Facilities Managers- What if you could make next Christmas 15-20% better?

Facilities Managers- What if you could make next Christmas 15-20% better?

If you manage a commercial building, it is probably true that your facility’s HVAC system is one of the most extensive—and quite possibly most expensive—pieces of equipment you’re responsible for.

Your AC system is unique among all your equipment, because of its size (it runs throughout your entire facility) and because it one system that is almost always on ­­­- especially in Hawaii, where it runs year-round. It may also be one of the most expensive systems to run – even more so with age and lack of care, which is why commercial HVAC maintenance is crucial to keep facilities up and running.

Here are four reasons why staying on top of HVAC maintenance should be one of your top priorities.

  1. It can reduce or eliminate costly repairs down the line.

According to findings by the National Association of Home Builders, ideally your HVAC system’s radiator will last up to 40 years, the water heater up to 20, and the air conditioner from 10 to 15.

By performing routine maintenance, it’s more likely your equipment will live out its lifespan. It can also help reduce or even eliminate costly repairs in the future.

Replacements and repairs on extensive pieces of equipment like HVAC systems can be prohibitively expensive. What’s more, since most systems outlive the tenure of a facility manager, many times repairs are inconsistent or simple, quick fixes designed to solve the problem for the short term. While this may save some money initially, it can end up costing your facility more in the long run

  1. It can reduce energy use, saving you money. 

Regular commercial HVAC maintenance will ensure your system is functioning properly and efficiently, thus saving you money on energy costs.

According to Facilities Net, “HVAC systems in typical commercial buildings are responsible for more than 40 percent of total energy use.” Therefore, keeping them “running properly and at peak efficiency is the first step in managing facility energy use.” The article goes on to cite that “facilities in which proper HVAC maintenance is completed will use at least 15 to 20 percent less energy than those where systems are allowed to deteriorate.”

What is 20% of your energy bill? How many other areas you are responsible for could benefit from that money?

  1. Regular tune ups will keep even new equipment operating efficiently.

Even new HVAC systems will decline in performance without regular maintenance. Therefore, it’s important that you continue to tune up your system with an annual maintenance contract and ensure that your contractor provides “pre-season” tune-ups before each cooling and heating season.

  1. It can improve indoor air quality. 

Last but not least, maintaining your HVAC system will also help improve indoor air quality. Facilities Net recommends that you develop a maintenance plan that includes:

  • Scheduled inspection, cleaning and service.
  • Calibration of control system components.
  • Replacement parts that at least meet design specifications.
  • Proper procedure documentation.

This will ensure your system is operating properly and that employees and visitors are comfortable and safe in your facility.

Conclusion 

Performing regular commercial HVAC maintenance will maximize equipment reliability while minimizing lifecycle costs. By taking a preventative approach, you can save money, energy, downtime, improve the indoor environment, and help ensure your HVAC system operates efficiently over its entire lifespan. Call or email Elite Mechanical for more information. We will help you simplify and schedule this process.

Five Money-Saving AC Tips For Business Owners

Five Money-Saving AC Tips For Business Owners

As a business owner, managing expenses is important. This makes efficiency a major priority for entrepreneurs. Your intent is to monitor all of these costs, but the reality is that the constant day-to-day surprises of business ownership along with that mile-long to-do list keep you from watching all of the things youʻd like to keep your eye on. That’s why we have compiled this resource of energy saving tips to help you manage those environmental expenses this quarter.

Tip #1: Regular maintenance can save you thousands

With so many demands for yout attention, it can be easy to neglect your HVAC system. This, unfortunately, means that your system may not be operating efficiently and may even have underlying issues that could lead to major repair or total replacement. Choose two months of the year (one in the spring and one in the fall) to have an HVAC specialist come out to replace your filters, inspect your unit and service your system to prevent inefficient operating or major system damage.

Tip #2: Your system has its own preferences

Your systemʻs most efficient settings may not provide the level of comfort you or your customers’ would hope for. If your system is not the right fit for your needs, trying to make it over-perform may cost you more than making sure you have the right system. Often, offices expand as space becomes available, but infrastructure is not necessarily expanded to meet the new demand. Which brings us to…

Tip #3: The right system can nearly cut your bill in half

If you have an outdated HVAC system, not only are you missing out on the benefits that modern systems provide for indoor air quality and comfort, but you could also be doubling your HVAC energy bill by using dated technology and equipment standards.

Modern systems can operate with the highest of efficiency. Some systems even allow operators to set different parts of the building at different temperatures when appropriate to prevent the extra burden on the system.

With a programmable system, you’ll be able to control your systems use by optimizing the settings to either drop or increase the set temperature during non-business hours. However, in order to promote energy efficiency, you’ll want to limit the adjustments that your system has to make. Sticking to business hours ensures that your system goes through minimal adjustments, while also keeping your business comfortable for employees and customers.

Tip #4: There are free ways to improve your HVAC efficiency

By simply opening and closing blinds, you can control the sunʻs impact on your building and prevent it from overheating your customers. Everyone has experienced sitting comfortably in a restaurant or cafe just before the sun hits that certain angle in relation to the window that makes it almost unbearable to stay in that seat.  Take advantage of this free resource to save money for your business.

Tip #5: Your high bill could be due to your building and not your system

If you have the right system in place and you’re maximizing its efficiency and employing best practices, there are other ways your space can impact your cooling bill. Windows, doors, ducting and other points of vulnerability that aren’t sealed properly can be compromising the efficiency of your HVAC system. Poor insulation and/or poor design can be allowing thermal (heat) transfer into your building, cutting the efficiency of your system. Keep your building comfortable efficiently by sealing your building and having it checked.

We want to see our local community thrive with energy efficient and comfortable HVAC systems in local businesses and homes. Contact Elite Mechanical to schedule your routine maintenance or unit inspection today.

 

We Can Work It Out

We Can Work It Out

How to extend the life of your air conditioning unit

We know that a properly installed HVAC unit has an estimated lifespan of 10 to 15 years. Here in Hawaii, our AC can run constantly, even for the whole year. What can we do to boost the life cycle of this major investment?

Let it be

It may sound easier said than done in the summer months, but the more timeouts you can give your air conditioning, the longer it will last -whether it’s a decade old or brand new. Take advantage of cooler days by opening windows and doors. When the temps heat up, turn on ceiling fans and use drapes or blinds to block out the sun.

Donʻt let me down

Clean and maintain the unit as recommended by the manufacturer. Refer to your owner’s manual for instructions on cleaning your particular unit. In some cases you can wash out the leaves and dirt, but you need to use care around coils as they can be easily damaged. Be sure to turn off the power to the AC unit before cleaning. In other cases, cleaning may be best done by a qualified HVAC contractor.

All you need is love

Change the filters in your air conditioner regularly. How often you need to change the filters will depend on how often you use the air conditioner and the air quality but on average it should be every 30 to 60 days. If you have a  UV filter or more complex system you may need to schedule regular maintenance by a professional. Remember, these small, incremental expenses are an investment in delaying the considerable expense of replacement.  The better your AC runs, the more comfortable you will be.

Here comes the sun

Hawaiiʻs location near the equator plus the salt in out air mean your AC needs some sunscreen too. Protect it from sun damage or erosion by shielding the unit from the elements. An outdoor awning or strategically planted foliage help keep the unit cool and prevents it from working double time to keep your home or place of business cool. But don’t just shade and walk away — remember to have the unit checked, (especially after a storm) for foreign objects and debris, as these objects can lodge themselves in the coils and be cause for immediate repair.

Come together

Even a top-of-the-line HVAC unit won’t make it the full life span without a checkup or two. As the old adage goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Be sure to make a service call every six months. There is usually no charge for an estimate if you call before there’s a major problem, so you can save yourself considerable cost and heartache. Unfortunately a desperate repair in the middle of summer is a common occurrence, and this when your AC professional is most likely to be busy.  Do your family and your air conditioning a favor and get the unit looked at regularly, even if it appears to be in tip-top shape.

Hello, goodbye

Eventually, your air conditioning will have reached the end of its life-cycle and will need a replacement. As with all appliances, if you’ve kept it in good working condition, you will have extended its life and you’ll be aware of when the end is near well before an emergency strikes. Replacing a unit under duress is always more costly. The ability to schedule a planned replacement allows you to make the best decision for the next cycle.

Donʻt let me down

Contact us to schedule a maintenance appointment, or to get an estimate, or set up a system evaluation. Estimates are usually free, depending on the type of estimate. Diagnostic services are quite reasonable. Our staff of cooling professionals looks forward to helping you maximize the life cycle of your HVAC system.