings, masking historic features or altering spaces to make room for HVAC equipment. If you are creative, there is usually a way to do it without destroying original architecture.
We could tell you so many stories to illustrate that point! Take a look at this previous blog to see what we mean: Residential HVAC Services: Innovation Improves Cooling in NYC Luxury Homes.
5. DON’T make condensing units or vents an eyesore
Aesthetics is a primary concern for historic buildings conservation. That includes both the interior and exterior of the space. Whether you are completely replacing the HVAC systems or only doing an HVAC retrofit, placement of equipment is extremely important.
That means, don’t put condensing (outdoor) AC units on a visible part of the roof. Don’t add vent pipes that ruin the asthetics of the roof line. If you must put a condenser in a visible area outside, at least use some creativity to hide the unit.
Read this related article for some great ideas: 15 Creative Ways to Hide Your Outside Air Conditioner
6. DON’T introduce moisture that can damage older structures
An HVAC retrofit or replacement, done as part of a historic buildings conservation project, requires the expertise of trained HVAC professionals. Be sure you choose a company that is experienced with older buildings, because if you’re not careful with the installation you could end up with condensation damaging the historic building structure.
Water leaks can stain walls and ceilings, and uncontrolled humidity can damage woodwork and expensive finishes.
7. DON’T skip regular preventative maintenance!
As we stressed in our part 1 article, investing in HVAC preventative maintenance is a smart move for any business, but it’s a must for those located in historic buildings. Not only are the consequences higher when something breaks (see the previously cited article about water leaks!) but the costs for repairs can be higher because it’s harder to access equipment and ventilation systems without harming building finishes.
Imagine the repair costs and building damage that you could face if a blocked drain causes a slow water leak that spreads mold through the walls before anyone notices?
That’s just one reason that our last DON’T may be the most important of all.
Appointment addresses need for service-focused technology HVAC education
SUMMARY: Scott Berger, President of Arista Air Conditioning and former MSCA Chairman, has been named Vice Chairman of MCAA’s Technology Committee. The appointment addresses the organization’s plans to expand its technology HVAC education programs to meet the needs of the service industry.
Long Island City, NY, February 1, 2017 — Scott Berger, President of Arista Air Conditioning and former MSCA Chairman, has been appointed Vice Chairman of the Technology Committee for the Mechanical Service Contractors of America (MCAA). Berger’s appointment is intended to help the organization expand its technology HVAC education programs to meet the needs of the service industry.
If you’re renovating a historic building in New York City, the HVAC solutions you choose can be a very important decision. It may not be the first thing on your mind, compared to structural and design decisions. However, choosing the right HVAC systems and installers means you get the comfort conditions needed for the intended use of the space, while also doing a good job with historic building preservation and maintaining the character of the building.
You are considering the renovation of your business space in an older building and are faced with many important decisions and among those is choosing the right HVAC system. You probably feel comfortable with many of your choices such as the best floor plan to meet your needs. But when it comes to selecting a new HVAC system, you may feel lacking in expertise and chilled by the thought of choosing the right HVAC system for your space that is on the cusp of renovation.
Here is some basic information that should help break the ice in the decision-making process and steer you in the right direction in making best choice for your business.
Like most business owners, you’re probably not an HVAC expert. Yet your restaurant HVAC is a mission critical system that your business can’t operate without. All year round, you depend on your heating and air conditioning system to keep your dining room comfortable for your customers, so they keep returning to your restaurant again and again. Your restaurant HVAC also keeps your kitchen and food prep areas comfortable for employees, which have specialized comfort and ventilation requirements in order to meet health inspection requirements.
The same holds true for your commercial refrigeration equipment. When your walk in freezers, blast chillers, low boy refrigerators and display cases are not working as they should, it’s a big risk to your business. If your food quality suffers, you could lose customers. In the worst case, you could be serving food that puts customers in danger of getting sick if your ingredients are not stored at the proper temperatures. The next thing you know, negative reviews start popping up on social media. And what happens if the health inspector shows up when your commercial refrigeration equipment is acting up?
That’s why we have put together this collection of essential information for the restaurant owner about restaurant HVAC and commercial refrigeration equipment service: it’s everything you need to know at your fingertips. Get the answers to all your questions and concerns here! Plus we’ve added out best advice for restaurant owners, based on everything we have learned from serving the industry for 6 decades.
It’s the middle of your dinner rush, with a packed house, and one of your line cooks reaches into a low boy to grab ingredients, only to find everything warm. What do you do? If your first thought is to chuck it and get to the nearest Restaurant Depot to replace it, then you have the wrong instinct. Treating your restaurant refrigeration equipment like disposable items can cost your restaurant a lot of money.
It’s true that heavy repairs can be pricey. So what’s the alternative? Properly maintained restaurant refrigeration equipment won’t need repairs. Best of all, with proper care your fridges and freezers will last much longer and save you the cost of replacing them entirely.
There are about 24,000 restaurants in New York City alone. Restaurant customer retention can be difficult to manage in that kind of climate. With all of those choices, how do you motivate your customers to keep coming back for more?
Luckily, Restaurant Week will be stirring up some fresh interest in the local dining scene and hopefully drive some new business your way. You want to make a good impression, so what’s a good way to turn them into repeat customers? Make their experience stand out, and offer something better than the rest. Here are some great ways to boost restaurant customer retention.
Your NYC health inspection is one of the most visible (and powerful) forms of promotion about your restaurant. After all, your rating is plastered right there in your front window, where every customer and passer-by can see it. All NYC ratings are also published in the New York Times. That’s why, if you do poorly on your restaurant heath inspection, at best it’s a PR nightmare. And in the worst case, you could be facing fines and even a shutdown.
The health inspector rarely announces himself in advance. So how can you be sure you’ll have all your ducks in a row when he shows up during a busy lunch shift when you’ve just accepted a large delivery? It’s about being prepared at all times.
Here at Arista, we have been servicing NYC restaurants for decades. We’ve seen how to most successful NYC restaurants are doing it right. Here are 12 of our most useful restaurant health inspection preparation tips.
With NYC restaurant week coming up, there will be lots of restaurants gearing up to put their best foot forward. How do you stand out in the crowd? Add entertainment to the menu. Restaurant event planning is a big deal for a reason: it draws people into your restaurant and greatly increases the chances of them having a memorable experience. Check out this list of ways to ensure a successful event.
Here’s one fact you probably already know: the success of your restaurant is about much more than the food. Restaurant comfort is a big issue for diners, and a prime reason they will choose to frequent your establishment, or not.
Yet (as you probably realize since you’re reading this blog!) getting restaurant comfort right it not as easy as it seems.
Just think about your own experience. It’s probably something like this: your patrons are constantly complaining about being too hot or too cold, or being bothered by drafts from your AC blowing directly on their food. And making it too loud to carry on a conversation. At the same time, your kitchen is sweltering to the point that people are ready to pass out from the heat. Even worse, you might have kitchen odors migrating to the dining room. That’s not a pleasant experience for your diners, either.
We’ve heard lots of stories like this from the many New York City restaurants we have serviced over the years. Certainly you’ve experienced your staff fiddling with the thermostat in a desperate attempt to improve your restaurant comfort. It’s even worse when you catch your customers doing that!
Read on to learn more about why restaurant comfort is a tricky issue. Then we’ll reveal how the right combination of specialized equipment, HVAC system design and maintenance can improve environmental temperature control and solve your problems once and for all.
Maintaining of a large corporate property portfolio is a complex job. Take your HVAC for example: keeping hundreds or even thousands of HVAC units running is mission critical. Yet FM is responsible for more than just upkeep of all these units. Increasingly, you are tasked with:
- Keeping the environment comfortable for employees and customers
- Reducing business downtime due to emergency repairs or equipment failures
- Reducing energy consumption and cost
- Switching to more environmentally-friendly refrigerants as required by federal mandate
As equipment ages, it becomes more inefficient. As a result, it’s increasingly likely to break down, provide inconsistent comfort, and drive up energy costs. That’s why meeting the objectives above requires having a plan for proactive HVAC replacement as units reach a certain level of inefficiency.
All of us join in wishing you the joy of family, the gift of friends and the best of everything this holiday season.
May this be the happy beginning of a wonderful new year! We look forward to serving you in 2017.
Are you struggling to find luxury gift ideas for that discerning person in your life? Nothing says luxury (and appeals to those who love the best of everything) like holiday gifts that provide the ultimate in comfort.
Here at Arista, we have been serving luxury homeowners here in New York City for more than 60 years, so we know a thing or two about this subject!
Here are 6 incredibly fun luxury gift ideas for the holidays that are all about giving the gift of comfort. The last one might not seem like quite as much fun, but the experience it provides is sure to be appreciated daily for years to come.
December is an expensive month, between all the gifts you have to buy, holiday entertaining, and paying the electric bill for your massive lights display. Why not save some money with these holiday energy saving tips?
Not to mention all the harm we’re doing to the environment by wasting electricity and fossil fuels this time of year. Do your part to save the planet by following these simple holiday tips for saving energy.
Business owners, you know your employees are your #1 asset and a huge part of your business’ success. This is the time of year to let them know you recognize what they contribute to the organization and to you personally. When it comes to holiday gift ideas for employees, think beyond the generic gift card or fruit basket to make them feel truly valued.
Of course, everyone likes cash. But you would probably not be reading this if that was an option! Instead, peruse this list of holiday gift ideas for employees for some creative holiday gifts that are sure to please and send the intended message.
Holiday party planning can evoke a mixed bag of emotions. You’re probably looking forward to impressing your guests and enjoying a festive occasion. But whether you’re planning an open house for a hundred or an intimate gathering for a few friends or family, chances are you’re stressing over getting everything perfect.
Successful holiday party planning is all about managing the most important aspects of your gathering: the people, the setting, and of course, the food and drink. Today we’re sharing a collection of tips that can help to remove some of the stress from holiday party planning, by helping you avoid common pitfalls in each of these areas.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The NYC streets are teeming with shoppers and you’re looking forward to your most profitable holiday season yet. Hopefully Black Friday was successful for you and a sign of healthy sales to come over the coming month. But are you doing everything you can to get shoppers into your stores and entice them to spend? And are you doing everything you can to control costs and maximize profit?
Here at Arista, we have worked closely with NYC’s retail business community for decades. Today we are sharing some holiday tips from some of our most successful retail customers about how to maximize profit this holiday season.
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 holiday 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.
This Thanksgiving, we extend our warmest wishes to all our valued associates, clients, partners and friends. We are truly grateful for the confidence you have shown in us, and we look forward to serving you in the year to come.
This blog post shares proven strategies and advice for implementing modern workplaces with smart buildings technology from Ian Morley, Chief Strategy Officer for Serraview, a technology solutions provider for the agile workplace.
Why are companies investing in technology for smart buildings? The obvious draw is the significant cost reductions that can be achieved: on energy consumption, on operating expenses, and even on the cost of space itself. Yet there are other compelling reasons that smart HVAC, sensors and other smart buildings technology give companies a competitive edge:
- Reduced operating expenses allow companies to invest more in revenue producing initiatives, such as development of products and services
- Savings can be re-invested in workplace transformation programs that can help attract talent, improve collaboration, and drive new ideas and innovation
- Greater control over building systems, as well as the intelligence needed to make better facilities management strategic decisions
BONUS: you can even use smart buildings technology to improve employee experience.
Wondering where to start? Read on to learn about smart HVAC and space optimization technology designed to modernize your workplace while also cutting facilities expenses.
Can you believe it’s nearly Thanksgiving? With the holiday rush about to hit, replacing your office AC is probably the last thing on your mind. However, if you experienced problems with your office air conditioner all last summer, you’d be very smart to think about upgrading it now.
While it’s tempting to wait for spring to deal with your office AC problems, the fact is that autumn and winter can actually be the best times to buy a new office air conditioner. Read on to learn why, as well as important information you need to make a good decision and get the best possible pricing.
Walk into a modern NYC office, and you’ll find a very different environment than you did just a few years ago. For decades, a ring of private offices surrounding a central cubical farm was the norm. Today, modern offices are much more open, featuring different types of spaces designed for team collaboration, individual focused work and everything in between. While open environments are a boon for business in many ways, sound distractions such as HVAC noise can lower productivity in these environments.
Read on to learn some effective strategies for HVAC noise reduction, as well as one way you can use HVAC noise to your advantage.
Corporate office space is undergoing a rapid transformation. Traditionally, these spaces included a ring of private offices around the perimeter of the space, with cubical farms occupying the center. Today, companies are moving to more of 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.
Here in the NYC area, it’s that frustrating in-between season again, where you don’t know how to dress from one day to the next. Having to changing your clothes several times a day can be annoying, but keeping your space consistently comfortable in this weather is another challenge altogether. Some areas wind up too cold while others are too warm. Did you know that you can get an HVAC system that provides simultaneous heating and cooling?
Read on to learn more about VRF technology, a sophisticated type of HVAC system that provides simultaneous heating and cooling (as well as other advantages over conventional systems). We’ll also identify as the types of spaces that can benefit most from this technology.
Ready or not, it’s time to start thinking about the holiday season! It’s no joke: in the food service business, we’re coming up on one of the busiest times of the year. Are you ready for the holiday rush?
Getting prepared means doing everything you can to make sure your restaurant is at its best. You can’t afford problems with your refrigeration equipment to derail your plans for a successful and profitable holiday season. Take action now: invest in commercial refrigeration service to keep everything running smoothly.
It’s amazing how fast the weather is turning this year here in the New York City area. Just a few weeks ago you were probably running the AC, and now you’re probably thinking about turning on the heat. Not so fast! Have you completed your fall HVAC maintenance yet? To keep the occupants of your space comfortable and your systems in great shape, now’s the time to tackle the HVAC maintenance checklist.
Read on to learn what needs to be done to your heating and cooling systems, as well as why it’s in your best interest not to skip the essential tasks on the HVAC maintenance checklist.
Learn more about the WHY behind fall HVAC maintenance in NYC by reading this: 4 Consequences of Fall Furnace Maintenance Neglect.
Use these checklists to start a conversation with a certified provider of HVAC maintenance in NYC or in your area about what’s included in their service agreement, as well as what HVAC maintenance checklist tasks are needed for your equipment.
When you’re managing high end residential properties, quality is something that’s always on your mind. Homeowners not only expect it, but demand it, not only from the systems and furnishings in their homes, but from the service providers that take care of them.
When it comes to quality HVAC, chances are you’re not an expert. So let us guide you through some of the important features to look for in a quality equipment for the luxury homeowner.
Choosing a quality HVAC service provider, whether it’s for installation, repair, or ongoing maintenance, is really not much different. To get the quality service you need and expect, it’s all about knowing what to look for. That can be especially challenging in a large metropolitan area like New York City, where there are so many players in the market. We’ll help you evaluate who stands head and shoulders above the rest, wherever you are searching for quality residential service.
It’s not rocket science, getting competent HVAC repair in NYC, right? At least you might not think so. So then why are you experiencing so many problems?
Customer service and scheduling issues are bad enough: making you wait days or longer for an appointment, showing up late, then taking even longer to get HVAC repair parts needed to complete the job.
But when the problems go deeper and involve the ability to correctly diagnose and fix problems, that’s another matter entirely. The fact is, HVAC repair (in NYC especially) is becoming more and more complex all the time, as vendors move toward proprietary technology. The issues you’re seeing may very well be due to inadequate training.
Read on to learn what you must look for in a service provider of HVAC repair in NYC, specifically related to proof of expertise and ongoing training.
Here in NYC, disaster recovery is on our minds this time of year
For business owners in the New York City area who lived through Superstorm Sandy, this can be an anxious time of year. Even though hurricane season is technically on the wane, that doesn’t mean we are safe. After all, Sandy struck at the end of October. Many of us are keeping an eye on the forecast and worrying every time a tropical depression forms.
There’s a good reason for that concern. If you’re not prepared, storm damage can severely impact your business, or even put you out of business for good. Unfortunately, worrying won’t protect your business in the event of a major storm. A NYC disaster recovery plan can.
Trying to decide on the right ductless AC system for a NYC luxury residential or light commercial space? It pays to consider variable refrigerant flow or VRF systems for the ultimate in comfort and efficiency.
While it may be unfamiliar to some, VRF technology is not new. In fact, it’s been the ductless AC system of choice in Japan and Europe for decades. These ductless AC units have been gaining in popularity in the US over the past 10 years or so, particularly in the Northeast, including New York City, and on the West Coast, according to a report earlier this year by ACHRNews.
Read on for a review of when you may want or need to choose a ductless AC system in NYC, and why VRF is an ideal choice.
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?
The simple reason is, ventilation is required for both HVAC comfort and good air quality. Without enough ventilation in your space, you will eventually (and sometimes quickly) experience comfort issues and even health problems. These could range from having trouble sleeping in a stuffy bedroom to experiencing Sick Building Syndrome in a commercial space.
So what is ventilation exactly, and how does it work with heating and air conditioning systems to maximize your HVAC comfort?
Read on to find out.
If you’re a small business owner, you’re probably used to getting things done yourself. Maybe you save money by making your own desk supplies and organization, or maybe you’ve built a bookshelf or a storage system.
DIY can be a great solution for saving a bit of your budget. But if you’ve ever stared down a failed Pinterest project, you’ll know the most important part is knowing when you’re in over your head. Check out these air conditioner maintenance tips to do DIY the smart way.
What would happen if you just stopped filing papers? Or if you stopped checking your email? What about if you- horror of all horrors- 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 paper part could make a big difference in air quality, but it does. Think of cleaning the air like cleaning the rest of your building. 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.
We know it’s frustrating when your AC is not cooling your business effectively. Especially when it’s an issue that happens intermittently or has developed slowly over time. Complaints from your employees are increasing, and you’re even worried about losing business.
You may be wondering if your equipment needs repair or replacement, or if it’s not really broken at all but something in your environment that’s changed. What can you do to get to the bottom of the problem?
The tricky part is, there are many issues that can result in your AC not cooling enough. Read on to learn more about the common problems you should know about, so you can take the appropriate action.
Our theme for this month’s blogs is “Things Techs Wish People Knew About HVAC,” and that starts with a very basic understanding about how air conditioning works.
Why should you know or care how AC works, as long as it keeps your space cool?
The short answer is:
- You should know how AC works so you understand what’s needed to keep it working efficiently and reliably
- You’re more likely to notice sooner when something’s not working right, and call for help. In many cases, that awareness can turn small problems from turning into bigger (and more expensive) problems.
So, here’s a basic primer that explains how the most common air-cooled systems & how air conditioning works.
It’s easy to stay vigilant about keeping your office or apartment building clean when having a neat space means making a good impression. But what about a mess you can’t see that’s lurking inside your air conditioning system? That kind of grime can do more than make a poor impression; it can lead to health problems. That’s just one reason why HVAC system cleaning is so important.
Case in point: in 2015, New York City was affected by health scare known as Legionnaires’ disease. This dangerous sickness was reported in certain large buildings and offices, and was eventually linked back to contaminated HVAC water cooling towers. Since then, legislation has been introduced to keep water cooling towers clean and prevent further infections. This situation goes to show that it’s not just fear mongering; HVAC system cleaning is a vital part of keeping your space healthy.
Poor humidity control is not just a comfort issue for restaurants
Humid August air makes us unhappy for a whole host of reasons. Bad hair days, sticking doors, and musty smells to name a few. Not to mention having to change your clothes constantly if you don’t want them sticking to you.
But if you’re running a restaurant, too much humidity creates another set of problems that can actually drive away customers and hurt your business.
When August finally rolls around, it can be hard to remember that you were wishing for this heat in January. A hot day on the beach is nice, but the humidity in summer leaves you sticking to your chair. If you find yourself longing for the chilly days of winter, check out these ways of staying cool in summer before you resort to that in-office water balloon fight.
In space, the “Goldilocks zone” is the area around a sun where the temperature is habitable to life. In the office, differing temperature preferences can feel as far apart as the sun and moon. Today we’re helping you bridge the gap by finding the ideal office temperature to satisfy all your employees. Don’t be deaf to your employees’ complaints, because a comfortable employee is a productive employee.
Here are some strategies you can use to make your office not too cold, not too hot, but just right.
Isn’t air conditioning supposed to remove humidity? So why is yours not doing the job?
If you’re sweating your way through another muggy August, read on to learn more about HVAC humidity control and why your AC might not be up to the task.
Then we’ll tell you 4 ways you can get an older unit to remove more moisture so your space doesn’t feel like a tropical jungle.
This time of year, it can feel like you’re living in a steam bath. August inevitably brings too much humidity and heat, and it can be difficult to escape the uncomfortable effects, even indoors.
Are you having trouble maintaining your energy and focus with too much humidity in the air? Even hunting down Pokémon is too much effort in this weather. It’s enough to make you wonder exactly how the high humidity levels are affecting your body and your health. How are indoor humidity & health related?
If you’ve got an older air conditioning system (and you’re reading this article!) chances are you’re familiar with what happens when you’ve got a refrigerant leak.
You begin to notice that your AC is not cooling very well, even though the fans are blowing and the air flow seems fine. Over time, days or even weeks, the problem gradually gets worse, even though the system is running more than usual. Finally, you put your hand up to the register and you feel warm air blowing out. That’s a classic sign of a refrigerant leak. Not again!
Read on to learn about what causes a refrigerant leak to happen, how to get it fixed right, and options for making sure it doesn’t happen again.
What’s the key to troubleshooting complex equipment? In many cases, it’s deciding when to try solutions yourself and when you need to get help from professionals.
That’s an important decision when facing an AC electrical problem. Unless you happen to be a licensed electrician, messing with circuits yourself can be very dangerous.
Related article: DIY HVAC Repair? Don’t Even Think About It
On that note, it’s a good idea to be cautious and turn off your AC before investigating the problem if you suspect electrical damage. You might also not be sure if an issue is caused by the wiring or by some other problem in the AC. These tips will help you troubleshoot the issue and guide you to the right course of action once you’ve discovered the cause.
We all want our air conditioners to be as unobtrusive as possible, while getting the job done. That’s why if air conditioners get loud, or start making strange sounds, it gets annoying in a hurry.
But not all air conditioning noise is equal. Some sounds indicate more trouble than others. How do you know if it’s a quick fix, something a service tech needs to take care of, or something you could just drown out by donning headphones and blasting your tunes?
Take a look at the types of air conditioning noise you’re likely to hear, and what it means about your HVAC.
Isn’t it funny how the presence of water can cause such a variety of reactions in different contexts? On a hot July day, water seems cool and inviting when it’s in your backyard pool. It may even be a welcome relief when it’s falling from the sky. But when you find a puddle of water on the floor of your mechanical room, it’s a scary sight and a source of anxiety. Your AC is leaking water. Now what?
First of all, take a breath and relax. There are a number of possible causes for an AC leaking water, and many of them are not difficult or expensive to fix.
However, it’s important to act quickly, because leaking water can cause expensive damage to your walls, ceilings, floors and furnishings. And there is one possible cause of AC leaking water that can cause your air conditioner’s compressor to fail. When that happens, you might find yourself having to replace your unit.
With longer days and July heat, summer is finally kicking into high gear. It can make even the most hard-working of us want to sit directly under the AC and wait for Disney to make a sequel to Frozen already. While imagining you’re in Arendelle might help you cool off, if your AC suddenly seems to have Elsa’s frosty powers, it could spell trouble for your HVAC system.
Unlike other HVAC malfunctions, frozen AC coils can be caused by failures in almost any part of the system. If you see frost or a layer of ice on your indoor unit, it’s obvious that this is the problem. But indoor units are not always accessible. To prevent this from happening to your AC, you need to know what else to look for.
These days, you can’t turn around (or walk past a newsstand) without getting bombarded with tips for staying healthy. It makes sense: getting sick is unpleasant so many people go to great lengths to avoid everything from the common cold to heart disease.
Unfortunately, people don’t tend to maintain their AC the same way they maintain their health. If it’s still keeping you cool, it’s fine, right? That’s not always the case. Even with normal usage, an air conditioner can develop problems as well as accumulate wear and tear that can lead to problems down the road.
Just like taking care of your body keeps you healthy, taking proper care of your AC means it’s much less likely to break down. That’s why it’s so important to take the steps outlined here to prevent AC compressor failure.
Are you beginning to suspect that you have a sick building on your hands?
When mysterious illnesses begin to occur in your office, at first it might seem like a coincidence. For a while you might assume that stress is making everyone sick. But as the reported cases increase, and people notice that their symptoms disappear after they go home, the term “Sick Building Syndrome” starts to be whispered throughout your workplace.
It can be an alarming situation, make no mistake about it, especially if you’re in charge of your company’s facilities. You’re probably having nightmares about the CDC shutting you down. But in most cases, there’s no reason to panic. That’s because the most common causes of Sick Building Syndrome can be eliminated with air conditioner preventive maintenance.
This time of year, it feels like summer humidity is the enemy. Here are just of few of the reasons you probably just want to spend the summer in an air conditioned room:
- The minute you go outside, all your clothes are stuck to your body.
- Summer humidity and hair just don’t get along.
- In this weather, anything that gets wet stays that way.
- Right after you get out of the shower, you feel like you need another one.
- Crowded elevators and subways… well, you get the idea.
Nobody’s going to argue with those reasons for not being a fan of summer humidity. However, there are much scarier facts you should know about humidity and how it can affect your health.
Flowers are blooming, the grass is green and lush, and trees are bursting with new leaves… Don’t you just love this time of year?
Not so much if you have allergies.
When the pollen count is out of control, all you want to do is hide in an air conditioned room until fall. Unfortunately, that probably won’t help.
You might think your air conditioning system will filter out all those nasty allergens from the air, but without the right air filters for allergies, you’ll still be sniffling and sneezing your way through the season.
And it’s not just pollen you need to worry about! The summer heat and humidity make the conditions ripe for the growth of mold and mildew, which can also bring on allergy symptoms.
Learn the facts about choosing the right air filters for allergies, as well as other HVAC maintenance tips that can reduce your suffering this season.
There are many reasons business owners and employees might be concerned about indoor air quality in office buildings:
- Stale and stuffy air
- Too much humidity
- Lingering odors
- Mold starting to appear in damp spots
- People suffering from health issues such as headaches, fatigue, nausea, respiratory issues, or skin problems while they are in the office
- There may even be talk about Sick Building Syndrome
Even before that alarming term starts to be used, people are going to be anxious to get to the bottom of the issue. It’s not only because indoor air quality in office buildings affects everyone’s comfort and health. Business owners should also be concerned about the impact on productivity and their bottom line.
Which do you find more scary: something right before your eyes, or something you can’t actually see but looms large in your imagination?
The spider on the ceiling? Or the monster under the bed?
For most of us, it’s what we can’t see that’s truly frightening.
When it comes to the quality of the air in your home, those fears about what’s lurking unseen can be justified. There are quite a number of invisible dangers that you risk with every breath you take.
Reliable air conditioning is something we tend to take for granted… until all of a sudden it’s not reliable anymore.
It’s tempting to hope that you can start up your AC for the summer and everything works perfectly. But if you want that to happen, you need to take steps to make sure your air conditioner is ready for the hot summer days ahead. That includes cleaning the AC coil.
Read on to learn more about this important component of your air conditioner, why it’s so vulnerable, and how cleaning it can have a huge impact on your summer comfort, your energy bills, and even the quality of the air you breathe.
It’s so easy to take air for granted. You can’t see it, and mostly you don’t think about the fact that you’re breathing it all day. But people notice in a hurry when there’s not enough of it. That’s why stuffy air in an office is so difficult to put up with.
When air conditioning problems lead to insufficient air flow in your workplace, you’ll notice people taking every opportunity to get out of there. Going outside for air, taking long lunches… maybe you’ve done it yourself. If so, it’s time to get to the root of the problem before lagging productivity begins to impact your bottom line.
With all the problems on your plate on a given day, it can be tough to find the time to give much attention to your air conditioning system. Yet when your AC breaks down, it can impact every aspect of your operation.
That’s why facilities and operations staff need to understand a few air conditioner basics that help keep everything running smoothly.
Even though a Facilities Manager needs to be a jack-of-all-trades, HVAC may not be your area of expertise. So here’s a guide to the most important air conditioner basics you need to know: the top causes of AC problems, and what you can do to prevent them.
Taking on a commercial renovation project comes with an overwhelming number of decisions that need to be made.
You probably feel comfortable making some of those choices, such as choosing the most functional layout or even selecting furniture. But as a business owner, you may feel less than qualified to decide on the right HVAC system for your new space. A ducted air conditioning unit or a ductless one? You’re not an HVAC expert; how are you supposed to know what’s right for your space?
If you’re being pressed for a decision without fully understanding your options, you’ve come to the right place for help. Here’s some basic information on the ducted air conditioning unit and the ductless system, to guide you in making the best choice for your business.
As a HVACR service provider, here at Arista we perform a variety of different services for our customers related to heating, air conditioning, ventilation and refrigeration. Many of them are fairly straightforward (at least from the customer’s standpoint!): your air conditioning breaks and we fix it. Even the reasons for preventative maintenance of HVACR equipment are fairly well understood. But when it comes to duct cleaning services, people tend to have a lot of questions.
If you’re reading this, chances are you have questions too. So today we’re going to answer some of the most common questions we hear every day about duct cleaning services.
When you’re renovating a space, whether it’s a residence, office or other light commercial space, you are probably most concerned about how the space will look and how it will function. For example, you’re busy choosing colors and lighting and furniture, as well as working with an architect on the best layout for the space. And of course, you’re focusing on the cost and the timeline.
Your HVAC system is probably not even in the top 10. Yet it should be, because when your new space is complete, your satisfaction with the results will depend on the comfort and functionality of your home or business. And mistakes in designing and installing your HVAC, such as incorrect ductwork sizing, can seriously impact both function and long-term comfort.
In the food service business, every hour that you’re open and operating is critical to your bottom line. So what happens when you’re open but not operating (or not fully operating) due to maintenance issues? Chances are, you’re losing money. Here are some (probably all too familiar) examples:
- The HVAC is out, your kitchen staff is ready to pass out and customers are walking out due to the heat
- Your walk-in freezer is down, the ice cream is melting, and you have a delivery coming in an hour
- It’s Fried Chicken Friday, and your deep fryer is on the fritz
- The health inspector is due, and the dishwasher just stopped working
Looking for restaurant kitchen design ideas? You’ve come to the right place.
Arista has done restaurant HVAC, refrigeration and kitchen repair for many years (decades, really) so we’ve been involved in countless restaurant startups and renovations. In the process, we’ve learned quite a few useful tips. Here goes!
What exactly is a make up air unit for a kitchen?
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.
Let’s explore the reasons why a make up air unit is so essential for restaurant kitchens.
Why is Make Up Air Important for Restaurants?
Depending on the type of cooking you are doing, you might even have more than one exhaust system in your kitchen: one for heat & grease generating cooking appliances (like fryers, grills, and cooktops) and another for steam-generating appliances (such as dishwashing equipment and baking ovens).
Restaurant kitchen exhaust systems are often very powerful, removing thousands of cubic feet of air per minute. When air is removed from your kitchen, it needs to be replaced with fresh air. Without that replacement air, you wind up with all sorts of unpleasant and even dangerous conditions, which we’ll get to in a minute. The problem is compounded in newer buildings constructed to be air-tight, which prevents the natural flow of outside air into the space.
Air flow is really important for your restaurant kitchen
If you’re setting up a restaurant kitchen for the first time, or even renovating an existing kitchen, you probably don’t have to do much research to choose your kitchen’s cooking appliances. After all, food is your thing. Changes are you have known exactly what you want for a long time. But what about your commercial kitchen exhaust hood? Air flow is probably not your thing. And when you start to research your options, you quickly discover that there’s a lot more to it than you thought.
So here’s a quick primer that can help you choose the commercial kitchen exhaust hood that’s perfect for your food service establishment.
Restaurant kitchen design: planning is everything
Your kitchen is the heart and soul of your restaurant. Getting your restaurant kitchen design wrong can be a huge disaster. Design impacts the success of your restaurant in many ways:
- the efficiency of your food prep
- the ability of your staff to follow safe food handling practices
- cleanliness of your restaurant
- whether you’re meeting all applicable codes and standards (if not, you could be shut down or your opening could be delayed)
As a provider of HVAC, refrigeration and kitchen equipment maintenance to NYC restaurants for decades, we’ve been involved in lots of restaurant renovations and build-outs. Over the years, we have learned a thing or two about what NOT to do when creating a restaurant kitchen design. Whether you’re remodeling or opening a new establishment, avoid these bad practices that can cost you big time.
High Rise HVAC is a Major Concern in New York City
New York City is home to more than 6000 high rise buildings, typically defined as structures with 12 or more stories. And that number is growing every day. According to the Wall Street Journal, the city is in the midst of what may turn out to be the largest construction boom in a generation, as hundreds of new residential projects have been initiated in the past year.
Especially for luxury residential construction projects, high rise HVAC requirements are a prime concern. Buyers and tenants demand nothing less than consistent comfort, quiet operation, and even the ability to customize the heating and cooling of the space according to their individual requirements. Yet for builders of high rise residential buildings, those needs have been tough to meet with the traditional high rise HVAC options. They tend to be noisy, inefficient, and they take up too much valuable space within the building.