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
NYC Metro Area’s HVACR Blog
This is an update to one of our most popular and helpful blog posts. Here’s the original: 6 Ways to Build a Great HVAC Service Relationship From the Start
The consequences of a poor HVAC service agreement
Since you’re reading this, chances are you’ve had a bad experience with an HVAC service provider. You may have learned that getting an HVAC service agreement with the wrong service provider can have costly consequences for your business. For starters, when important steps are skipped or executed poorly, you can experience major breakdowns that could have been prevented. And long downtimes before your system is repaired.
When you’re trying to run a business, you don’t have much time to think about things like HVAC maintenance. When you’re that busy, you may tend to lose track of tasks that seem less than critical in the moment. 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. If you’ve ever had to replace a heating and/or air conditioning system due to problems that could have been prevented with regular maintenance, you may begin to think differently and begin researching HVAC maintenance plans. Your first question is probably, “how much does HVAC maintenance cost?”
If you’ve got air conditioning equipment that you rely on, chances are you probably understand the importance of regular maintenance. But the trouble is, not all preventative maintenance agreements include coil cleaning. If your service vendor has been recommending this procedure, you may be wondering why you need to clean AC coils.
Here’s a quick explanation followed by more information for those of you who want the details.
Rid yourself of a noisy air conditioner
The hot weather has hit and the cool air provided by your air conditioning system gives you welcome relief, but the noise coming from your air conditioner is quite another story. When your system was initially turned on, you thought the air conditioner noise would go away, but it hasn’t.
The seasonal temperatures are here. You know the air conditioning system has been turned on, yet you’re just not feeling the comfort you would expect. The disappointing lack of cool air coming through the air conditioning vents prompts you to ask yourself, “Why is my AC not blowing?”
It’s incredibly frustrating when you just can’t get cool on a hot day, even though your air conditioning sounds like it’s working (it’s blowing). Is it you or is it really hot in here? You check the thermostat, and in fact the temperature is soaring well above the set temp. When you place your hand over one of the AC registers, you find your AC blowing warm air.
You may expect your air conditioner to be cold, but if it’s covered in frost or ice, that’s not a good sign. When your air conditioner is freezing up, it can’t properly cool your space. And worse, if you don’t do something about it quickly, you can end up with water damage in your walls and ceilings as well as an expensive AC repair on your hands.
Finding water anywhere it doesn’t belong in your house is a major cause for concern. Not only are you worried about where the leak is coming from (and how much it will cost to fix it!) but you’re also concerned about damage to your home. When it’s your air conditioner leaking water inside, you need to act fast to prevent water damage as well as expensive repair bills.
It’s the last thing you need on a hot summer day: your air conditioner keeps shutting off and the AC circuit breaker keeps tripping. You’re probably wondering what’s going on, and if there’s an easy solution. Do you need to call someone to fix the problem and if so, who should you call? The AC service company or an electrician?
As the owner or operator of a warehouse, you are concerned about warehouse temperature issues and whether warehouse temperature control improvements are warranted. By looking at ways to enhance warehouse temperature control measures, you have taken your first step in providing consistent warehouse temperature comfort and maximizing your dollars spent on energy.
Have you ever walked into a health club and almost made an abrupt about-face because of the nasty air? Your gym or health club does not need to smell like your high school gym did after a wrestling match or intense basketball game. With proper air conditioning and gym ventilation you can rid your space of unpleasant odors and provide your clients with the healthy environment they were looking for when they joined your club. Let’s take a look how you can retain your customers and attract new ones by maintaining good air quality.
Maybe you’re looking to renovate your shop and have a particular style design in mind, but the unsightly HVAC ductwork is crimping your vision for your space. Or maybe you already have designed your boutique and have everything aligned with your distinctive taste, except for those ugly ducts. Believe it or not, you may be able to pluck those ducts from your space and have a beautiful air conditioner system. Imagine this – you can have an AC without ductwork.
Following the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in New York City in 2015, there has been a great deal of concern and confusion about what’s required for proper cooling tower maintenance. As a business owner, you want to keep your employees and customers safe from deadly bacteria. And if you’re in New York City and State, you must make sure you stay in compliance with NYC’s recent updates to regulations.
Here’s an updated cooling tower maintenance checklist aligned with the new regulations.
It may be hard to believe that coils could be responsible for taking down your commercial HVAC system or making it operate at a low efficiency level. Routine coil cleaning can help your system turn out a peak performance, reduce your energy costs and bolster the comfort level in your store, which will make it an attractive place to shop and work.
While combining facility services under one contractor is not always the best approach, some combined services are as a natural fit as a burger and fries. It makes perfect sense to put a commercial HVAC service contract and a refrigeration service contract under the same contractor’s roof and can actually provide for a more efficient operation, reduce your costs and your stress level.
Are you providing your visitors with an inviting climate that will entice them to stay and shop and return to your store often? One thing that will chase your customers from your shop perhaps even before they make it to the register is a hot or stuffy store.
Before you know it, those living in the residential building you manage will be cranking up their air conditioning systems. It goes without saying that you’ll want to start off the warmer weather months in a comfortable zone, which for you and the residents means as complaint-free as possible. A preemptive air conditioning troubleshooting mission and appropriate residential air conditioning maintenance can aid you in your goal of smoothly operating air conditioning systems and happy residents. Let’s take a look at the most common air conditioning problems.
Let’s face it, your air conditioner is an essential component of your luxury home, but it’s not something you want front and center. Most of us would rather hide the AC unit. It can be downright embarrassing to have ugly AC equipment cluttering up your patio or ruining your perfectly designed interior. So today we’re sharing 24 fun ways to hide air conditioning units. That includes both the outside condenser and wall-or ceiling mounted boxes indoors.
The warm air hits. You turn on your air conditioning and you find yourself and those around you sneezing. You start to think, I can’t be allergic to the air conditioner, can I? After considering the air conditioner allergy theory, you move onto chalking it up to something more plausible: seasonal allergies. Though you might not be exactly correct with either one of your diagnoses, you could be on the right track.
Your air conditioning system and seasonal allergies may both be playing a role in what you perceive as an air conditioner allergy. It’s not that you are allergic to your air conditioner unit, it’s that you are allergic to the contaminants that are being circulated through it, which could include seasonal allergens and other nasty stuff. Let’s take a look at what is blowing your way and could be the source of your air conditioner allergy.
As the owner of a luxury home or someone who manages high-end properties, you might know firsthand that it is definitely not cool when your air conditioning system experiences a meltdown during a heat wave. There are things you can do to prevent such an unwelcome event that could cause you to lose your cool figuratively and literally.
One of the top reasons for your AC not cooling satisfactorily is your system may be in dire need of a good air conditioning coil cleaning. Let’s take a look at why your AC not cooling your home adequately could be because an air conditioning coil cleaning is overdue.
Maybe you have noticed that the air in your home no longer smells fresh as a daisy and is even verging on objectionable, but you haven’t been able to put your finger on the source of this uninvited change in your living space’s atmosphere. Could it be that your home is the victim of a smelly air conditioner system and is in dire need of some HVAC spring cleaning?
You are not alone. Tis the season for malodorous problems to crop up and a common time to eradicate those unwanted odors coming from a smelly air conditioner system by undertaking a little HVAC spring cleaning. As a luxury homeowner or one who manages luxury properties, surely you should not have to put up with subpar breathing conditions. Let’s take a look at some of the possible causes for the smelly air conditioner, which has diminished the indoor air quality in your home.
Rest assured, it does not have to be that way. Not all HVAC companies have been created equal and you can choose a company that will provide topnotch service and install quality equipment to match your needs. Let’s look at how to choose an HVAC company that can provide you with the services you deserve.
Whether you prefer old world charm or a modern twist, it took your painstaking decisions to furnish your home in a way that reflects your distinctive taste. Now you need a company that will make the same effort to protect your investment with a premier climate control system.
As a luxury homeowner or a property manager, why would you trust the installation of a high end air conditioner system or maintenance of that system to any company that does not have impeccable credentials and the capability and personnel to provide you with white glove customer service? Rest assured, there are companies nearby that can offer you with white glove customer service when installing a high end air conditioner system.
You hear the coughing and sneezing, but are there indoor air quality solutions that can promote improved health, fewer employee absences and reduced insurance costs? By looking more closely at your indoor air quality and HVAC systems, you can offer your customers and employees an improved environment that will reap benefits for your business.
Though you may not have related indoor air quality and HVAC systems with your employees’ health, OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) lists inadequate HVAC maintenance as a major cause of poor indoor air quality. OSHA claims poor indoor air quality can cause headaches, fatigue, concentration problems, skin rashes, and eye, nose, throat and lung irritation.
Additionally, chronic health problems such as asthma are linked to indoor air quality and HVAC systems. Prolonged exposure to certain contaminants has even been connected to life-threatening medical conditions including heart and lung disease and cancer.
So with so much at stake, isn’t it time to look at indoor air quality solutions?
HVAC service contracts and the project management triangle
Are you familiar with the project management triangle? It’s a model that describes the relationship between three opposing constraints that impact work: time, quality and cost. It means that your choices in one area impact what you get in terms of the others. For example, if you decide you need the lowest price for a commercial HVAC service contract, that choice impacts what you get in terms of quality and/or timeframe.
The rule of thumb you’ll often hear with regard to time, quality and cost is that you can choose any two, but the contractor controls the third one. When it comes to HVAC service contracts, we find that this rule breaks down: getting the best quality for the lowest cost is not a realistic option, no matter how much time you throw into the equation. However, understanding the relationship between these three constraints for HVAC service contracts is a useful exercise for focusing your priorities and clarifying what you’re getting for your money.
How to choose an HVAC contractor for your business: why is it so hard?
If you’re in charge of your company’s facilities, you’ve certainly had experience dealing with heating and air conditioning contractors. You’ve likely vetted quite a few over the years. Yet, since you’re reading this article, you are probably finding yourself disappointed yet again. You may be wondering why it is such a challenge to find an HVAC service provider that meets your expectations.
The answer is: not every HVAC company is qualified to handle the challenges of commercial spaces, especially large corporate environments and businesses with multiple locations.
Also, you want a company that’s willing to customize its service according to your needs and priorities. Read on to learn about how to choose an HVAC contractor that’s both willing and able to deliver superior service that goes beyond your expectations.
If you’ve got a business located in an older building in an urban location, such as brownstones in New York City, chances are you have heating and air conditioning systems with ducts. And it’s likely that those ducts have been there for a number of years. Especially given the pollution levels in the city, a lot of nasty stuff can build up in those ducts over time: including dust, allergens, chemicals, microorganisms and mold.
If you are experiencing comfort problems in your building, such as odors, inconsistent temperatures, and even allergies and other health issues, cleaning air ducts can make a big difference.
Like most business owners, you’re probably not an HVAC expert. Yet your restaurant HVAC is a mission critical system that your business can’t operate without. All year round, you depend on your heating and air conditioning system to keep your dining room comfortable for your customers, so they keep returning to your restaurant again and again. Your restaurant HVAC also keeps your kitchen and food prep areas comfortable for employees, which have specialized comfort and ventilation requirements in order to meet health inspection requirements.
The same holds true for your commercial refrigeration equipment. When your walk in freezers, blast chillers, low boy refrigerators and display cases are not working as they should, it’s a big risk to your business. If your food quality suffers, you could lose customers. In the worst case, you could be serving food that puts customers in danger of getting sick if your ingredients are not stored at the proper temperatures. The next thing you know, negative reviews start popping up on social media. And what happens if the health inspector shows up when your commercial refrigeration equipment is acting up?
That’s why we have put together this collection of essential information for the restaurant owner about restaurant HVAC and commercial refrigeration equipment service: it’s everything you need to know at your fingertips. Get the answers to all your questions and concerns here! Plus we’ve added out best advice for restaurant owners, based on everything we have learned from serving the industry for 6 decades.
It’s the middle of your dinner rush, with a packed house, and one of your line cooks reaches into a low boy to grab ingredients, only to find everything warm. What do you do? If your first thought is to chuck it and get to the nearest Restaurant Depot to replace it, then you have the wrong instinct. Treating your restaurant refrigeration equipment like disposable items can cost your restaurant a lot of money.
It’s true that heavy repairs can be pricey. So what’s the alternative? Properly maintained restaurant refrigeration equipment won’t need repairs. Best of all, with proper care your fridges and freezers will last much longer and save you the cost of replacing them entirely.
With NYC restaurant week coming up, there will be lots of restaurants gearing up to put their best foot forward. How do you stand out in the crowd? Add entertainment to the menu. Restaurant event planning is a big deal for a reason: it draws people into your restaurant and greatly increases the chances of them having a memorable experience. Check out this list of ways to ensure a successful event.
Here’s one fact you probably already know: the success of your restaurant is about much more than the food. Restaurant comfort is a big issue for diners, and a prime reason they will choose to frequent your establishment, or not.
Yet (as you probably realize since you’re reading this blog!) getting restaurant comfort right it not as easy as it seems.
Just think about your own experience. It’s probably something like this: your patrons are constantly complaining about being too hot or too cold, or being bothered by drafts from your AC blowing directly on their food. And making it too loud to carry on a conversation. At the same time, your kitchen is sweltering to the point that people are ready to pass out from the heat. Even worse, you might have kitchen odors migrating to the dining room. That’s not a pleasant experience for your diners, either.
We’ve heard lots of stories like this from the many New York City restaurants we have serviced over the years. Certainly you’ve experienced your staff fiddling with the thermostat in a desperate attempt to improve your restaurant comfort. It’s even worse when you catch your customers doing that!
Read on to learn more about why restaurant comfort is a tricky issue. Then we’ll reveal how the right combination of specialized equipment, HVAC system design and maintenance can improve environmental temperature control and solve your problems once and for all.
December is an expensive month, between all the gifts you have to buy, holiday entertaining, and paying the electric bill for your massive lights display. Why not save some money with these holiday energy saving tips?
Not to mention all the harm we’re doing to the environment by wasting electricity and fossil fuels this time of year. Do your part to save the planet by following these simple holiday tips for saving energy.
Business owners, you know your employees are your #1 asset and a huge part of your business’ success. This is the time of year to let them know you recognize what they contribute to the organization and to you personally. When it comes to holiday gift ideas for employees, think beyond the generic gift card or fruit basket to make them feel truly valued.
Of course, everyone likes cash. But you would probably not be reading this if that was an option! Instead, peruse this list of holiday gift ideas for employees for some creative holiday gifts that are sure to please and send the intended message.
Holiday party planning can evoke a mixed bag of emotions. You’re probably looking forward to impressing your guests and enjoying a festive occasion. But whether you’re planning an open house for a hundred or an intimate gathering for a few friends or family, chances are you’re stressing over getting everything perfect.
Successful holiday party planning is all about managing the most important aspects of your gathering: the people, the setting, and of course, the food and drink. Today we’re sharing a collection of tips that can help to remove some of the stress from holiday party planning, by helping you avoid common pitfalls in each of these areas.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The NYC streets are teeming with shoppers and you’re looking forward to your most profitable holiday season yet. Hopefully Black Friday was successful for you and a sign of healthy sales to come over the coming month. But are you doing everything you can to get shoppers into your stores and entice them to spend? And are you doing everything you can to control costs and maximize profit?
Here at Arista, we have worked closely with NYC’s retail business community for decades. Today we are sharing some holiday tips from some of our most successful retail customers about how to maximize profit this holiday season.
Here in NYC, disaster recovery is on our minds this time of year
For business owners in the New York City area who lived through Superstorm Sandy, this can be an anxious time of year. Even though hurricane season is technically on the wane, that doesn’t mean we are safe. After all, Sandy struck at the end of October. Many of us are keeping an eye on the forecast and worrying every time a tropical depression forms.
There’s a good reason for that concern. If you’re not prepared, storm damage can severely impact your business, or even put you out of business for good. Unfortunately, worrying won’t protect your business in the event of a major storm. A NYC disaster recovery plan can.
There’s a saying in regards to saving power: the cheapest kilowatt-hour is the one you don’t use. HVAC energy efficiency starts with a mindset of using less and getting the most out of what you have. Since HVAC systems represent a significant portion of typical energy costs (experts say as much as 50 to 60 percent), these measures can make a big difference.
Today we’re sharing with you the top 11 ways to increase your HVAC energy efficiency.
If you’re a small business owner, you’re probably used to getting things done yourself. Maybe you save money by making your own desk supplies and organization, or maybe you’ve built a bookshelf or a storage system.
DIY can be a great solution for saving a bit of your budget. But if you’ve ever stared down a failed Pinterest project, you’ll know the most important part is knowing when you’re in over your head. Check out these air conditioner maintenance tips to do DIY the smart way.
What would happen if you just stopped filing papers? Or if you stopped checking your email? What about if you- horror of all horrors- never refilled the coffee machine?! It’s easy to imagine the resulting chaos from such a scenario. But there is another under-appreciated staple of the office routine: your AC air filter.
What would happen if you didn’t change your AC filter? It’s hard to believe such a small paper part could make a big difference in air quality, but it does. Think of cleaning the air like cleaning the rest of your building. It would get pretty bad if you neglected it for a month.
Consider all the dirt and grime you’d see on the floors, on counters and surfaces, and in bathrooms. That’s equivalent to what accumulates in your filter in a given month. What are the consequences of this uncleanliness? Let’s look at what happens after you don’t change your AC filter to find out.
We know it’s frustrating when your AC is not cooling your business effectively. Especially when it’s an issue that happens intermittently or has developed slowly over time. Complaints from your employees are increasing, and you’re even worried about losing business.
You may be wondering if your equipment needs repair or replacement, or if it’s not really broken at all but something in your environment that’s changed. What can you do to get to the bottom of the problem?
The tricky part is, there are many issues that can result in your AC not cooling enough. Read on to learn more about the common problems you should know about, so you can take the appropriate action.
It’s easy to stay vigilant about keeping your office or apartment building clean when having a neat space means making a good impression. But what about a mess you can’t see that’s lurking inside your air conditioning system? That kind of grime can do more than make a poor impression; it can lead to health problems. That’s just one reason why HVAC system cleaning is so important.
Case in point: in 2015, New York City was affected by health scare known as Legionnaires’ disease. This dangerous sickness was reported in certain large buildings and offices, and was eventually linked back to contaminated HVAC water cooling towers. Since then, legislation has been introduced to keep water cooling towers clean and prevent further infections. This situation goes to show that it’s not just fear mongering; HVAC system cleaning is a vital part of keeping your space healthy.
When August finally rolls around, it can be hard to remember that you were wishing for this heat in January. A hot day on the beach is nice, but the humidity in summer leaves you sticking to your chair. If you find yourself longing for the chilly days of winter, check out these ways of staying cool in summer before you resort to that in-office water balloon fight.
In space, the “Goldilocks zone” is the area around a sun where the temperature is habitable to life. In the office, differing temperature preferences can feel as far apart as the sun and moon. Today we’re helping you bridge the gap by finding the ideal office temperature to satisfy all your employees. Don’t be deaf to your employees’ complaints, because a comfortable employee is a productive employee.
Here are some strategies you can use to make your office not too cold, not too hot, but just right.
Isn’t air conditioning supposed to remove humidity? So why is yours not doing the job?
If you’re sweating your way through another muggy August, read on to learn more about HVAC humidity control and why your AC might not be up to the task.
Then we’ll tell you 4 ways you can get an older unit to remove more moisture so your space doesn’t feel like a tropical jungle.
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.
We all want our air conditioners to be as unobtrusive as possible, while getting the job done. That’s why if air conditioners get loud, or start making strange sounds, it gets annoying in a hurry.
But not all air conditioning noise is equal. Some sounds indicate more trouble than others. How do you know if it’s a quick fix, something a service tech needs to take care of, or something you could just drown out by donning headphones and blasting your tunes?
Take a look at the types of air conditioning noise you’re likely to hear, and what it means about your HVAC.
Isn’t it funny how the presence of water can cause such a variety of reactions in different contexts? On a hot July day, water seems cool and inviting when it’s in your backyard pool. It may even be a welcome relief when it’s falling from the sky. But when you find a puddle of water on the floor of your mechanical room, it’s a scary sight and a source of anxiety. Your AC is leaking water. Now what?
First of all, take a breath and relax. There are a number of possible causes for an AC leaking water, and many of them are not difficult or expensive to fix.
However, it’s important to act quickly, because leaking water can cause expensive damage to your walls, ceilings, floors and furnishings. And there is one possible cause of AC leaking water that can cause your air conditioner’s compressor to fail. When that happens, you might find yourself having to replace your unit.
With longer days and July heat, summer is finally kicking into high gear. It can make even the most hard-working of us want to sit directly under the AC and wait for Disney to make a sequel to Frozen already. While imagining you’re in Arendelle might help you cool off, if your AC suddenly seems to have Elsa’s frosty powers, it could spell trouble for your HVAC system.
Unlike other HVAC malfunctions, frozen AC coils can be caused by failures in almost any part of the system. If you see frost or a layer of ice on your indoor unit, it’s obvious that this is the problem. But indoor units are not always accessible. To prevent this from happening to your AC, you need to know what else to look for.
These days, you can’t turn around (or walk past a newsstand) without getting bombarded with tips for staying healthy. It makes sense: getting sick is unpleasant so many people go to great lengths to avoid everything from the common cold to heart disease.
Unfortunately, people don’t tend to maintain their AC the same way they maintain their health. If it’s still keeping you cool, it’s fine, right? That’s not always the case. Even with normal usage, an air conditioner can develop problems as well as accumulate wear and tear that can lead to problems down the road.
Just like taking care of your body keeps you healthy, taking proper care of your AC means it’s much less likely to break down. That’s why it’s so important to take the steps outlined here to prevent AC compressor failure.
Are you beginning to suspect that you have a sick building on your hands?
When mysterious illnesses begin to occur in your office, at first it might seem like a coincidence. For a while you might assume that stress is making everyone sick. But as the reported cases increase, and people notice that their symptoms disappear after they go home, the term “Sick Building Syndrome” starts to be whispered throughout your workplace.
It can be an alarming situation, make no mistake about it, especially if you’re in charge of your company’s facilities. You’re probably having nightmares about the CDC shutting you down. But in most cases, there’s no reason to panic. That’s because the most common causes of Sick Building Syndrome can be eliminated with air conditioner preventive maintenance.
This time of year, it feels like summer humidity is the enemy. Here are just of few of the reasons you probably just want to spend the summer in an air conditioned room:
- The minute you go outside, all your clothes are stuck to your body.
- Summer humidity and hair just don’t get along.
- In this weather, anything that gets wet stays that way.
- Right after you get out of the shower, you feel like you need another one.
- Crowded elevators and subways… well, you get the idea.
Nobody’s going to argue with those reasons for not being a fan of summer humidity. However, there are much scarier facts you should know about humidity and how it can affect your health.
Flowers are blooming, the grass is green and lush, and trees are bursting with new leaves… Don’t you just love this time of year?
Not so much if you have allergies.
When the pollen count is out of control, all you want to do is hide in an air conditioned room until fall. Unfortunately, that probably won’t help.
You might think your air conditioning system will filter out all those nasty allergens from the air, but without the right air filters for allergies, you’ll still be sniffling and sneezing your way through the season.
And it’s not just pollen you need to worry about! The summer heat and humidity make the conditions ripe for the growth of mold and mildew, which can also bring on allergy symptoms.
Learn the facts about choosing the right air filters for allergies, as well as other HVAC maintenance tips that can reduce your suffering this season.
There are many reasons business owners and employees might be concerned about indoor air quality in office buildings:
- Stale and stuffy air
- Too much humidity
- Lingering odors
- Mold starting to appear in damp spots
- People suffering from health issues such as headaches, fatigue, nausea, respiratory issues, or skin problems while they are in the office
- There may even be talk about Sick Building Syndrome
Even before that alarming term starts to be used, people are going to be anxious to get to the bottom of the issue. It’s not only because indoor air quality in office buildings affects everyone’s comfort and health. Business owners should also be concerned about the impact on productivity and their bottom line.
Which do you find more scary: something right before your eyes, or something you can’t actually see but looms large in your imagination?
The spider on the ceiling? Or the monster under the bed?
For most of us, it’s what we can’t see that’s truly frightening.
When it comes to the quality of the air in your home, those fears about what’s lurking unseen can be justified. There are quite a number of invisible dangers that you risk with every breath you take.
Reliable air conditioning is something we tend to take for granted… until all of a sudden it’s not reliable anymore.
It’s tempting to hope that you can start up your AC for the summer and everything works perfectly. But if you want that to happen, you need to take steps to make sure your air conditioner is ready for the hot summer days ahead. That includes cleaning the AC coil.
Read on to learn more about this important component of your air conditioner, why it’s so vulnerable, and how cleaning it can have a huge impact on your summer comfort, your energy bills, and even the quality of the air you breathe.
It’s so easy to take air for granted. You can’t see it, and mostly you don’t think about the fact that you’re breathing it all day. But people notice in a hurry when there’s not enough of it. That’s why stuffy air in an office is so difficult to put up with.
When air conditioning problems lead to insufficient air flow in your workplace, you’ll notice people taking every opportunity to get out of there. Going outside for air, taking long lunches… maybe you’ve done it yourself. If so, it’s time to get to the root of the problem before lagging productivity begins to impact your bottom line.
With all the problems on your plate on a given day, it can be tough to find the time to give much attention to your air conditioning system. Yet when your AC breaks down, it can impact every aspect of your operation.
That’s why facilities and operations staff need to understand a few air conditioner basics that help keep everything running smoothly.
Even though a Facilities Manager needs to be a jack-of-all-trades, HVAC may not be your area of expertise. So here’s a guide to the most important air conditioner basics you need to know: the top causes of AC problems, and what you can do to prevent them.
If you suspect you have HVAC airflow problems, you’re probably experiencing one or more of the following symptoms:
- Hot and cold spots throughout your space. This is often one of the first signs of HVAC airflow issues.
- Pressure imbalance. Do you have doors slamming by themselves, strange whistling noises and drafty areas? These are symptoms of air pressure problems caused by poor HVAC airflow.
- Little to no air coming from your air conditioning registers. This is when you begin to realize something is wrong.
- Your AC system blows warm air. Now you KNOW something is wrong!
If you ignore the problem for too long, the strain on your system can lead to compressor failure. The compressor is like the heart of your air conditioner, and when it goes, there’s a good chance you’ll need a new unit.
Does Your Commercial HVAC Maintenance Vendor Provide Value for Your Business?
Procuring 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, your needs go above and beyond just 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.
Is Poor Indoor Air Quality Causing Your Allergy Symptoms?
Most of us tend to think of allergies as caused primarily by pollen and pet dander. So why are people still suffering who live and work in the city, where pollen-producing plants and furry critters are in much shorter supply than in the suburbs?
The answer for many is poor indoor air quality.
HVAC for Small Business: The Common Signs of Poor Service
Have you had it with your heating and air conditioning company? If you’re reading this post, there’s a good chance you are experiencing some (or all) of these problems with HVAC for small business:
- Taking far too long to get to you for an emergency repair
- Failing to show up on time for an appointment
- Failing to correctly diagnose problems, so it takes several visits to finally get it right
- Unwilling to do work at the best times for your business
- Doing the bare minimum for preventative maintenance
- Being careless and leaving a mess in your space
- Giving you unintelligible work orders and invoices
Related article: 9 HVAC Service Provider Problems You Should Not Tolerate
Is HVAC duct cleaning right for your home? Many homeowners question whether it needs to be done, how often to do it, and how to find the right company to perform the job. Some HVAC service providers also try to convince homeowners that it’s important to seal ducts and apply chemical biocides and treatments to kill bacteria and mold. True or false?
Homeowners are overwhelmed and perplexed about which HVAC services are necessary and which aren’t. Many customers have asked us if there are any guidelines or recommendations to follow, and fortunately, there are. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued guidelines and information that we’re going to share in order to help you make an educated decision about whether HVAC duct cleaning and other services are right for your home. We’ll also provide advice about how to choose a service provider should you decide you want these services performed.
Attention facility managers and business owners:
Let’s see a show of hands: are you responsible for maintenance and operations of a business facility? Have you watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” this holiday season? Then this post is for you: here are some lessons about the importance of HVAC maintenance and your HVAC service tech that you can learn from this classic holiday film.
SPOILER ALERT: This article gives away details about the plot of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” but we’re betting you’ve seen it half a dozen times anyway!
When you are in the food service business, your refrigeration equipment is your lifeline. You depend on those blast chillers and display cases and low-boy refrigerators and walk-in freezers to keep your ingredients and your product both fresh and safe to consume. The problem is, when any one of those units breaks down, you have a serious problem on your hands.
If you’ve been in the restaurant business for a while, you’ve probably experienced the panic that sets in when you unexpectedly need emergency refrigerator repair. And it always seems to happen during your busiest time! You may find yourself throwing away thousands of dollars in wasted product and losing significant business in a very short period of time. Not to mention the repair bill, which can often cost you double if it happens at night or a weekend.
So when that happens (and it eventually will), you need to know that you can get fast emergency refrigerator repair when you need it. You may already know from experience that you’re unlikely to get fast service if you cold-call just any emergency refrigerator repair company you come across on the Internet.
So how can you find a company you can count on to fix your emergency refrigerator repair problems before your profits melt away like the ice cream in your broken freezer? Read on for three little-known strategies.
The Benefits of Humidification For Your Home and Family
Chances are, you pay pretty close attention to the air temperature in your home. After all, when the temperature varies even by a few degrees, you’ll notice the change quickly since you’ve become accustomed to living with a set air temperature. Like when your spouse or kids decide to change your thermostat setting.
Humidification, on the other hand, is an important yet often-overlooked aspect of your home’s comfort. You’ll certainly notice when the humidity reaches the 80 percent mark on those steamy summer days, yet you may not be aware of the detrimental effects of insufficient humidification (translation: dry air) during the winter season when the furnace is running. If your home does not have a humidification system, you’ve probably noticed some of the symptoms, even if you didn’t realize the cause.
Each year, space heaters are the cause behind more than 25,000 home fires and over 300 fatalities, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Some space heaters release carbon monoxide that can be deadly as well. We all know it: using a space heater is a huge risk to your family simply to eliminate chilly spots in your home. So why do so many continue to use them? Probably because they are not aware of better space heater alternatives.
As the winter approaches, you may be wondering if your outdoor air conditioning unit needs protection from the elements. The answer is, yes it does! Falling leaves as well as snow and ice can get into the condensing unit and cause damage. So how should you cover an air conditioner for winter? First we’ll tell you why it needs protection, and then we’ll get to how to cover an air conditioner for winter safely so that you don’t make matters worse.
You may be wondering what we mean when we say that HVAC preventive maintenance plans prevent headaches. Is that metaphorical headaches in the form of HVAC problems, or literal pounding pain in your head? In this case, the answer is BOTH.
When you are a property manager, stress is a way of life. You have so many problems and complaints to deal with on a daily basis, that it’s no surprise when the metaphorical headaches lead to the real kind. So if you’re reading this blog because you want to solve HVAC problems OR because you want to stop taking ibuprophen every day, learning about HVAC preventive maintenance plans can help.
THIS CONTENT HAS BEEN REVISED as per the new NYC cooling tower legislation. See the updated article: UPDATE: Cooling Tower Maintenance Checklist for NYC
Following the Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak in New York City this past summer, there is a great deal of concern and uncertainty about what’s required for proper cooling tower maintenance. As a business owner, you want to keep your employees and customers safe from deadly bacteria. And if you’re in New York City, you must make sure you stay in compliance with NYC Health Department regulations.
What’s happening with New York’s cooling tower maintenance legislation
Back in August, the New York City Council passed new legislation that requires the registration, inspection and disinfection of all cooling towers as a preventative measure against Legionnaires’ Disease. The new law requires building owners to register all cooling towers with the city, and also register any new cooling towers before putting them into use. The NYC Health Commissioner has also issued an order requiring all cooling towers to be inspected by an environmental consultant and then disinfected.
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?
Here’s what you may not realize: while carbon monoxide detectors may alert you about a leak and prevent injuries and deaths, they can’t completely protect your business from the results of a carbon monoxide leak. Even if no one is hurt because you got the warning quickly, there are still expensive consequences. To avoid these, you need to prevent the carbon monoxide leak in the first place. And to do that, you need these HVAC safety tips.
Make sure you’ll get fast AC repair after a storm
Have you been through it before? After a major storm blows through and takes out everything in its path, including your air conditioning system, you just want fast AC repair to get back to normal as quickly as possible.
But then you face major delays as you wait for someone to come assess the damage to your system, order the parts and/or equipment needed to get you back up and running, and finally make the repairs. If lots of other homes and businesses have experienced storm damage, you could easily be waiting weeks or even longer to get your cooling system back.
So what can you do to make sure you’ll get fast AC repair the next time around? First, and most importantly, don’t wait for next time to think about it.
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.
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 it’s worth the money, and ultimately which one is right for you.
Here’s a primer to help you understand the different types of HVAC service contracts and the variables that factor into the pricing. Armed with this information, you can figure out which options are important to you and be better equipped to choose the contract with the right price for the coverage you want.
Have you recently been burned by high HVAC repair costs? Or have you purchased a new HVAC system and want to start off right taking proper care of it? If so, you may be thinking about investing in regular service and looking at HVAC preventive maintenance contracts for the first time.
You’ve probably got questions… and maybe you’re not quite ready for a sales pitch just yet so you’re reluctant to start making calls. Here’s some handy information about what to expect from an HVAC preventive maintenance contract how to begin evaluating your options.Read more
There are any number of issues that can cause your air conditioner to stop working. Luckily, they’re not all expensive fixes. The problem could be just a loose wire that’s caused a power failure in your air conditioner. Or you could have a clogged air filter that’s impeding the air flow to the system.
On the other hand, when AC compressor failure causes your system to breakdown, you have a major AC emergency service problem and a big expense on your hands. The compressor is a vital and expensive component, and when it goes you may find yourself dropping a lot of cash on a new AC unit.Read more
Did your air conditioner give you trouble all last summer? You were probably relieved when the hot weather was over, so you could stop worrying about your unreliable unit breaking down again at the worst possible time, and shelling out your hard-earned cash time and time again to fix it. Even though it’s hard to imagine with a foot of snow on the ground, it won’t be all that long before those hot days are back.
You probably don’t want to think about buying a new air conditioner just now. If you’re smart, though, this is exactly the right time to make a decision about your air conditioner. If you think it may be time to throw in the towel and buy a new air conditioner, now is the time to research your options and get the best price on a new unit that’s right for your needs.Read more
New York City’s Winter 2015 Restaurant Week is almost upon us. You’re probably scrambling to get ready for the onslaught of New Yorkers and tourists lining up for a chance to sample the trendiest and tastiest fare the city’s restaurants have to offer. It’s one of the best opportunities to create a buzz about your restaurant and attract a host of new diners.
But if your refrigeration equipment fails, you’ll be sending all those potential new customers home dissatisfied or worse. So, in advance of restaurant week, we’ll be posting great tips and resources on how to keep your equipment (and your head) cool!
Every smart business person is trying to cut costs. When it’s time to think about renewing your annual HVAC preventive maintenance contract, you may be tempted to go with the lowest priced option. It can seem expensive, and you may not fully understand what you’re getting for your money. Why should you pay more?
But consider yourself warned: going with the lowest bidder frequently costs much more in the long run! That’s especially true if you don’t think through what’s included in the HVAC maintenance contract and your relationship with the service provider. So how can you evaluate the value you’re getting for the HVAC maintenance cost? Consider the following:Read more
Furnace blown a fuse again? Get to the bottom of it now using this furnace troubleshooting guide.
When a fuse blows in December, at first you may just assume it’s those strings of cheap Christmas lights all over the place. But it happens again, even after Santa has left the building along with the spike in electrical usage he brings.
Then the temperature drops in the building, you realize it’s the furnace blowing that fuse. Now what?Read more
As a business owner, this time of year you’re probably running around like Santa Claus on Christmas Eve trying to get everything done. The last thing you want to worry about is the condition of your heating system. But in those rare moments when you sit still for a moment, you may be experiencing nagging doubts that your old furnace is going to make it through the winter without an expensive and inconvenient breakdown.
Take a glance through the list below. Have you noticed any of these symptoms? If you have, you’re probably worried that your furnace or boiler is about to go down for the count. Taking the “wait and see” approach makes it likely that you won’t like what you see (especially on your invoice) when that breakdown happens.Read more
If you’re in the market for new HVAC equipment, you’re probably doing a lot of research into the type of equipment that’s best for your needs, as well as the brands that are highly rated. Did you know that it’s just as important to do your due diligence in choosing the right installer? Use this HVAC troubleshooting guide to help you understand possible issues.Read more
Did you know that radiant floor heat is one of the oldest forms of climate control? Ancient Eskimos filled stone trenches under their dwellings with hot smoke to warm the space. The Greeks and Romans used hypocausts, basically furnaces pumping hot air into floor and wall space, to warm their public buildings and bath houses. Different forms of radiant floor heating have been used for millennia.Read more
Have you been putting off turning on the heat in your building, hoping to avoid the high utility bills for as long as possible? When you’re finally forced to turn it on because it’s so cold there’s frost on the windows and you can see your breath inside, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise.
It’s dead. No heat. Now what?Read more
Chances are you’ve seen articles and advertisements telling you to get your HVAC system cleaned and maintained at least once or twice a year (it should be apart of any fall furnace maintenance routine). You may be wondering why it’s so important. After all, your equipment seems to keep working, right?
That may be the case for now, but you’re setting yourself up for a host of trouble later on (not to mention much bigger expenses) by skipping this easy and affordable task.Read more
It’s that time of year again when you see skeletons and witches inhabiting every lawn and peering out of every window. So when you have a furnace making noises with all sorts of unsettling sounds, you can’t help but wonder if a poltergeist got in there.
Before you call in the ghost busters, here are some of the common problems that may be making your heating system go bump in the night (and all day long). Luckily, most of them are not that scary.Read more
If you haven’t already done so, you’re probably thinking it’s time to turn on the heat in your building. Not so fast! Have you done your fall furnace maintenance? If you want to keep your building occupants healthy and safe, as well as warm, it’s in your best interest to take care of this task before starting up your furnace for the first time. November is almost upon us! The leaves are dropping off the trees, the holiday ads have already begun, and you’re toying with the idea of breaking out the winter coat. It’s going to get chilly, especially after we change the clocks and lose another hour of daylight.Read more
This time of year, you’ve got so much on your mind: navigating the daily traffic gridlocks with so many bigwigs in town, picking out your Halloween costume for the office party, and of course, keeping up with the baseball playoff standings.
Who has the time to think about air filters? And what’s the big deal anyway? How could a little thing like a furnace air filter really make a difference in how your furnace works this winter?
It makes a huge difference, actually, and it takes less time than choosing your picks for the football pool.Read more
It’s no secret that carbon monoxide is deadly. We’ve all heard the horror stories that result from people unknowingly breathing in the colorless, odorless gas. As a responsible business owner or manager, you have carbon monoxide detectors installed in your building, and you probably think that protects you from the danger.
It’s true that carbon monoxide detectors will most likely protect you from the deadliest outcome: people in your building becoming sick or even dying from exposure to the poisonous gas. But have you considered the consequences of having a scare in your building when those detectors go off? The following fall furnace maintenance tips will help you stay safe in the event of your detectors go off, and take preventative action to ensure they never do.Read more
At this time of year, you’ve probably seen and heard the recommendations about having your furnace cleaned and maintained before the start of the cold weather. What’s all this fuss about fall furnace maintenance, anyway? Your building’s furnace is tucked away in a boiler room out of sight. No one has to look at it, so why should you care if it’s dirty as long as it’s doing the job?
Here’s what you may not realize. All that buildup of dirt and grime, as well as the fact that your furnace is not being regularly inspected for impending problems, is endangering the health of your building’s occupants, not to mention your wallet.
Here are four serious risks you face when you neglect fall furnace maintenance:Read more
Take Control of Your Broken Air Conditioning Unit.
As a business owner or manager, you wear a lot of hats. But it’s going a bit too far when you’re expected to understand the technical mumbo-jumbo about what’s wrong with your broken air conditioning unit and make a decision to replace it on the spot. Do you trust this service provider and their diagnosis? Is this problem really a death sentence for your equipment? Can you buy a little time to figure out your options?
Just say no, or at least say “not so fast.” Any service provider that insists you need to purchase new equipment without offering an adequate explanation – or one that’s understandable to someone who’s not an HVAC expert – should raise a red flag. You should never rush into making an expensive equipment purchase, because it’s easy to make the wrong choice and spend more money than you need to.
Here’s how to proceed when you find yourself in this situation:Read more
Whether they call it a superstorm, a tropical storm, or a hurricane, these devastating weather events can cause catastrophic damage, as those of us who lived through Superstorm Sandy know all too well. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted 8-13 named storms, 3-6 hurricanes and 1-2 major hurricanes for the 2014 season, so now is the time to get prepared.
We all know the drill to protect our homes and families when an impending storm threatens: stock up on water and non-perishable food, get out the flashlights and weather radio, buy lots of batteries, bring in your lawn chairs and board up the windows. But did you know that you should also be taking precautions to protect your NYC HVAC system?
Making the time now to take a few precautionary actions, and knowing what to do when a storm strikes, can make the difference between sailing through the storm with no damage and having to shell out thousands for new HVAC equipment.Read more
When should you pay twice for HVAC Repair in NYC?
You know the drill: something breaks and you call in someone to fix it. The HVAC repair guy tells you what’s wrong, and charges you a lot of money. At first, everything seems to be working again. You breathe a sigh of relief and forget about it. Then lo and behold, it breaks down again a short time later.
We’ve all been through it, which doesn’t make it any less frustrating, not to mention expensive. Unfortunately, it happens all too often with air conditioning systems. The question is, should you have to pay each time the tech comes out and works on your system, even when he doesn’t fix the problem?
It’s a tough question, and the answer depends on the circumstances. Here are a few scenarios related to refrigerant leaks, one of the most common causes of a/c malfunctions, to guide you if you find yourself in this sticky situation.Read more
Avoid HVAC Repair With This Simple Checklist.
It’s hard to believe September is here already! You’re probably busy with back-to-school activities, the start of the football season, and picking out your Halloween costume (it’s never too early!). It’s a good thing we’re here to remind you that air conditioning maintenance needs to be on your fall to-do list.
Your air conditioner has worked hard all summer keeping your building cool. Once you shut down your system for the season, it needs to be cleaned, inspected and properly protected for the long winter ahead. If you skip these important tasks, you’re risking a major hvac repair headache (not to mention a major expense) when you start up your air conditioner in the spring and find it’s not working.Read more
Air Conditioner Problems Raining on Your Parade?
Leaking Just when you were having a good month with no major disasters, and you were actually optimistic about getting ahead of expenses, your maintenance guy comes in to tell you that there’s a puddle of water around your indoor air conditioning unit. Now you’ve got that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach in anticipation of an expensive repair bill.
Don’t panic! It may look bad, but in many cases, your air conditioner problems–even water leaks are not an expensive fix, if you’ve caught it quickly.Read more
Compressor Failure Could Mean Serious Air Conditioning Repair in NYC
When a service tech inspects your broken air conditioner, the very LAST thing you want to hear him or her say is, “Sorry, the compressor has failed.” It’s often a death sentence for an air conditioning unit since it’s such a costly part to replace. If your warranty has expired and the cost to replace a compressor exceeds a third of the cost of a new unit, you may be facing the purchase of a new air conditioner. Either way, it’s going to cost you a bundle.
The surprising fact is that as many as 80 percent of compressor failures could be prevented if the problems leading to the failure were corrected in a timely manner. These problems can be detected and eliminated during regular preventative maintenance and help you avoid costly air conditioning repair in NYC.Read more
AC Troubleshooting: Why Your Air Conditioner Freezes Up and What to Do About it.
If you have children, or you’re alive on the planet, you’ve seen/heard of/know all the words to all the songs to Disney’s Frozen. In the movie “Anna, a fearless optimist, sets off on an epic journey – teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff and his loyal reindeer Sven – to find her sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter” (so says IMDB). Yea, it’s a real nail-biter.
While you may not have a loyal reindeer, you may indeed be facing an epic journey of your own when the icy powers of your air conditioner cause an eternal winter of your evaporator coils. (Eh, come on…go with it. It was only a matter of time before a witty HVAC company took advantage of the comparison).Read more
AC Troubleshooting Guide to Fixing a Constantly Running AC Unit
Mid-August and temperatures are in the 70’s? It makes you wonder if the dog days of summer are behind us or if they’ll be back with a vengeance next week. It’s a relief to have some cooler weather, but one thing that may put a damper on your comfort level is the sound of your air conditioner running constantly when you know it shouldn’t be.
When your air conditioner runs throughout the day and night without shutting off, or if it cycles on and off continuously, there are several causes for concern. More than likely you’ve got a problem with the unit. It’s also using way too much electricity and running up your electric bill. And don’t forget about the wear and tear on your air conditioner from all that unnecessary work.Read more
Troubleshooting Your Air Conditioner: Problems with Power
It’s incredibly frustrating when your air conditioner experiences power-related issues because you often don’t know who to call, the electrician or the air conditioning service guy. Since you’re probably not an expert in wiring and electricity, the danger of high voltage is enough (as it should be!) to keep you from trying to figure it out on your own. Here’s a quick guide to the top 3 power issues you could be experiencing, and what to do if it happens to you.Read more
Have you heard the term “stray energy”? It refers to all the energy that’s wasted in your building due to incorrect settings and equipment not operating under optimum conditions. Some examples include:
- Someone adjusts a thermostat for a specific event and then forgets to reset it afterwards.
- Broken sensors that cause fans or pumps to run when not needed.
- Undetected problems with automated building management software that cause systems to run incorrectly, such as at night.