Whether you’re a building supervisor, a facilities manager, or an operations-budget number cruncher, you have to stay on top of your building’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. There are three main habits that exemplify diligent HVAC management. The following habits can save you expenses and increase your staff’s comfort.
1. Successful Building Managers Are Zealous About System Maintenance
The expected lifespan of your office HVAC equipment is not the same as the lifespan of the same equipment if you never have the system checked or maintained. Neglected HVAC equipment will break down faster than maintained equipment due to the sheer number of parts present in heating and air conditioning appliances.
If you or your building staff never change air filters for incoming outside air, your HVAC equipment and ducts will soon be coated with pollen and other airborne contaminants. If a belt on a fan is loose or broken, your system may soon overheat and be permanently damaged.
Small HVAC issues that become big problems include:
Loose wires and cables
Faulty fuse or breaker
Dirty condenser coils
Poor condensate drainage
Improper thermostat adjustment
Low refrigerant levels
Small mechanical and electrical issues are easy to remedy when caught in time. When your HVAC maintenance crew checks out your system, they also look for and correct problems like lack of lubrication. Your newly lubricated HVAC parts now run smoothly and are less likely to become worn or break on a hot summer day.
Schedule an HVAC checkup before turning on heaters in the fall. When spring arrives, schedule a pre-season HVAC inspection before starting up the air conditioning.
When AC parts like the condenser coils are regularly cleaned and every part is checked out, you have the security of knowing your building will be comfortable. You know your infrastructure is working properly.
2. Diligent Building Managers Care About Air Quality
Air quality is a key consideration in creating comfortable spaces for customers, clients, patients, and employees. No one wants to breathe stuffy, dusty, or dry air all day while they work.
The best way to understand the circulation of air in your office spaces is to check out the HVAC plans for your building. Where does air enter and exit the building? What are the locations of all vents and ducts that deliver air into individual spaces? How does the air move through each space?
Air quality can be negatively affected by placing heavy furniture over a floor duct in a large room. A cabinet or partition may be blocking return air grills. If your office is dealing with poor circulation or air-quality issues, check for covered and blocked vents, ducts, and grills.
Air quality is affected by staff habits, too. Biological, chemical, and particulate matter can be present in office air because of actions and behaviors including:
Use of solvents and insecticides
Improper storage and disposal of food
Neglect in cleaning spills and leaks
Smoking, burning candles, or using fresheners
You can remedy poor air quality from inside sources by enforcing rules against using air contaminants in the office space. If your office staff must perform work using chemicals and solvents, create a room with extra ventilation that won’t impact the rest of the building.
Some people are sensitive to chemicals in new paint, upholstery, and carpeting. When refurbishing offices that will be used by vulnerable staff, source your new desks, chairs, and other room enhancements from eco-friendly manufacturers. Office-furniture suppliers now offer items with low or no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the materials.
Renovation of an office may change airflow patterns. If you plan to renovate your offices, speak with your HVAC professionals about the impact of your changes on the office airflow. When you have problems with exterior air making your office smelly or uncomfortable, have the professionals install filters or other fixes to improve indoor air quality.
3. Smart Building Managers Listen to Staff
Some workers simply pull on a sweater if it’s too cold in the office. They never complain. Then, there are people who have health or breathing issues who struggle to focus and remain productive when the air is too cold, hot, humid, or arid.
If your office workers are shivering in air under 60 degrees Fahrenheit — or drooping in air over 90 degrees Fahrenheit — they aren’t going to get much work done. The minimum acceptable office temperature is around 71.5 degrees Fahrenheit, but don’t set the thermostat to that temperature and believe your work is done.
The thermostat reading and the room temperature can be vastly different when:
Rooms have sun exposure
Ceilings are high
Airflow is poor
Office staff can feel the temperature in different ways. Some workers may believe the air is too hot, while another worker feels chilled in the same room. Work with your staff to address temperature issues so that all employees have the work environment they need to feel productive and alert.
HVAC professionals can help you solve issues with both temperature and air quality for your staff. Contact Advanced Heating & Cooling today to solve your office HVAC issues in Meridian, Idaho. We’ll get you started on a proper maintenance schedule for optimal office comfort.