As the heat increases during the summer months, energy bills rise. It is not unusual for business owners to see their air conditioning bill triple during the year’s hottest season. HVAC systems can be heard running non-stop as commercial buildings try to sufficiently use energy to cool off their space. Unfortunately, summer can be brutal when it comes to your HVAC. You may question how you can save on your energy bill. One way to cut your energy bill is by performing some regular HVAC maintenance.
Whether running a store, office, or commercial facility, it will benefit your staff if your HVAC system works properly. Regular maintenance can help you create a comfortable environment for your team members and customers. One way to do this is to perform specific maintenance tasks before or at the beginning of summer. Follow this comprehensive guide to keep your commercial space and HVAC system in peak condition throughout the hot season.
Commercial HVAC Systems
If you’re new to owning a commercial property, chances are you may not be familiar with the ins and outs of commercial heating and cooling systems. We’re here to help!
Commercial HVAC equipment typically has several components. In addition, there are many repair services that the business owner can conduct to help keep the HVAC system working well between tune-ups.
Importance of Summer HVAC Maintenance Plan
It is vital to have a smooth-running HVAC system in the summer, with temperatures potentially rising above 110 degrees Fahrenheit in Las Vegas. For business owners, extreme temperatures can substantially impact their bottom lines. When running a commercial building, you don’t want to be caught off guard by a malfunctioning system when business is booming. So here are five tips for making sure your HVAC system is running smoothly during the summer season:
- Make sure your HVAC system is maintained regularly throughout the year by a professional. The details of your maintenance program can help with dollars spent in the future.
- Regularly check the amount of refrigerant in your HVAC system. You could risk making your rooftop units weaker and more likely to break down if there is too much of it.
- Inspect the outside unit once per week: ensure air filters are clean and the coils are free of debris and mud.
- Schedule emergency repairs with our local HVAC repair company if your AC breaks down on a hot summer day!
There are several reasons why you should properly prepare your commercial HVAC unit for summer:
Reduce Operational Costs
According to ENERGY STAR®, space cooling represents about 15% of energy consumption in commercial buildings in the United States. The figure will likely be higher in places with super hot summers such as Las Vegas. Your commercial HVAC system has to be in tiptop condition to handle the additional cooling load in the summer. It’ll struggle to keep your office or commercial property cool if it’s poorly maintained. With routine commercial services from The Cooling Company on your air conditioner, you are more likely to experience less mechanical failures. Mechanical failures can be costly to fix.
Improve Employee Performance
A properly functioning commercial HVAC system can positively impact your employee’s work performance. If your air conditioner fails to provide adequate cooling, your employees may have a more challenging time focusing on their work on a hot summer day. Warmer office space can result in lower productivity, poorer work quality, and increased risk of errors. Keeping your commercial HVAC unit in good condition can help you get the best performance out of your employees.
It’s also important to know that a well-maintained HVAC system can improve indoor air quality. Their job is to filter the air that comes in from outside, maintain the proper humidity levels, and facilitate better air circulation. If you don’t service your air conditioner regularly, it won’t be able to perform these functions effectively, causing your indoor air to become more polluted. Dirt, dust, pollen, bacteria, and harmful chemicals in the air can make you and your employees more vulnerable to many health problems, from runny noses to asthma attacks. As a result, you may see an increase in the number of employees calling in sick. Therefore, creating a comfortable environment is of utmost importance.
Provide a Better Experience for Customers
If your commercial HVAC system isn’t operating smoothly, you may see your business losing customers. Cooler environments are more welcoming to clients. Your commercial clients are more likely to stay longer if you provide a comfortable environment, leading to the possibility of increasing sales. On the other hand, failing to provide a pleasant shopping experience can be bad for your business reputation, leading them to spend their money elsewhere.
Raise the Temperature on Your Thermostat
It sounds counterintuitive, but setting a higher temperature on your thermostat will keep your building cooler and keep your utility bills lower. For example, when people are frequently in and out of your building during the hottest part of the day, try turning the temperature up by about 4 degrees (Fahrenheit). Then, when people come in from outside and open doors and windows, they won’t notice as much heat coming in from outside. Raising the temperature on your thermostat will also make it easier for you to keep the building cool during these busier hours, using less energy.
Five Useful Tips for Properly Maintaining Your Commercial HVAC System During Summer
Now that you understand the importance of preventative maintenance, you should perform the necessary maintenance tasks to get your commercial air conditioner ready for summer. Note that HVAC maintenance tasks can vary significantly in terms of difficulty. Some can be done without professional knowledge or equipment, while others are a job left best to a trained service technician. It is a necessity to follow these tips to keep your commercial HVAC system in tiptop condition:
- Inspect and Change the Air Filter
The air filter in your commercial HVAC system serves the critical purpose of filtering and cleaning the air entering your indoor space by trapping dirt, dust, debris, and harmful particles. After some time, it will become dirty and clogged, making it harder for air to pass through it. Having restricted airflow, the air conditioner will have to work harder to deliver proper cooling. If you don’t change the filter regularly, the additional strain can lead to higher energy costs, overheating, breakdowns, and cooling repairs.Changing the air filter is a relatively easy task you may be able to do yourself. However, the frequency at which you change the filter may vary depending on how often you use your HVAC system and what type of system and filter you have. Manufacturers recommend you inspect the filter once every three or four weeks to ensure the unit is not clogged with dirt and debris. If it’s blocked, you should replace it right away. Many manufacturers recommend filters today that allow you to change them once every three to six months. According to the Department of Energy, replacing a clogged air filter with a new one can reduce your HVAC unit’s energy use by 15%. In addition, the replacement of air filters can improve the equipment’s wear and encourage overall energy efficiency.
- Check the Thermostat
Before the beginning of summer, you should check the thermostat of your commercial HVAC system to make sure it’s working properly. A bad thermostat can cause various problems, from inadequate or uneven cooling to overheating.One way to know whether your thermostat is functioning properly is to check if the temperature setting matches the actual temperature in the room. Use a thermometer to measure the room temperature and compare the reading with the thermostat’s temperature setting. If the difference is more than one degree, the thermostat isn’t giving an accurate reading. In this case, you should speak with an HVAC professional about the problem. If your thermostat shows the correct temperature, ensure the temperature settings are optimized for comfort and energy savings.
- Clean the Outdoor Condenser Unit
Cleaning the outdoor condenser unit is another crucial maintenance task you should do to prepare your commercial HVAC system for the summer. Usually located on the roof or attached to a wall outside your office or building, this unit transfers heat from your indoor space to the outdoors. If it isn’t correctly maintained, your air conditioner may lose some of its ability to produce cool air and experience additional stress. In addition, if the condenser unit is not working correctly, it can lead to higher utility bills and increased wear and tear.It’s essential to make sure the area around your outdoor condenser unit is clear of structures or objects that may block airflow. Remove all dirt and debris that have accumulated in the area. There should be at least three feet of free space on each side of the unit and five feet above it. A commercial air conditioner is a complex system. It can malfunction or become damaged because of the slightest errors. Most commercial HVAC maintenance tasks should be handled by expert technicians, especially if they involve opening up the equipment.
- Clean the Drip Pan and Condensate Line
When your HVAC system extracts warm air from your indoor space, it also removes moisture. The condensate line drains the humidity to ensure that it doesn’t accumulate in your equipment and cause damage. However, over time, algae and mold may grow in the drain line and cause it to become clogged. If left unfixed, this issue can result in a damaged air conditioner or property and indoor air pollution.You can find out if your commercial HVAC system’s condensate line is clogged by checking the drip pan. Turn off your air conditioner first, and then look for the drip pan, usually located below the indoor unit. The condensate line is likely clogged if you see water in the drip pan. The best way to clean the line is to remove the moisture and use a mild soap to clean away all the algae, mold, and other contaminants.Cleaning the condensate line is a task many people prefer to leave to an HVAC technician. However, if you want to do it yourself, you can start by using a wet/dry vacuum cleaner to remove clogs from the drain line. Vacuum for about one minute, and then check the canister for clogs. If it’s still clogged, use a flexible rubber tube to remove the clog. After that, you have to clean the drain line at the access point, which is usually a T-shaped vent with a PVC cover. Remove the cover and use hot water or distilled vinegar and mild dish soap to flush the drain. Let the solution soak for about half an hour before rinsing the drain line with clean water.
- Get Preventative Commercial HVAC Maintenance
If you don’t have the time to maintain your commercial air conditioner yourself or want a comprehensive commercial HVAC service for your equipment, consider signing up for preventative commercial HVAC maintenance. With this program, you’ll receive annual or biannual maintenance visits from HVAC professionals who will perform a wide range of tasks to ensure that your cooling service system will be in the best possible condition. These tasks include:
- Replacing the air filter
- Checking the duct system
- Cleaning the ignition switches
- Checking and cleaning the blower assembly
- Lubricating or replacing belts
- Cleaning the blower housing
- Cleaning the drip pan, condensate line, and evaporator coil
- Inspecting the heat exchanger
- Testing safety controls
- Inspecting the refrigerant level
- Checking and cleaning the condenser cabinet and coil
- Inspecting the compressor
- Checking and lubricating the fan motor and blades
- Checking the control box, switches, and wiring
A Properly Maintained Commercial HVAC System Can Go a Long Way
Running a business is challenging, and having your commercial HVAC system break down in the middle of the summer is perhaps the worst-case scenario. However, a few timely maintenance tips can ensure that your business’ HVAC system keeps running through those hot summer months. We want you to be sure your investment in a commercial HVAC system is successful and that your system will operate effectively this summer and for years to come. Commercial customers with commercial HVAC installations can avoid costly repairs and downtime through preventative measures to ensure your success during the summer months. Oftentimes when preventative care is avoided, business owners have to invest in new commercial HVAC installations.
If you’re looking for a reputable heating & air conditioning contractor in Las Vegas, don’t hesitate to call The Cooling Company at (702) 567-0707.