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Spring has Sprung: Schedule Your Seasonal Inspection

Depending on the contents of your service maintenance agreement, you may be due for a spring inspection. Spring inspections are vital to your system to prepare it for the cooling season. There’s nothing worse than system malfunctions with temperatures topping out in the 90s or 100s!

What should your service technician be inspecting?

The inspection of your outdoor condenser unit is most important and has the greatest significance of your cooling system. The technician should check for proper refrigerant levels; a system that is low on refrigerant will run for longer periods of time, consuming more energy. They should also inspect the system base pan for restricted drain openings, coil and cabinet, fan motor and fan blades for wear and damage, control box, associated controls and accessories, wiring, and connections.

Additional tasks your service technician may perform:

  • Installing gauges and checking operating pressures
  • Checking voltage and amperage to all motors
  • Checking air temperature drop across evaporator
  • Checking for adequate refrigerant charge
  • Looking for any visible signs of leaks
  • Oiling motors if needed
  • Checking belts and adjust tension (if needed)
  • Checking pressure switch cutout settings
  • Checking reversing valves
  • Adding 1lb. of R-22 or 410-A refrigerant (if applicable)
  • Checking all wiring and connections
  • Changing air filters
  • Checking electrical lockout circuits
  • Checking starting contractors
  • Cleaning condenser coil (if needed)
  • Checking and adjust thermostat
  • Checking air temperature across condenser
  • Checking that condensate drain is open
  • Checking and cleaning disconnect

During the spring isn’t the only time you should be worried about your HVAC system. Check out our e-book for 9 Tips to Keeping Your Mechanical Systems in Tip-Top Shape all year round!

If you’re in need of a preventative maintenance agreement, please contact us to ensure your systems are all set for the coming months!

Selecting Your HVAC System Equipment

The United States EPA details that, “the main purposes of a Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) system are to help maintain good indoor air quality through adequate ventilation with filtration and provide thermal comfort.” It seems like those purposes are pretty crucial for keeping your business or organizations environment safe and comfortable, right?
Absolutely. That’s why the choice and design of your HVAC system is so important. It can even affect many other high-performance goals, including water consumption and acoustics.

The selection of HVAC system equipment is a complex design decision. You must balance several factors, including heating and cooling needs, energy efficiency, humidity control, potential for natural ventilation, adherence to codes and standards, outdoor air quantity and quality, indoor air quality, and cost.

Where do you start?

First off, where feasible, use central HVAC air handling units (AHUs) that serve multiple rooms in place of unit ventilators or individual heat pumps. Central AHUs have a plenty of advantages over unit ventilators and heat pumps serving individual rooms, including being quieter and less drafty.

Secondly, there are many features you should specify for all air handling units, including a double-sloped drain, non-corroding drain, and easy access doors.

For more assistance choosing the best HVAC system components for your building, give our Service department a call at (614) 334-9000.

Also, don’t forget to check out our e-book for 9 tips to keeping your HVAC system in tip-top shape!

Improve Your K-12 Learning Environment By Saving Money

Did you know that in 2006, Energy Star reported that K-12 schools in the US spend more than $7.5 billion annually on energy? Energy costs are the largest operating expense for K-12 school districts after salaries and benefits. The good news is that taking measures to improve decrease energy usage can not only be done without negatively affecting classroom instruction, but it may even lead to a more ideal learning environment for students, as well as extensive cost savings.

There are several aspects of building performance that prove to be crucial in providing an environment conducive to learning. “Research has shown that a relationship between facility conditions and absenteeism, teacher turnover rates, and occupant health,” Energy Star reports. Fortunately, many aspects of an energy conservation program can improve the following factors, while cutting energy costs.

  • Student safety and security can be improved with proper exterior lighting and adequate lighting in hallways and stairwells.
  • It is also important to keep in mind that natural daylight has been shown to enhance learning and so should be utilized wherever possible without negatively affecting other important aspects of lighting design. Visual comfort depends on having an adequate amount of evenly distributed illumination. “Daylighting in Schools: Reanalysis Report,” a major study conducted in 2003 by the Heschong Mahone Group, found that on average daylighting improves learning by 21 percent.
  • Indoor air quality can be bettered with ventilation as well as by removing the source of pollutants. High concentrations of these pollutants, like carbon dioxide (CO2), have been correlated with sickness and poor academic test performance.
  • The temperature of educational facilities also has an impact on student performance. Cold temperatures reduce dexterity, whereas warm temperatures reduce alertness. Temperatures that fluctuate frequently and widely can hinder children’s ability to focus.
  • Noise from outside the building, interior hallways, and building systems (such as fans, boilers, and compressors) can be a significant distraction to students. Being able to hear properly is important because up to 60 percent of classroom activities involve spoken communication.

For more information, visit www.energystar.gov.