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Avoid Costly Mistakes with These Proven HVAC Best Practices



Common Mistakes to Avoid with Commercial Heating and Air Conditioning Systems


As caretaker of commercial properties, property managers are entrusted with a multitude of maintenance responsibilities. Among these, the commercial heating and air conditioning (HVAC) system stand out as a linchpin for comfort and functionality. With years of experience in HVAC maintenance, service, and installation for commercial properties, Pacific Commercial Property Services sheds light on the critical mistakes that can spell disaster for HVAC systems. This article aims to empower commercial property managers and owners with HVAC best practices to avoid these pitfalls and ensure optimal system performance.






Neglecting Regular Maintenance


Why Regular Maintenance Matters


A commercial HVAC system is the backbone of a building's comfort. Without routine maintenance, this backbone can weaken leading to diminished efficiency and costly breakdowns. Routine maintenance is essential to keep everything running smoothly. Skipping these check-ups can result in reduced efficiency, higher energy bills, and an increased likelihood of unexpected breakdowns.



The Real-Life Impact


Pacific Commercial Property Services once worked with a client who hadn’t scheduled a maintenance check in over three years. When their system broke down in the middle of a hot summer, the emergency repair costs were astronomical compared to what they would have spent on regular maintenance. Setting up a maintenance schedule with a professional HVAC contractor is a small investment that can save significant headaches and expenses down the line. HVAC best practices include regular maintenance checks.



Ignoring Air Filter Changes


The Role of Air Filters


Air filters are unsung heroes in the realm of HVAC, safeguarding system integrity and indoor air quality. Air filters play a vital role in maintaining both air quality and system efficiency. They trap dust, dirt, and other particles, preventing them from clogging the system. Ignoring air filter changes can lead to poor air quality and strain on the HVAC system, making it work harder than necessary.


Signs Filters Need Changing


If dust accumulates faster than usual or the system isn’t heating or cooling as effectively, it might be time to check the filters. Pacific Commercial Property Services recommends checking and replacing filters monthly or as per the manufacturer’s guidelines. It’s a simple step that can drastically improve system performance and longevity, following HVAC best practices.



Overlooking System Sizing


Why Size Matters


In HVAC, size matters. A system that is too small won’t adequately heat or cool the space, while one that is too large will cycle on and off too frequently, leading to increased wear and tear. Both scenarios can result in higher energy bills and reduced comfort. 



Ensuring Proper Sizing


When installing a new system or replacing an old one, consulting with an HVAC professional to ensure proper sizing is crucial. Professionals take into account the building dimensions, insulation properties, and environmental factors to recommend the right system. Proper system size is critical for optimal performance and aligns with HVAC best practices.



Skipping Professional Inspections


The Value of Inspections


Professional inspections are invaluable in identifying potential issues before they become major problems. Inspections can uncover refrigerant leaks, electrical problems, and component wear that might go unnoticed.


Real-Life Example


Pacific Commercial Property Services had a client who thought their HVAC system was running fine because it still produced cool air. During a routine inspection, a significant refrigerant leak was found that could have led to complete system failure. Regular bi-annual inspections with a certified HVAC technician can help catch these issues early, saving costly repairs and downtime, as part of HVAC best practices.



Improper Thermostat Use


Impact of Incorrect Settings


Thermostats control HVAC system operation, and incorrect settings can lead to inefficiency and discomfort. Common mistakes include setting temperatures too high or low, poor placement, and using outdated models.


Using Programmable Thermostats


Upgrading to programmable thermostats can save significant energy and ensure consistent temperatures. Educating staff on proper use is also essential. A little training can maintain a comfortable environment and reduce energy costs. This is one of the HVAC best practices that can significantly impact efficiency.



Failing to Address Minor Repairs Promptly


Consequences of Ignoring Small Issues


Minor issues like strange noises, inconsistent temperatures, or minor leaks can escalate into major problems if not addressed promptly. These small repairs might seem insignificant, but ignoring them can lead to costly breakdowns.


Being Proactive


Recently, Pacific Commercial Property Services was called to a commercial property where the HVAC system had completely failed due to a minor leak ignored for months, leading to significant damage. Always report and address any unusual signs immediately to prevent small problems from becoming big ones. Being proactive is part of HVAC best practices.



Neglecting Ductwork Maintenance


Importance of Ductwork


Ductwork is critical to HVAC system performance. Common issues include leaks, blockages, and poor insulation, all of which can reduce efficiency and increase energy costs.


Regular Inspections and Cleanings


Conducting regular ductwork inspections and cleanings is vital. Leaky ducts can waste a lot of conditioned air, and blockages can reduce airflow. Keeping ducts in good shape ensures system efficiency and high indoor air quality, adhering to HVAC best practices.



Using Outdated Systems


Drawbacks of Old Systems


Outdated HVAC systems are less efficient, more prone to breakdowns, and may not comply with current regulations. They can also lead to higher repair costs and increased energy consumption.


Benefits of Modern Systems


Upgrading to a modern system can provide improved efficiency, enhanced features, and better energy ratings. Evaluate the age and performance of the current system and consider an upgrade if it’s over 15-20 years old. Upgrading is one of the HVAC best practices for long-term efficiency.




Inadequate Ventilation Management


Proper Ventilation


Proper ventilation is crucial for maintaining indoor air quality and system efficiency. Common mistakes include blocked vents, closed dampers, and inadequate exhaust systems, all of which can lead to poor air circulation and increased strain on the system.


Ensuring Adequate Airflow


Ensure that the ventilation design is adequate and that airflow is unobstructed. Regularly check and clean vents and dampers, and ensure exhaust systems are working correctly. Proper ventilation management is integral to HVAC best practices.




Overlooking Energy Efficiency Measures


Importance of Energy Efficiency


Implementing energy-efficient practices can significantly reduce operational costs. Simple measures like sealing windows and doors, installing energy-efficient windows, and using energy-saving settings on thermostats can make a big difference.


Conducting an Energy Audit


Conducting an energy audit can identify areas for efficiency improvements. Implementing the recommended improvements can help save on energy costs and improve overall building comfort. Energy efficiency is a core aspect of HVAC best practices.




Conclusion


Avoiding these common mistakes can help ensure that commercial heating and air conditioning systems operate efficiently, saving money and reducing downtime. Regular maintenance, proper system sizing, timely repairs, and energy-efficient practices are key to maintaining a comfortable and functional environment in commercial properties. By working closely with a professional HVAC contractor like Pacific Commercial Property Services, property managers can avoid these pitfalls and keep their systems running smoothly for years to come by following HVAC best practices.


Learn more about our HVAC Services here.

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