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.
NYC Metro Area’s HVACR Blog
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.
Salon owners and employees are accustomed to the chemical fumes associated with a salon: from hair dyes, nail polish, aerosol sprays and other products. But customers don’t want to be assaulted with those odors.
Now due to the pandemic, customers are paying more attention to indoor air quality and its impact on their health. After all, if the smell of hair spray is lingering, what are the chances that the air in your salon is harboring something more dangerous?
You don’t want to be that salon that puts its customers at risk. Luckily, there are HVAC solutions available today that can reduce odors, improve indoor air quality and help keep everyone safe and healthy.
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
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.
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?
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?Read more
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.
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
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.
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.
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
- Concern about the spread of COVID-19, or talk about Sick Building Syndrome
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.
Why change your AC filter?
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.
Isn’t air conditioning supposed to remove humidity? So why is yours not doing the job?
Controlling humidity indoors is now more important than ever due to COVID, because the virus thrives in both very high and very low humidity conditions. It’s just one more reason (beyond comfort) to keep humidity between about 40 and 60 percent for most spaces.
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.
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.Read more
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.
Here in New York City, outdoor air pollution gets a lot of attention. But according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the concentration of some pollutants is often two to five times higher indoors than the concentration levels outdoors.
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).
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.
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.
Also, experts say that properly designed air flow and ventilation can help to prevent transmission of airborne contaminants such as coronavirus.
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.
What exactly is a make up air unit for a kitchen?
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.
HVAC humidity control is critical in summer
This time of year, it feels like summer humidity is the enemy:
- 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.
Plus, there are much scarier facts you should know about summer humidity and how it can affect your health. Luckily there are easy solutions for HVAC humidity control.
Are you ready to end the relationship with your current HVAC maintenance company? Once you’ve determined that it’s time to move on for the sake of your business, here are some tips to seek out the best possible vendors to meet your needs.Read more
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.
Noticing signs of mold in your air ducts?
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.
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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?Read more
Commercial HVAC repair expenses can take a big bite out of your profits. You might think there’s little you can do to prevent those costly breakdowns from happening.
The fact is, there is something you can do to reduce what you spend on HVAC repairs: regular maintenance. The cost of maintenance is a small investment that reduces your HVAC repair expenses.Read more
With the hottest temperatures of the year staring us down, the last thing we need is a meltdown over an air conditioner breakdown. Home and business owners and facility and property managers across the NYC metropolitan area are keeping their fingers crossed that mature air conditioning systems make it through the summer. This tenuous situation can’t help beg the question, “How long should an air conditioner last?”
HVAC experts say an air conditioner should last about 15 to 20 years under normal conditions. However, many factors can reduce that life, including poor installation, operating conditions, system sizing, and neglected maintenance.
If you’ve been following our HVAC blog articles, you probably notice that they’re usually very practical. We offer guidance about issues that are on your mind and provide information that’s immediately helpful. Once in a while, though, we like to talk about something just because we think it’s interesting and enlightening. This blog about new HVAC refrigerants is one of those posts. We hope you’ll find it interesting and enlightening, too!
The true story behind HVAC refrigerants
Refrigeration was originally invented because we wanted to make our food last longer and prevent waste from spoilage. We learned that keeping it cool accomplished that goal. Isn’t it ironic that the chemical HVAC refrigerants we developed to chill our food (as well as cool our living and working spaces) are some of the worst contributors to the greenhouse effect and global warming? That’s right: as we chill our food to preserve it, we’re heating up our planet and destroying it.
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.
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?
As a facilities manager, you know proper facility management is sometimes a thankless job. That fact is never more apparent than when you’re trying to get HVAC upgrades approved.
A case in point: you devote significant attention to ensuring the building you manage is cool and comfortable in the summer and pleasantly warm in the winter. The trouble is, accolades seldom go out when the indoor climate is pleasant. Yet you’d hear about it quickly if your building was inundated with excessive heat and humidity because your HVAC system went on the blink.Read more
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.
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.
Owners of commercial air conditioning systems: listen up! If your system has been giving you trouble, you may be thinking: should I replace my R22 air conditioner? If so, we have good news for you.
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?
If your business has older HVAC equipment that’s been repaired recently, hopefully you used a trusted HVAC supplier. Many types of air conditioning repairs require adding refrigerant to the system. If your repair company bought refrigerant from the wrong source, you might have counterfeit refrigerant in your system that can be dangerous for occupants of your space.
There have been reports of fires and explosions caused by counterfeit refrigerant. Find out how to keep your business safe and your air conditioning system damage-free.
Even though we may enjoy warm late summer days, most of us don’t want that heat creeping into our air conditioned living or work space. Are you are concerned because your place is not cooling off like it should? Perhaps you’ve noticed warm air or lower than normal airflow coming out of your system’s registers or you’ve heard a hissing sound. Maybe you’ve observed water on the floor by your HVAC unit or seen ice forming on your evaporator coils. These are all telltale signs of an AC refrigerant leak.
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.
Here are four reasons why you should take advantage of HVAC cleaning services in NYC.
All New Yorkers face impacts from climate change
According to the New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC), New York City faces significant risks from climate change by the 2050’s. Mean average temperatures will rise by as much as 6.5 degrees, annual precipitation will increase up to 15 percent, and sea levels will rise by as much as 31 inches. Noticeable increases will occur within the coming decade. These are some of the impacts New Yorkers will see as a result of climate change:Read more
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.
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.
You’ve probably heard about extreme sports such as hang gliding, mountain biking, rock climbing, and even extreme ironing (really!). Today we’re going to introduce you to a new form of extreme sport: it’s called EXTREME HVAC SERVICE in NYC, where everything is more extreme. It’s the kind of HVAC service businesses need to ensure consistent comfort without extreme costs.
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.
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 may be worried about losing business.
The tricky part is, there are many issues that can result in your air conditioner not cooling enough. Your equipment might need repair or replacement. Or maybe something in your environment that’s changed and your system is not broken at all.
Read on to learn more about the common problems you should know about, so you can take the appropriate action.
The outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease in NYC has raised many questions
While it’s a relief to know that the recent outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease in NYC is over, many New Yorkers still have lingering questions and concerns about Legionnaire’s Disease in NYC as well as the new legislation recently passed in the city to prevent further outbreaks. Even though the outbreak is officially over, those of us who live and work in NYC will be dealing with the ramifications for quite some time.
Everyone is talking about this issue, and you may be unsure about whether you can trust what you’re reading and hearing about Legionnaires’ Disease in NYC. So we have put together a list of what those of us who live and work in NYC need to know, and where to get reliable and accurate information.
It’s undeniable that unpleasant events can serve as a learning experience. And if you ever had your HVAC system break down in the dog days of summer, you were probably kicking yourself for neglecting to sign up for an HVAC maintenance program. Now that you have survived that uncomfortable situation and have purchased an HVAC maintenance plan, do you really know what services are covered under your HVAC preventative maintenance program?Read more
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.
This discussion about the benefits of HVAC maintenance is an update to one of our most popular and helpful blog posts. Here’s the original: Poor HVAC Maintenance Means Poor Profits. That’s the Bottom Line
Are you monitoring HVAC expenses?
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.
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.
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.
Are you disappointed with your current HVAC service provider? Wondering if you’re expecting too much or if there are really better commercial HVAC companies out there?
We promise, there are better ones. Keep reading to learn what you should NOT put up with, and how to find the best commercial HVAC companies.
Did you know that as much as 50% of your building’s energy consumption is used by your HVAC system? Any day now, the temperatures will start to soar into the 80’s and 90’s, and your electricity bills will rise along with the temperatures. You need to keep your building cool, so how can you save money? The good news is, there are smart ways to help your air conditioning system use less energy.Read more
When you think about the potential dangers that could threaten your building and its occupants, your HVAC system may not immediately come to mind. Many companies are prepared for natural disasters and terrorist threats, which, although potentially devastating, are statistically unlikely to happen. Yet companies fail to consider the much more likely threat of an accidental chemical or biological contamination spread through the building’s HVAC system.
With some advance planning and regular maintenance of your HVAC system, you can prevent many threats entirely and avoid the worst outcome from accidents.Read more
If you’ve been with your current HVAC vendor for years (even if it was a happy marriage at first) your relationship can unravel to the point where it’s time to move on. When you’re waiting for a repair, are they MIA for hours with no phone call? Do they send untrained technicians who don’t understand your system? Are they negligent about doing preventative maintenance? Do they leave a mess behind?
If you’re experiencing lousy response times and sub-par service from your HVAC vendor, you may be putting off “breaking it off” because it’s such a daunting task to find someone better. How can you tell which of the thousands of HVAC contractors in the New York City area can be counted on to provide great service?Read more
If you are a facility manager or building owner, chances are you’ve had questions about your air conditioning system. You may hesitate to ask your service technician (whom you’re probably paying by the hour) in the middle of a repair visit. It can be frustrating to try and find straightforward answers when you’re not an expert, so we have put together a handy guide with answers to the most common questions we hear every day.Read more
It seems like every day we wake up to find that another natural disaster or emergency has wreaked havoc on cities, businesses and countless lives. It’s enough to keep a business owner up at night, wondering if your business could survive such a situation. What would you do if it happened to you?
It’s no secret that having a disaster recovery plan can make the difference between getting back up and running after a catastrophe and losing your business permanently. You probably have plans in place for evacuation, communication with employees and customers, power supply and data access. But there is an equally important aspect of emergency planning that many fail to consider: are your service providers prepared for disasters, and will they be able to respond when you need them most?Read more
New York City air is rough on air conditioners. Especially on those hot days when your air conditioner needs to work at peak capacity, it’s easy to see the air quality problems in the brown haze that hangs over the city. The high levels of airborne soot and debris cause buildup on the outdoor components of your air conditioning unit, most notably the condenser coil.
Did you know that only 1/100th of an inch of dirt buildup on your air conditioner’s condenser coil reduces its efficiency by 5 percent? Buildup on the coils means your equipment has to work harder to cool your building, and when it works harder, it uses more energy. That means higher energy costs for you. If your air conditioner has not been serviced in a while, the buildup of dirt and debris on the condenser coils could be increasing your electric bill by as much as 20 to 30 percent.Read more
Does your HVAC service technician show up with a paper work order in hand? Does he continuously have to go out to the truck to call the office for information? When you want to pay with a credit card, does he scribble down the information on a piece of paper?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then you should consider switching to a provider that uses more efficient hand held mobile devices to support the work order process. Devices can include smart phones, tablet computers, and dedicated wireless devices. Use of the latest communication technology is not just easier for the provider, but results in quicker response times, better security and more reliable service for you.Read more
Few complaints drive customers away faster than unpleasant odors from food, mold, or restrooms. Lingering odors in your restaurant, health club or store could spell disaster for your business.
Psychologists studying the effects of odors have documented that people quickly become conditioned to slight odors. This means that while you and your employees stop noticing an odor very quickly, your customers notice as soon as they walk in the door, and they will be walking out the door in a hurry.Read more
If you could delegate half of your job, which half would it be? If you manage a large enterprise facility, it’s probably the hours you spend on the phone scheduling service calls, ordering parts, and handling stacks of invoices.
Believe it or not, you can delegate this half of your job while also saving your company money and improving the performance and lifespan of your equipment. But how? Hiring someone is out of the question, and unfortunately cloning yourself is not possible quite yet.
This is a job for a facilities management software system.Read more
Have you noticed a mysterious epidemic growing in your building? Are your employees complaining about headaches, asthma attacks, and itchy red skin? Have you experienced an unusual number of fried computers lately? Musty odors?
What kind of strange phenomenon could cause all of these things to happen? The surprising culprit is uncontrolled humidity levels in your building.
Humidity is a key component of air quality. More and more business owners, as well as their employees and customers, are concerned about air quality because it can dramatically affect a person’s health, comfort, and ability to function at his or her best.Read more
It’s 92 degrees in the shade, and the temperature hovers at a tropical 85 in your building. Your employees are calling in sick and your customers are walking out the door. You’ve put in three calls to your air conditioning service provider, with no response.
This frustrating situation is probably all too familiar if the mechanical contractor that installed your HVAC system is still servicing it. If this is the case, chances are you have experienced these warning signs that your mechanical contractor is providing sub-par service:Read more
As a business owner or facilities manager, you’re juggling a wide variety of priorities every day. Even if you are a jack of all trades, you may not be a master of all of them, including your HVAC system. When you need an HVAC service provider, how do you find a vendor you can trust to handle maintenance and emergency repair quickly, efficiently, accurately and with minimal contact?
Going with the company your neighbor uses or the one with the most years in business will not guarantee the results you need. Instead, differentiate the HVAC industry leaders by the tools these companies use to maximize efficiency, ensure accuracy and improve customer service.Read more
When you walk into a hair salon, it’s reassuring to see the certificate on the wall that guarantees your hairdresser is professionally educated, so you can be confident you won’t be hiding under a hat for the next month.
When it comes to choosing a qualified HVAC service provider for your business, selecting a provider with no professional credentials based solely on price would be like letting your friend’s sister cut your hair–but with more expensive and potentially dangerous consequences.Read more
Properly running, maintaining and getting the most out of your HVAC system is a top priority of any building manager or owner. And yet, there are a host of misconceptions that can railroad that objective and affect the bottom line.
Just like the tooth-fairy and the alligators in the sewers, the following 10 myths are the source of some serious confusion. Understanding them is the first step to getting the most out of your heating and air conditioning.Read more
In the aftermath of winter storms like Titan and Gemini and Ulysses (insert your own winter storm of mythological name and proportion), commercial business owners and building managers frozen heat pump are feeling the effects in states across the country. In the midst of tending to the obvious frustrations of constant shoveling, keeping roofs clear of weighty snow, more shoveling and ensuring pipes don’t freeze you may have forgotten to check your HVAC system. But that could spell big trouble with temperatures hovering around freezing.Read more
We recently posted a series of articles on the impact of an HVAC System to your bottom line, including the importance of a comfortable temperature for customer retention. Not long ago, in an attempt to maintain the kind of comfort that encourages folks to stay in stores on frigid winter days, Target authorized its HVAC vendor to monitor temperature, troubleshoot system issues and chances are, if you own a computer, or a television, or a radio, or a newspaper you know the rest of the story.Read more
How regularly do you consider your physical work environment? The way it affects your sense of personal satisfaction? Work ethic? Productivity?
Let’s try it. Stop whatever you’re doing (except reading this post, of course). What is the very first thing you notice? Is it the noise level? The brightness of the fluorescents above your work station?
According to the International Facility Management Association, temperature is the #1 number one complaint expressed by office workers. So how can you make sure your building temperature is comfortable and worker friendly?
Typically, simple updates to your HVAC system can help solve the problem, but sometimes it takes a redesign to make a world of difference.
Nearly 40% of HVAC systems are between 16-30 years old. Knowing this, it’s easy to see how, if not properly maintained or updated, systems can pose their own sets of problems for workers beyond just heating and cooling variations. A redesign may be much needed.We’ve created this simple infographic to help you quickly get on your way to a stress-free redesign.
Checkout our Infographic: 8 Steps to A Successful HVAC System Redesign
Small changes to your HVAC system are often the key to improving temperature variances. So before considering a redesign, check with your service provider for minor adjustments that can pay big dividends, now and into the future.
Want more tips? Download Improving an Imperfect World: Mitigating Office Temperature Extremes. Don’t waste time and money. Find out how easy it can be take control of your building’s climate!
If you’ve been reading our blog, you’ve probably noticed we try not to talk too much about ourselves. Generally, we prefer to be a resource rather than a bullhorn. But in honor of Valentine’s Day we thought we’d get a little personal, heat things up a bit.
Ok, ok. We know what you’re thinking: this business isn’t particularly sexy, certainly not romantic. You’re right. Hugh Grant has never made a movie about HVAC. E.L. James didn’t write 50 Degrees of Grey. and in fact, we know we’ve done the job right when no one notices us at all.Read more
As a facilities manager or building owner, you’ve probably heard your share of complaints regarding office temperature. Not only does a less-than-ideal temperature aggravate employees, but it’s also directly linked to lower productivity — contributing to a lack of focus that can interrupt workflow.Read more
Trying to manage the issue of temperature variance? That’s not surprising — according to the International Facility Management Association, complaints about temperature control and extremes are the #1 grievance expressed by office workers. Thankfully, there may be a simple solution for building managers and facility owners.Read more
According to recent studies, comfortable indoor temperatures have a direct affect on the health and productivity of a building’s employees, tenants or customers. In fact, the right environment can improve workforce output and enhance customer experience directly resulting in savings for your business, property or tenants. It may surprise you how simple fixes to your HVAC system can help to better meet the comfort needs of the tenants, workers or customers in your building. And chances are, it won’t break your budget.Read more
Responsible building managers and business owners are constantly trying to find cost effective ways to operate while still providing top notch services to their property’s occupants. Because the price tag of an ongoing service agreement with a heating and air conditioning contract seems high, many believe that bringing this type of equipment maintenance and repair in house is a more suitable arrangement. However, the cost of HVAC service agreements is not so expensive when you look at the benefits of having a professional available when you need one.
As a building owner or property manager, you know that an HVAC equipment failure can result in significant backlash from the people who rely on you to maintain a comfortable environment. With your reputation and bottom line at stake, it’s wise to monitor these systems closely for maintenance and repair needs. This quick checklist is designed to help you avoid costly repairs and shut-downs by staying on top of your equipment’s most critical components.
- The major mechanical components of your heating and refrigeration system need to be examined at regular intervals. Check the boilers, as the combustion air should be operating at a rate of one square inch free area for every 2,000 BTUs. The cooling tower should be free of any slime or algae, so you need to address fluid leaks or debris. If you see any mold growth, make sure your biocide treatment is working properly.
- Inspect your air handling unit as well, especially the outdoor air intake. You should check the area around the module to see if there are any sources of contaminants that can flow through to the interior of the building. Have a look at the fan, including the blade and motor condition. If you see areas of deterioration, replace these parts as necessary.
- Your HVAC preventative maintenance checklist should include checking your HVAC distribution system. It’s important that air flow throughout the building is unobstructed, from the supply air to the return ventilation. Review any drain pans to ensure there are no leaks or indication of mold growth. You’ll need to replace or clean air filters as well. It might be helpful to keep a maintenance calendar so you’ll know when new filters were installed and when they need to be replaced.
- Thermostat controls are also important to your HVAC preventative maintenance checklist. In summer and winter, adjust the set points to make sure you’re getting the best efficiency from your heating and air conditioning system. Make notes to indicate the location of each device, as well as the operations it controls. If you’re ever unavailable or off-site, the teams repairing your system will have easy access to this key information.
- Outdoor units are susceptible to debris from grime, dirt, tree branches, and bird feathers. Check the space around this HVAC equipment, as there should be about a two foot clearance around the intake area of both heat pumps and A/C units. You should check these outdoor components more frequently than other parts of your system, even as often as once a week. Also, make sure to do a walk through after heavy storms, as debris falling during heavy winds can get stuck near the air intake.
This checklist should help empower you to ask smart, relevant questions and hold your service provider accountable for what’s in your preventative maintenance agreement. Don’t have a maintenance agreement? Remember that while much of this troubleshooting can be done on your own, ultimately repairs and maintenance should only be done by your HVAC vendor as most manufacturer warranties won’t cover equipment that serviced by anyone other than a licensed HVAC technician.
To find out more about the value of a preventative maintenance agreement, download a free copy of our guide to understanding HVAC service agreements, HVAC Preventative Maintenance Contracts: How to Find the Right One for Your Infrastructure.
How confident are you that your HVAC maintenance provider has your best interest in mind when it comes to caring for your HVAC system?
Do you actually trust them? Or, are you tolerating them because it’s so overwhelming to find a new vendor?
It’s true–if you’re unsure that your current HVAC maintenance provider has your back, the thought of finding a new vendor can seem overwhelming. Sometimes it seems easier to stick with “the devil you know” rather than seek out other options.Read more
Are you content with the quality of your HVAC service contract? Terminating a contract is not as difficult as you might think — and can mean the difference between a system that runs smoothly and one that runs poorly due to inattention and sub-par maintenance. Even if you’re feeling hesitant about seeking a new provider, there’s no good reason to stay locked into a bad contract.Read more
If you’re like many property managers or building owners in the Tri-State area, you’ve probably got a general commercial contractor that you rely on for service at your property. For most maintenance work, this type of arrangement works perfectly. You can call your contractor for everything from plumbing issues to basic construction repairs. However, when it comes to more complex systems like your HVAC, the importance of an HVAC specialist for your building becomes obvious.There are a few key reasons why you need a specialist for these all-important components:Read more
Most building managers and property owners rely on the expertise of professionals when it comes to maintaining commercial HVAC systems. Considering the sophistication of today’s systems and the ever-growing list of responsibilities associated with being a building manager or owner, it’s only logical to delegate system issues to the certified technicians who have the experience and know-how it takes to address them.Read more
Entering into an agreement to have your HVAC systems maintained by professionals is a wise business decision–no matter what your industry may be. Common knowledge would dictate that when you have reliable experts undertaking repairs and handling preventative, you’re less likely to experience problems that can affect your company’s bottom line. However, as with any important contract, there are a few points to consider regarding HVAC maintenance agreements.Read more
If you’ve been reading, you probably already know there are consequences for poor HVAC maintenance.
You know that it could mean costly future repairs or long down times. And, if you’ve downloaded our white paper, Calculating the Hidden Costs of Poor HVAC Maintenance, you may even know that a poorly running HVAC system has a significant effect on your customer retention rate and ultimately your bottom line. (For more information on how your HVAC system could help you positively influence buyer behavior, download the white paper, below.)Read more
As a business owner, monitoring hard costs is a vital part of maintaining your livelihood and the consequences of not accounting for them can be dire. 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 infrastructure, and yet it’s not likely that you’ve even thought about it lately.Read more
This year, after all the stuffing had been stuffed, and the tryptophan finally wore off, millions of Americans headed back to the gym. But what would have happened if when they arrived the the place was an icebox, or worse, a sauna?
As the building owner or manager of a health club, you know that members expect high levels of service when they join your facility. Those expectations extend to an environment that facilitates their fitness goals rather than hindering them.Read more
As a building owner or property manager, you may associate HVAC expenses with equipment purchases, monthly energy bills or maintenance and repair expenses. But what about the less visible — but no less expensive — costs to your business due to an out-of-spec system or equipment failure?
For hospitals, nursing homes, ambulatory care centers and other healthcare facilities, temperature fluctuations can mean much more than simply an inconvenience. They could make the difference between life and death for at-risk or elderly patients, the loss of your facility’s professional license, the threat of expensive litigation or even criminal charges.Read more
Considering how much restaurants invest in creating the ideal dining atmosphere, it’s surprising how few treat heating and cooling equipment maintenance as equally important. It’s not just the mood music or the right lighting that can have an impact on customer behavior. The optimal temperature is a key part of a restaurant’s overall experience — and a positive overall experience is what keeps diners returning for another meal.Read more
Did you know that the temperature in an office building could have a profound effect on the efficiency of its workers? As the temperature varies, so does their level of productivity — and it’s your business that may ultimately take a hit. If you oversee the heating and cooling of an office building, there is reason for concern, because a properly maintained and temperature-regulated HVAC system is critical to the success of your tenants.Read more
In today’s world, it would be very difficult to live without air conditioning and refrigeration, let alone run a business. But the refrigerants these systems use to preserve our food and keep us cool are doing just the opposite to our planet. When leaked into the atmosphere, older refrigerants like freon cause depletion of the ozone layer, and newer refrigerants called F-gases contribute to the greenhouse effect and global warming.
As long as these chemicals stay where they belong, inside your cooling equipment, there is no cause for alarm. The problem comes in when the systems develop slow leaks, or are serviced by technicians who don’t use the right equipment and techniques for working with refrigerants.
As a facilities manager, it’s your job to ensure the safe handling of refrigerants in your building. You could face hefty fines if found to be in violation of the EPA’s Clean Air Act. And as global warming increasingly wreaks havoc on the climate, our grandchildren will pay a much higher price.Read more
What Facilities Managers Need to Know About Refrigerant Safety for HVACR Systems
With all the safety risks that are lurking around your building, you may not think of your air conditioning system as dangerous. Yet most air conditioning systems, VRF systems that provide heating as well as cooling, and commercial refrigeration systems rely on refrigerant chemicals that can be deadly if an accident happens.
When you are responsible for building systems and the safety of your building’s occupants, you’d better understand refrigerant safety guidelines to make sure a tragic accident doesn’t happen on your watch.
Here’s what you need to know about refrigerant safety and your HVAC equipment.