How to Check If Your Commercial Building Has HVAC Inefficiencies
If you’re operating a commercial building, inefficiencies in your HVAC systems are costing you big time. Below, we’ll outline the top things to check to make sure that you aren’t losing money without even knowing it.
1. Check for Leaks
The ductwork that is damaged or just old can cause airflow problems throughout the building, resulting in some rooms feeling much warmer or cooler than others. If you’ve been noticing this, check for leaks that are allowing hot or cool air to pass through. This is a simple fix to ensure that you aren’t spending more than you should be.
2. Insulation materials
Understanding the insulation materials used in the construction of your HVAC system is important in understanding how often the unit needs to be repaired or replaced. There are many types of insulation such as polyiso insulation, but each material has its pros and cons when it comes to withstanding time, environmental conditions, and bacteria.
3. Foul smells
If you notice a musty or foul smell, there’s something wrong. If a smell is off, the first thing you’ll want to rule out is a gas leak – to do this, check the heat exchanger as well as look for standing water or obvious moisture. If there’s mildew in the building, your employees are more likely to get headaches or come down with coughs.
4. Drips and Rust
Your HVAC system has a condensate drain line that is supposed to collect the normal moisture that accumulates as the system pushes air through the evaporator coils. However, sometimes this line becomes damaged or clogged, leading to water damage. To check for this, inspect carefully to see if there’s any water dripping from the unit or for rust anywhere.
5. Unexpected Shutdowns
If your unit shuts down without warning, you’re probably looking at a blown fuse. You can solve this quite easily with a check to the circuit breaker.
6. A Sudden Bill Surge
If you have large overhead costs in your business each month, it can be easy to overlook changes in your energy bill as the seasons change. However, in order to ensure that your system is working properly and efficiently, it’s best to monitor the changes in your bill across the seasons and be able to compare one year to the next. If there’s a sharp increase in energy bills this summer from last summer, there’s a good chance that there is a part of the system that’s in need of repair.
Schedule a blower test
During an energy audit, a blower door test measures the tightness of the air seal in the building in order to make sure that energy consumption is as efficient as possible and see if mechanical ventilation is necessary to provide safe and clean indoor air quality. This is a test best left to the professionals, but it will help you gain a comprehensive understanding of your building’s air quality.
In order to create a comfortable and productive work environment, you have to pay careful attention to a properly operating HVAC system that will provide clean and safe air quality.