Are you being shocked so many times a day that you feel like Pavlov’s dog? A static electricity problem in your office or store can worse than annoying. If you can’t take it anymore, here’s what you need to know about how static can cost your business, and what you can do about it: get a central humidifier.Read more
NYC Metro Area’s HVACR Blog
If you’re about to undertake a major renovation project in your building, you’re probably both excited and anxious at the same time. On one hand, the new space will make life easier and enhance your business. On the other hand, there are so many details to consider that you may be feeling overwhelmed. Case in point: you probably never expected to have to get a new HVAC system.
Especially if you’re not changing the overall footprint and square footage of the space, you may wonder why your heating and cooling systems would need to be replaced with a new HVAC system.Read more
If you’re considering installing a new air conditioning system, you’ve probably run across many rating acronyms on the sales literature. Those acronyms are all about the energy efficiency of the air conditioner, and they can help you compare the efficiency of various models. Those ratings are extremely important, since as much as 50% of the energy usage in your home or commercial space is consumed by your HVAC system.
The problem is, the equipment manufacturers don’t make it all that easy to understand how to interpret those numbers. If it’s all greek to you, here’s a primer on the various air conditioning energy efficiency ratings, what they mean and what numbers you should look for.Read more
High rise HVAC is a major concern in New York City
New York City is home to about 7000 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, over the past five years the city has experienced the largest construction boom in a generation.
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.
Are you looking to save energy? If your business has an older heating and air conditioning system that’s driving up your energy expenses, you might be considering replacing your equipment. But what if you’re not in a great financial position to take on such a large capital expense right now? Or what if you’re considering moving your business to a new location in a couple of years? There are situations where replacing your HVAC system to save energy doesn’t make financial sense.
Does that mean you’re stuck with those escalating energy costs until you’re in a position to replace? Not necessarily. The good news is, there is another way to save energy: by retrofitting your existing HVAC equipment with energy-efficient add-ons.
Your thermostat has two settings that control the HVAC fan that circulates heated and/or air conditioned air throughout your space. You can set it to AUTO, which automatically turns the fan on when your AC or furnace is running. Or, you can set it to ON, which tells the system to keep the fan running all the time.
Which should you choose? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of running the HVAC fan 24 hours a day, versus only when your heating or cooling system is operating.
Benefits of keeping the HVAC fan ON
More consistent temperatures with the HVAC fan on
When the HVAC fan runs constantly, it has a chance to keep moving heated and cooled air evenly throughout every area of your home or commercial space. That can help to eliminate hot or cold spots and improve comfort.
Running the HVAC fan can eliminate stuffy air & control odors
During spring and fall when temperatures are moderate, your heat or air conditioning may not be running very often, if at all. Especially in city buildings that are well sealed and may not have windows that open, the indoor air can get stuffy with a lack of air circulation. Running the HVAC fan can help keep the air feeling fresh, and also help to dissipate odors.
Improved air quality with constant filtration
When the HVAC fan runs all the time, more air is circulated through your HVAC filters (and air purification systems if you have them), which can help to reduce airborne contaminants. That can mean less allergens like pollen and dust, VOCs, pollution, and even mold and bacteria that cause illness.
One caveat to be aware of: the benefit you gain from filters depends a great deal on the type of filter your HVAC system has. Standard HVAC filters aren’t meant to trap particles as tiny as viruses, for example, or even some types of pollen. They are primarily meant to keep dust and debris out of your HVAC system. However, filters with a higher MERV rating can remove more types of particles, as long as your system can accommodate them.
If you have an air purification system installed in your HVAC ducts, you will benefit much more from keeping your HVAC fan running.
Less stress on the HVAC fan motor
It may surprise you to learn that running the HVAC fan all the time can actually extend the life of the fan. That can be true because it eliminates the stress of the motor frequently turning on and off every time your furnace or AC starts up or shuts down.
Downsides of using your HVAC fan all the time
Higher electricity costs
Running the HVAC fan 24/7 may use quite a bit more electricity than running it only when your HVAC system is operating. Depending on your space and your system, that could cause a noticeable jump in your electric bill.
More frequent filter changes needed
With air circulating through your space, your ducts and your HVAC filters, those filters are going to get clogged faster. You’ll need to check and change or clean your filters more frequently.
Here’s some help with how to do that:
Air temp from the registers when the HVAC system’s not running
When your furnace/air conditioner fan is running but the heating/cooling system is not, the temperature of the air coming from your registers may be warmer than you’d like in summer or cooler than you’d like in winter. That might not be a big problem unless you’re sitting right next to the register, but it’s something to keep in mind.
Less humidity control in summer
Not to get into the technical details, but suffice to say that the air conditioning fan blowing all the time can actually impede your air conditioner’s ability to control humidity in summer. If you notice that happening, you can decide to turn the fan back to AUTO until the problem is resolved.
So which HVAC fan control option should you choose? It depends on your situation and your priorities.
Also, be aware that no matter which way you set your fan, there’s something else you can do to optimize your comfort and keep your system performing efficiently and effectively: get regular maintenance.
HVAC maintenance helps keep your systems performing well
Have your heating and cooling systems inspected, cleaned, and tuned up at least every year, and possibly more often depending on your system and its usage. The most cost-effective way to do that is with a yearly maintenance agreement that’s customized to your specific needs. It’s a small investment that pays off in big ways:
- Your system stays in good condition, so you can prolong the life of your equipment.
- Your equipment runs more efficiently, which reduces energy consumption.
- Minor issues get fixed proactively, so they don’t turn into bigger, more expensive problems.
- Maintenance helps to prevent system downtime that disrupts your home or business.
If you’re in the NYC metro area, get a quote today for expert HVAC maintenance services.
Don’t you feel comfortable and secure when you’re in control of your surroundings? That’s one reason smart thermostats have become a sought-after feature for NYC’s luxury homeowners. The ability to remotely adjust the comfort settings of your HVAC system is the ultimate in control.
Smart thermostats allow you to control your home’s heating and cooling comfort remotely from your IOS or Android smartphone. So the next time you run out and forget to adjust the thermostat, no worries. Simply pull up the app and adjust your setting in seconds.
We’re reviewing these top smart thermostats:
- Google Nest Learning Thermostat
- Honeywell T9 Smart Thermostat
- ecobee Smart Thermostat with Voice Control
The cool features of these smart thermostats provide more than convenience; they can significantly reduce your energy bills. If you’ve been reading our blog every now and then, you probably already know that your HVAC system consumes up to 50% of your home’s energy usage. Remembering to turn out the lights when you leave the room won’t make nearly as much of an impact on your energy bill as installing one of these smart thermostats.
The weather has finally turned here in the New York City area. Ready to turn 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.
If you’re a business owner in the market for a new light commercial HVAC system, you have probably realized that the cost of the equipment is not the only factor you need to consider. The commercial HVAC installation cost can vary widely from one installation vendor to another. So how can you compare quotes and understand exactly what you’re paying for and what you’re getting for your money? Since you’re probably not an HVAC expert, it can be a challenge to understand the quotes and what’s included.
Here’s a primer about commercial HVAC installation cost to help you compare options, understand why prices differ, and ultimately decide which proposal is right for you.
(Looking for information about residential HVAC installation? Check out this resource: The Guide to Residential Installation Cost.)
According to ENERGY STAR, you should be checking and changing your furnace’s air filter every month during peak heating season. That’s probably more often than you need to be calling in your trusty HVAC service guy. We love to see you, of course, but this is a job that you can probably handle on your own if you choose to do so.
If you plan to stay on top of this important furnace maintenance task yourself, let your service guy know when he comes to do your fall furnace maintenance before you start up your furnace for the heating season. He can make sure you have plenty of the right filters on hand, and can show you or your maintenance crew the steps to properly insert and remove the air filter.
Here are the simple steps to help you get it done.
Remember when the term “smart” only applied to people? Today, the Internet of Things (IoT) has made it possible for just about everything in your home or business to be “smart” as well, including commercial HVAC controls.
You have probably heard about “learning” thermostats for your home, and maybe you even have installed one of these handy devices that lets you control your home’s temperature from your phone or computer. Yet there are even more benefits when small businesses upgrade to smarter commercial HVAC controls.
Related article: What’s New With Smart Home Thermostat Technology
HVAC systems can consume as much as 30 percent of a building’s energy usage… even modern HVAC systems. How can you get them to consume even less energy in order to reduce your operations expenses?
The answer lies in controlling your HVAC system according to real-time demand. When it comes to looking for places to trim expense, your HVAC system can be a prime target to cut costs.
A heat pump is basically an air conditioner that can also work in reverse to provide heat.
If you need to replace your air conditioning system or your entire HVAC, should you consider getting a heat pump for AC? A heat pump can replace your air conditioner, and possibly your heating system as well. But it is important to make sure it’s the right choice for your needs.
Business owners have so much to worry about these days. Chances are, replacing your office AC is probably the last thing on your mind. However, if you experienced problems with your office air conditioner all summer, you’d be very smart to think about upgrading it now instead of waiting until spring.
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.
When air conditioners get loud, or start making strange sounds, it gets annoying in a hurry. Not only is the air conditioning noise intrusive, but it also might signal an impending breakdown and the need for an expensive repair.
So 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 system.
It’s still summer for goodness sake! Why is everybody in your office dressed like it’s January? If everybody’s annoyed about your cold office, chances are you’re hearing a lot of under-the-breath grumbling and comments about working in a meat locker.
You should know that putting up with a little grumbling is the least of your problems. When your employees are uncomfortable, it costs you in all kinds of ways.
We’ll tell you how to fix the problem once and for all.
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 and everything works perfectly. But if you want that to happen, you need to take steps to make sure your air conditioner can handle the hot summer days. 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.
A Power Outage Can Take Down Your Air Conditioner in a Second
This time of year can be dangerous for your air conditioner. Hurricanes, tropical storms, and even pop-up thunderstorms can take down power lines and also damage electrical equipment like air conditioners. Here’s how to tell if you have electrical damage, and what to do about it.
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, that’s obviously a problem… but it’s not so easy to diagnose the reason.
In this article, we’ll explain the possible causes of frozen air conditioner coils, and what to do next if it’s happened to you.
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.
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.
Especially in a commercial space where windows don’t open, it’s essential to have properly functioning ventilation. One of the most common sources of HVAC air flow issues is air duct problems.
Stuffy, stagnant air is 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 a break, 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.
What value does your commercial HVAC maintenance vendor bring to your business?
Getting commercial HVAC maintenance services for a multiple-location business is different than sourcing those same services for a single location. Especially when you’re managing upwards of 20 or 30 locations, you need more than a vendor who’s technically competent and shows up on time for appointments.
To get the most value from your commercial HVAC maintenance vendor, you need a company that acts as your business partner: saving you time and money and helping you to make better decisions.
Have you ever been to a restaurant and thought the food was quite good, but you wouldn’t go back because you were so uncomfortably hot? You don’t want to be that restaurant. One way to avoid losing repeat customers is to have a restaurant HVAC service contract to maintain an inviting climate.
When 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 your AC leaking water can cause expensive damage to your walls, ceilings, floors and furnishings. Also, an air conditioner water leak might be a problem that can lead to compressor failure. When that happens, you might find yourself having to replace your unit.
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 indoor air quality (IAQ) problems such as 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 IAQ threats entirely and avoid the worst outcome from accidents.Read more
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.
That musty smell is driving away customers
Few complaints drive customers away faster than unpleasant odors from mold and mildew, restrooms, or food. Lingering odors in your restaurant, health club or retail store could spell disaster for your business.
Psychologists studying the effects of odors have documented that people quickly become conditioned to 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.
People are heading back to the gym! With so many new and returning customers looking to catch up on their fitness goals, make sure your gym is the place everyone wants to keep coming back to. One of quickest ways to drive them away is having a bad locker room smell.
Are you providing your visitors with an inviting climate that will entice them to stay and shop and return to your store often? A hot or stuffy store can chase your customers from your shop even before they make it to the register.
Proper store maintenance in retail is essential for success. Let’s take a look at why your business would benefit from commercial HVAC preventive maintenance.
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
Replacing your air conditioning? Consider a VRF HVAC system
If you’ve been living with uncomfortable temperatures, humidity issues and repeated breakdowns, you know you’re going to need to replace your air conditioning system before summer gets here. And if you’re smart (which of course you are as a business owner or manager!) then now is the right time to think about it.
That’s true for a couple of reasons:
- Get ahead of high demand and possibly long wait times when the hot weather hits.
- You can get a great deal. Many suppliers will have equipment on hand that didn’t sell over last summer that they’re happy to sell for a discounted price to make room for new models.
- Experts recommend replacing your heating system at the same time as your air conditioning system. In many cases, both systems work together and if you replace one without replacing the other, your comfort may be compromised and it will cost you more in the long run. Now is an ideal time to replace both systems without disrupting your business.
Do you need a new air conditioning system for your New York City office this year? Here’s an option you should consider: a VRF System has many advantages for commercial spaces.
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.
And, controlling humidity can also help in the fight to control the spread of coronavirus.
When it comes to duct cleaning services, people tend to have a lot of questions about the benefits and how to know when you need duct cleaning.
So today we’re going to answer some of the most common questions we hear every day about duct cleaning services.Read more
Corporate office space has transformed in recent years. Traditionally, these spaces included a ring of private offices around the perimeter of the space, with cubical farms occupying the center. Today, more companies have an open office plan, which requires different considerations for HVAC system design.
Most of those perimeter offices are disappearing, as companies want space that takes advantage of natural light. And the cubicles are being replaced with workspaces designed for specific types of activity, such as pods for quiet concentration and team lounges for collaboration. How does all this change impact HVAC system design? Read on for some important strategies.Read more
Your customers are the lifeblood of your business. You cannot underestimate the importance of giving them a comfortable shopping experience. How do you provide them with an appealing buying atmosphere?
One way to keep your customers coming back is to make sure your shop’s temperature and ventilation are right all year round.
There is no better way to keep your HVAC system working well than to learn about commercial HVAC service contracts and invest in one that is right for your business.
There’s no question that good air quality is vital to health, especially for older adults, children and anyone with conditions such heart or lung disease. In a city as big as New York, with a population of more than 8.6 million people and growing, air quality is an ongoing challenge.
While there is only so much you can do about outdoor air pollution, you can significantly improve indoor air quality with regular HVAC cleaning, especially air conditioner cleaning before you start up your system in spring.
For commercial spaces that are reopening after being closed for a long time due to the pandemic, HVAC cleaning and maintenance is essential to prevent problems with the system upon startup after a prolonged shut down. [If you’re concerned about preventing COVID-transmission, get our helpful guide to HVAC Solutions for COVID-19.]
Here are four reasons why you should take advantage of HVAC cleaning services in NYC.
Improving employee productivity is a key goal for just about every large corporation and many smaller ones as well. If you are in charge of facilities and looking for ways your workspaces can support that goal, it’s smart to increase your workplace ventilation to improve office air quality.
What would happen if you just stopped checking your email? What if – horror of all horrors- you never refilled the coffee machine?! It’s easy to imagine the resulting chaos from such a scenario. But there is another under-appreciated staple of the office routine: your AC air filter.
What would happen if you didn’t change your AC filter? It’s hard to believe such a small part could make a big difference in air quality and comfort, but it does. Think of cleaning the air (and the air conditioner) like cleaning the rest of your business space. It would get pretty bad if you neglected it for a month.
Consider all the dirt and grime you’d see on the floors, on counters and surfaces, and in bathrooms. That’s equivalent to what accumulates in your filter in a given month. What are the consequences of this uncleanliness? Let’s look at what happens after you don’t change your AC filter to find out.
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.
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.