Winter is almost here, and along with it come challenges that any business owner should take seriously. Today we’ll talk about a number of areas where you can save on costs just by being proactive and preparing for when the temperatures drop. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, heating counts for more than 30% of commercial building energy consumption – any inefficiency in this area can have a serious effect on your bottom line. Every dollar you waste on an inefficient HVAC system is a dollar you aren’t putting into growing your company.
Making sure your HVAC system is prepared for the coming winter means saving time and money. On top of that, you’ll also keep your employees happier, improving productivity – nobody’s going to be doing their best at work if their teeth are chattering and their hands are shaking.
How Old Is Your System?
Before you even go through the effort of doing any maintenance, check when your current system was installed and how it’s been performing. You should have a record of the history of repairs and replacements done on your system. Most air conditioning units have a lifespan of 10-15 years, while boilers, heaters and furnaces will last roughly 18-24 years. If you’ve noticed that your repairs have become more and more frequent and you’re nearing the end of the lifespan of your system; it might be wiser to get everything replaced instead of continuously spending time, money and effort on repairs. Your best bet is to contact an HVAC specialist to determine the course of action that works for your budget and needs.
Where To Begin
First, let’s check the most important aspect of the HVAC system – the air quality. This is what everyone will notice first; the air coming out of your system should smell and feel clean and have a consistent temperature across different areas of your building. If your system can’t supply the entire workplace with comfortable temperatures and clean air, then it’s possible that your HVAC system is in need of repairs or simply isn’t enough for your current needs. Aside from that, any bad odors can be a symptom of leaks or malfunctions in the system, which could expose you and your workers to toxic chemicals.
Next, check your electricity bill leading up to the winter. If you see a consistent rise in costs as temperatures drop, it could be a sign that your system is struggling to keep your building warm and is working harder than usual. Another clue that this may be an issue is if your system keeps turning off and on during the day. An overworked or overheating system will turn itself off in the interest of safety. Another cause of this could be faulty or subpar wiring, which can pose an electrical hazard if left unchecked.
Lastly, take care of any drafts, holes and leaks in all areas of your building. Your HVAC system works best when the only places for air to travel in or out are accounted for by the system. Any gaps in your doors, walls, windows and air ducts are going to make the system more inefficient – and as we noted earlier, this can have a detrimental effect on your heating and cooling costs. The harder your system has to work, the more you spend on electricity as it struggles to keep up. Not only that, an overworked HVAC system is at risk of wearing out earlier, increasing repair and maintenance costs.
What a Professional HVAC Technician Can Do for You
Once you’ve done everything you can, it’s time to call in the pros. A certified Level One HVAC specialist can look for any cracks and leaks to make sure you’re safe from toxic chemicals; make sure your pressure gauges aren’t broken; check your belts, burners, fans, condensate pans and drain lines; and look for carbon buildup. They’ll clean your system of any dirt or grit that might adversely affect your HVAC system’s operation as well as add lubrication at key points to make sure everything’s moving smoothly.
Making sure that your work environment is as comfortable as possible can go a long way toward increasing your workers’ productivity. For any of your commercial HVAC needs, you can get in touch with our team at Level One HVAC by calling 248-486-6500 or by completing our online contact form.