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There’s no reason to settle for bad commercial HVAC service
Business owners and facilities managers sometimes struggle with concerns about their commercial HVAC service contracts — and the people behind the contract. But because of other pressing concerns or simple inertia, they live with what they’ve got rather than exploring other alternatives.
Settling for the devil you know might seem easier, but in fact it’s costlier and riskier for your business and your career. If you are a business owner, uncomfortable conditions can drive away customers and make your employees less productive, both of which eat into your profits. If you are a facilities manager, climate control is ultimately your responsibility. If your HVAC vendor is failing to do the job, and that failure hurts the business, you could find your job on the line.
If you’re in this situation, you might feel trapped by your current contract, with clauses you don’t understand and terms clouded by legalese. You might be dissatisfied with how your systems are performing and your service provider’s efforts to correct problems. Or, you might be unhappy with the relationship in general and how much (or how little) the company seems to value your business. And, the cost might be the final straw: why are you paying so much for poor service?
The good news is, it’s not as difficult as you think to get the commercial HVAC service you want and deserve.
Don't let a leaky Gas Or Water pipe get you down!
Installing an HVAC System home advisorInstalling an HVAC system involves determining whether the unit is going to be roof-mounted or a split system.
Roof-Mounted HVACRoof-mounted systems have the heating and cooling systems in one cabinet. Sometimes called "gas packs" (if the heater uses natural gas), they typically cost less than a comparable split system. In dry regions, most homes originally had "swamp-coolers" installed. When replacing them with HVAC systems, it's often cheaper to use existing mounts and ducting.They are also often harder to install. A proper location on the roof must be selected that can support the weight of the unit. Then a platform must be built and a drain pipe for the unit must be run along the roof to avoid problems with mold and corrosion. A crane must be used to lift the unit onto the roof while a team guides it into place and hooks it up.
Split HVAC SystemSplit systems are generally more efficient because the heat exchanger can be put in a shadier or cooler location instead of on the roof in full sunlight. All that is needed for the heat exchanger is a concrete platform in the right spot.Installing a split system may involve making modifications to the house itself for the necessary lines to be run. The heat exchangers are also more prone to picking up debris and must be cleaned on a regular basis. While they come with protective screens over the fan, care must still be taken to ensure that nothing gets in, especially in a home with children.
Unit SizeBigger is not necessarily better when it comes to HVAC systems, and smaller isn't always more efficient. If you have too small of a system, your system will be running constantly as it tries to keep up with the temperature. If you have too large of a system, it won't run long enough to keep up with the humidity. In order to handle both temperature and humidity efficiently, an HVAC system should run for at a time. If your system is staying on too long or shutting off after only around 10 minutes, you are not getting efficient performance.A little simple math can help determine the size system you need. A rule of thumb is . So, a 500 square foot room would need 10,000 BTUs to cool or warm it efficiently. This assumes that you live in a temperate region and have adequate insulation with no energy loss. In the real world, all units have some degree of energy loss. This is reflected in an HVAC system's SEER rating for cooling and AFUE rating for heating
Further ConsiderationsFurther considerations include the following:
DuctworkDuctwork in your house is one of the main sources of loss of efficiency with your HVAC unit. If you are installing a completely new system, the contractor will have to map out:If you are using existing ducting, it will have to be inspected. Proper ducting loses around 2% to 5% of your energy. Old, leaking ducts can lose 50% or more. A contractor will need to have the ducts inspected and replace any parts ahead of time. If you are changing the size of your HVAC system because of significant changes to your home, you might need to replace the ductwork regardless.
ThermostatWiring up the thermostat is usually pretty straightforward if an old one is being replaced. If a thermostat is being put in where one had never been before, that could involve running new wiring. The placement of the thermostat is also important so that its sensors can get an accurate reading of the temperature. A thermostat that is blocked by a bookcase or other large furniture will not get a good reading and will not perform efficiently.Thermostats are available in many types:Programmable thermostats are more efficient than manual thermostats.