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5 Major Problems A Dirty HVAC Might Cause in The Workplace

Your HVAC, which is short for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system is a key element to maintaining a comfortable environment within your workplace, while also ensuring air quality is at optimal levels, preventing illnesses from spreading. Did you know that blocked air filters are the chief cause of cooling and heating system problems; together with the health of your workplace.

Although most businesses don’t have changing the air filters on the HVAC as a lead priority for the running of daily business activities, it is something that simply should not be swept to the side. A healthy HVAC system will have many benefits within your business, and one of those is productivity. For many business owners, changing an air filters are an easily forgettable task, however leaving them too long without servicing can influence your business.

The function of air filters is of course to filter the air that is circulated, heated and cooled within a building. The filter element of your HVAC system accumulates many allergens, pollens, dust and mold spores in a very short amount of time and failing to remove these nasty things from your filters is not a great idea.

Here are 5 major problems a dirty HVAC might cause in the workplace.

Increased Energy Consumption

Dust in your workplace HVAC air filter will restrict air flow, forcing your furnace to work much harder using more energy to heat and cool. As the system relies on constant recirculation of air, the system’s blower can have a big impact on energy consumption.

Frozen Evaporator Coils

During summer, the system’s evaporator (or cooling coil) can freeze up if there is not enough airflow going past the coil. Condensation gathers on the coil, and when there is not enough airflow, it turns into ice, which then reduces the system’s ability to remove heat from your air. Once the coil freezes over, the system will shut down completely.

Inadequate Heating or Cooling

If the filter becomes clogged or too thick with dust or other allergens, the blower fan must work much harder to push air through the filter. Reduced airflow creates hot and cold spots throughout the spaces in your business, and the system won’t be able to accurately heat or cool to the desired temperatures. Your HVAC system will run for longer periods of time with not enough air flowing through because of the dirty air filter, making your energy bills much higher.

Decreased Indoor Air Quality

If your air filter is not filtering because it is too blocked, your air will not be clean. If the filter is clogged it can’t filter the dirt and debris like it should, meaning they stay in the air, and continue to be breathed in and out of your building’s occupant’s lungs. It creates a dangerous situation for asthma sufferers and can spread germs much easier.

Furnace Failure

A clogged air filter can cause your furnace to overheat and fail, meaning it will shut off before the desired temperature is reached. Clogged air filters can also cause the electronic limit switch to fail, and your furnace won’t work at all.

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5 Reasons Your Commercial HVAC Needs A Regular Service

A commercial HVAC system has a serious impact on what happens within your building. It isn’t just an important part of your company’s growth, it’s an integral component of the building itself. It makes sense then that you would want to invest in a high-quality system and have it serviced regularly. If you’re not sure why you should plan preventative maintenance services, here are some of the reasons:

It Saves Money

Yes, by putting a maintenance plan in place you are saving yourself money over time. Just think about the cost of calling out a technician when you experience a breakdown or the nightmare that comes from losing your HVAC system for a few hours or even days. It’s a lot like running your car – the longer you leave it the worse the problem gets, thus your costs increase.

Having your HVAC system serviced regularly means the technician can pick up on small problems and prevent them from becoming major issues. It’s just a tune-up to keep your system ticking over and running at optimum efficiency.

Detecting Carbon Monoxide

Part of the regular service is carbon monoxide testing. An HVAC system that is malfunctioning can leak dangerous fumes into the air and if you don’t have it serviced regularly you don’t know when you have a small leak (or a major one, for that matter). Typical symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include fatigue, nausea, and headaches.

A Comfortable Environment

When you create a comfortable environment everyone is happier. That means your employees will work more efficiently (and happily), which means a boost to your bottom line. Of course, the same can be said for your clients or customers.

If you operate a retail business then you know how quickly customers race through when a building is too hot or too cold. Similarly, it’s difficult to hold meetings with clients when your HVAC system isn’t getting the job done right.

Regular maintenance will keep your HVAC system working efficiently.

Eradicate Foul Odors

This should come as no surprise – but, when your HVAC system is functioning improperly your air flow and ventilation suffers. As a result, you may find that foul odors linger. You may even find that your ceilings have water stains due to leaks which will eventually lead to a fusty, damp smell in your building. There’s nothing more unprofessional (and annoying to clients, customers, and employees) than a smelly building. It also indicates that you operate your business poorly and don’t uphold strict standards across your business.

Excess Moisture

Getting your humidity levels is important, whether at home or in your business. It’s particularly important for stores and restaurants that stock perishables and food items. Excess moisture can affect the overall temperature of a building and affect the shelf lives of a variety of ambient products. You may find that your items aren’t staying fresh, are molding, and that can be costly.

Of course, excess moisture also affects other types of commercial properties as it can encourage the growth of mold which is a major problem that no one wants to deal with.

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Thanks Mr. Carrier – The History Of Commercial Air Conditioners

As the summer sun blazes and we wake to 90 degree temperatures at 8AM, most of us are very thankful that we feel the cool comfortable environment provided to us by our air conditioners. However, the a/c we’ve learned to know and love didn’t come to our residences until almost 30 years after the first commercial cooling system was invented.

By definition: In common use, an air conditioner is a device that lowers the air temperature. The cooling is typically achieved through a refrigeration cycle, but sometimes evaporation or free cooling is used. Air conditioning systems can also be made based on desiccants.[1]

How We Began to Be Cool

History tells us that as far back as ancient Egypt reeds were hung in window openings and then moistened with trickling water. The hot air blowing through the wet reeds caused an evaporation effect that provided some cool air. Ancient Romans used the aqueduct system to circulate through the walls of certain homes. Medieval Persia used cisterns and wind towers to cool areas during the hot season.

Ancient Persian Cisterns

Fast forward to 1902 and let us introduce you to a young engineer by the name of Willis Carrier. The Buffalo Forge Company hired Mr. Carrier to work with one of their clients, the Sackett-Wilhelms Lithography and Publishing Company in Brooklyn, NY, who was printing a multiple color job. Because of the humidity and heat in the pressroom, the paper would naturally absorb the moisture making it impossible for the publisher to align the colors to insure the final product was consistent.

Willis_Carrier_1915The publisher charged young Mr. Carrier with the challenge to have the temperature in the pressroom be a minimum of 70 degrees in the winter, a maximum of 80 degrees in the summer and maintain a consistent humidity level of 35%. Carrier quickly addressed the room temperature issue but the humidity level left him perplexed.

Fog? Enter Electromechanical Cooling

Willis Carrier was an extremely focused man and because of that was considered to be a little absentminded. It was once said he packed his suitcase for a trip and only brought along one handkerchief. It was on one of those trips when Mr. Carrier was standing on a heavily fogged in train platform that he realized how he could create the ideal environment for the pressroom.

History-1876-1902-startingtheengine-lg-032812Fog is 100% humidity and Willis Carrier knew that if he could create 100% humidity inside the pressroom he could then work to reduce the humidity to an acceptable level. But the query was how to accomplish that task. With fans and a garden sprinkler he set to the task of raising the humidity in the pressroom. His idea worked and the room was full of fog within a few moments. By pushing hot dry air into the room, he was able to reduce the humidity to 50% and then with some tweaking brought the humidity to the acceptable levels.

He patented his air conditioning machine in 1906 and as they say the rest is history.

Thanks Daddy Cool

While Mr. Carrier may not have been the ‘inventor’ of air conditioning per se, he is, in-fact, regarded as the father of air conditioning. His vision and foresight lead to other discoveries such as dew point control and other environmental systems that are used today throughout the world.

The air conditioning systems that came after Carrier’s invention created better working environments in factories and offices.  Today commercial air condition systems are installed on rooftops and use the same basic principals created over 115 years ago by Mr. Carrier.