How Can Improved HVAC Systems Benefit Facility Management?
If you’re a facility manager, you have a busy schedule. There’s a lot to consider when it comes to streamlining your building’s processes, assets, and technology. Because of this, properly optimizing your facility’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems to maximize performance may not be top of mind. If your unit isn’t broken and occupants aren’t complaining of discomfort, why contact an HVAC technician to check it out?
The truth is that while maximizing your HVAC systems’ performance is often overlooked, it can lead to improved facilities management in a number of ways. So, we’d like to walk you through 5 best HVAC practices and discuss the benefits that you can expect from each.
Five Useful Tips for Facility Managers
At The BP Group, our skilled team has over 40 years of experience optimizing mechanical systems for commercial buildings and industrial facilities nationwide. From this experience, we’re here to share our exclusive tips that can directly enhance your day-to-day operations.
1. Invest in an HVAC Preventative Maintenance Plan
Commercial HVAC preventative maintenance contracts allow you to keep a pulse on your system’s performance. Since all facilities are different, maintenance plans are also customized to fit your individual necessities. Your building’s unique challenges will be included in the plan, allowing for more thorough and personalized service.
Signing a preventative maintenance HVAC contract with The BP Group has several benefits that will directly improve your facilities, including:
- Yields more efficient systems
- Extends your HVAC equipment’s lifespan
- Allows real-time performance monitoring
- Reduces the need for future repairs
- Decreases overall downtime
If there’s potential for an equipment malfunction, you’ll know about it before it impacts your workplace’s efficiency. With our ongoing performance monitoring, you won’t need to spend time explaining what issues your equipment’s having to our HVAC technicians. We’ll already know exactly what needs to be fixed, allowing us to conduct maintenance quickly without interrupting your work day.
With a relatively small investment, a preventative maintenance plan will ensure that your building receives the highest level of consistent service. And who wouldn’t want that?
2. Improve Indoor Air Quality with Filtration and UVC
Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, HVAC filters and their MERV ratings have been a hot topic in conversations surrounding protection from the virus. An air filter’s MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating gauges how well it filters airborne contaminants like pollen, dust mites, and bacteria. The higher the rating, the more efficient the filter is at blocking these microscopic particles from entering your building.
When it comes to filtering viruses like COVID-19, the CDC and ASHRAE (The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning) recommend a MERV rating of at least 13 to effectively decrease contamination. Does your building’s HVAC equipment meet these minimum standards? If not, the indoor air quality may be low and contribute to employee illnesses.
Another method you can use to create a healthier environment in your facilities is installing an ultraviolet light air purification system. When installed in your air conditioning’s ductwork or evaporator coil, commercial-grade UV bulbs stop microbiological growth and destroy up to 85% of pathogens.
But not all commercial UV light air purifying systems are created equally. That’s why we’d recommend enlisting the expertise of professional HVAC technicians to get the job done. The BP Group uses the highest quality equipment for our clients and we will properly install your air purification systems for you.
3. Use the Right HVAC Equipment
Are you in the process of replacing your current commercial HVAC unit? Or are you moving to a new facility? It’s important to make sure that the new equipment is the right size for your workspace. This may seem like a small detail, but it can make a huge difference!
Here’s why: choosing an HVAC system that’s too large will mean wasted energy and increased overall building management costs. On the other hand, HVAC systems that are too small will be overworked and unable to provide a consistent, comfortable temperature. So, you’ll want to ensure that your HVAC unit’s size is compatible with the square footage of your workspace to keep your building green and your costs low.
When selecting your new equipment, consider exploring options with integrated technology. Advanced commercial HVAC technology will allow you to keep better track of your unit’s performance. You’ll have a clear picture of your equipment’s by-the-minute performance, allowing you to identify any necessary repairs before they disrupt business.
Not sure which HVAC system is right for your facility? Your best bet is to work with a professional HVAC technician. We’ll help you determine the best equipment to suit your needs and ensure that it’s correctly installed.
4. Ensure Proper Ventilation
Another key commercial HVAC best practice is to ensure your building is properly ventilated. Ventilation allows contaminated air to leave your building while fresh air flows in.
Without enough ventilation, the air in your building will become stale. Bacteria and carbon dioxide can stay in the air, making your building’s air more polluted than the air outside. Any facility with high foot traffic or regular in-office employees should make air quality a priority to avoid spreading illnesses.
HVAC ventilation systems can mount onto your existing equipment directly and facilitate air circulation. Improved ventilation allows you to:
- Breathe easier and healthier indoors
- Increase your facility’s overall comfort
- Avoid sick building syndrome
- Prevent the growth of mold
But wait, there’s more! Improving ventilation can also have a direct impact on cognitive function. A study funded by United Technologies found that doubling ventilation rates in a given space doubled cognitive function test scores and resulted in fewer sick days. This means that office spaces and educational facilities in particular can see increased productivity as a direct result of proper ventilation.
5. Get Regular Condenser Coil Cleanings
In any air conditioning unit, there are 2 types of coils: evaporator coils and condenser coils. While evaporator coils absorb heat to cool the air indoors, condenser coils release that heat outside the building. Both coils need to be functioning in order to keep the indoor air cool during warmer months.
Since condenser coils are exposed to the outside air, they can rapidly accumulate dirt and debris. If your coils are dirty, the unit’s compressor will need to work harder to keep your facility cool. Doing so can cause your system to overheat and decrease cooling capacity by up to 30%.
Dirty condenser coils can also negatively impact your building’s air quality. Bacteria and mold grow on coils that haven’t been cleaned, causing potentially serious respiratory issues. Preventative maintenance will decrease your chances of dealing with equipment malfunctions mid-summer when the cool air is needed most.
This takes us to our last HVAC best practice tip for facility managers. We highly recommend getting your commercial AC unit’s condenser coils cleaned regularly. Twice a year is what experts generally recommend, but more frequent cleanings may be necessary in areas with poor air quality. If you’re based in New York City like we are, this is definitely something to consider.
Ideally, cleanings should be done before the temperature starts to rise and the unit is in use. But improper cleaning can cause expensive damages. Make sure your unit’s condenser coils are cleaned correctly by contacting the commercial HVAC technicians at The BP Group.
Reliable HVAC Building Services
If you’re a facility manager and you have questions about your current HVAC systems or processes, The BP Group is here to help. We’ll review your equipment using advanced technology and make recommendations based on our 40+ years of experience in the industry.
Contact our experienced HVAC technicians based in NYC to discuss your commercial HVAC needs. We look forward to partnering with you to implement these 5 best practices at your facility.