There are many simple things we can do to take great care of our air conditioning systems, and for much of the northern hemisphere, now is the time to be particularly mindful of those things before temperatures skyrocket in the coming months. Being proactive is the easiest way to maximize efficiency while warding off potentially large issues and repair costs, so follow these eight steps and give yourself a better chance at a cool, problem-free summer.
1) Freshen the Filters
If you’re familiar with the blog, you’ve probably seen this advice show up in a number of posts. Filters can help with efficiency, system performance and indoor air quality (IAQ), but they need to be changed regularly. Even if you don’t change them monthly, you should at least inspect them with that frequency.
2) Tune Up for Summer
Be proactive about your tune-ups and inspections, especially if you have reason to believe there may be issues. (Uneven temps, strange noises, even odors may all point to HVAC issues.) The “swing months” are a great time for scheduling preventative maintenance.
3) Schedule your HVAC
Whether you’re using a building management system or something purpose-built for commercial/industrial HVAC control (*cough, ENASTAT), it’s important to schedule your system’s runtime. What’s more, with access to reporting you can see your optimal start and stop times based on the desired set points and times.
4) Shade and Clean the Outdoor Units
If possible, protect your condenser unit from the elements with shading and the occasional cleaning. Remove weeds, overgrowth and debris to allow proper airflow around the unit.
5) Inspect Vents
Check to make sure none of the machinery or equipment in the building is blocking the vents and, if possible, vacuum the vents to prevent dust and debris from building up and blocking airflow.
6). Weatherize Doors and Windows
Small cracks and leaks in doors and windows can drive up your runtime and energy costs. Seal the gaps and prevent conditioned air from escaping.
7) Use Circulator Fans
Overhead or floor fans create an evaporative cooling effect by moving air across your skin. Large diameter overhead fans can also work to distribute conditioned air more evenly throughout a space, eliminating hot and cold spots.
8) Consider an Upgrade
Even with the best care, all systems have a limited lifespan. When your system requires frequent repairs, it’s time to consider the economics of upgrading (including higher efficiency/lower energy bills).
Heating and air systems make up a lot of the operating expenses of an industrial or commercial building, so take advantage of all these tips and tricks to keep the costs low and your occupants comfortable. Happy cooling!