5 Tips for Preparing Your Facility for
When it comes to ensuring optimal HVAC system performance, one of the most important preventative maintenance initiatives is seasonal preparedness.
It seems like just yesterday that Portland was ankle-deep in snow – and yet, believe it or not, summer is just a few short months away. For many, the warmer weather signifies higher utility costs and increased energy consumption in an effort to cool your facility.
But what you may not realize is that, with the right preparation and diligence, you can optimize HVAC operations to keep your tenants happy while reducing your energy consumption, bringing down your utility bill, and promoting a sustainable environment.
The truth is, preparing your HVAC system is important for any season, but the summer months can put additional stress on systems that are not maintained properly. So with warmer temperatures right around the corner, here are 5 preparation tips to ensure peak performance:
1. Get quarterly checkups for your system.
Regular inspections of your facility’s HVAC unit can ensure your system is set at an optimal level to properly cool your commercial space while controlling your energy costs. Inspections can also mitigate unexpected future costs by helping you identify and address any impending problems before they occur.
2. Regularly change and monitor the condition of your filters during peak season.
Dirty and worn filters can force your air conditioning unit to work harder, which increases energy costs and reduces the life of the system. Frequent monitoring and quarterly replacement of these filters will ensure optimal HVAC system performance in warmer weather, and will promote the health of your building (and your tenants) by keeping dust, allergens, and other air pollutants at bay.
3. Calibrate indoor and outdoor building sensors
Check that the controls are responding correctly and that the proper temperature is displayed and maintained. It is a good practice to review the time and schedule program to ensure your equipment is not running when the office is unoccupied. And of course, be sure that the batteries are changed when necessary.
4. Make sure you have the right HVAC unit.
Is it the right size for your space, or is it working overtime to try and cool a too-large area? Is your unit getting older and less efficient? The useful service life of most HVAC equipment is typically 15-20 years. If your equipment is nearing that lifespan, it might be time to replace your HVAC. An old and over-taxed system will cost you much more to use in the long run than simply replacing the unit.
5. Install an Energy Management System.
An EMS can create huge time, energy, and cost savings for commercial buildings. It acts as a virtual facility manager, allowing you to make temperature adjustments from anywhere. Often times, EMS systems will alert you to a problem before you get the call from an uncomfortable tenant.
While these initiatives are aimed primarily toward warmer weather, their benefits can span far beyond a single season. Being proactive about your system’s needs can optimize efficiency, control unnecessary energy consumption, and keep your tenants happier and healthier all year long.