When you’re occupied running a business, seemingly unimportant details tend to slip through the cracks because you’re focusing on vital tasks like finding and serving customers and managing your employees.
But, sometimes the little things that didn’t seem important one day can suddenly become very important if they’re ignored too long.
For example, consider your commercial building’s HVAC system. While it’s working, you can easily ignore it. But if you show up at work one blustery February day to find it’s 45 degrees inside, it’s suddenly a much bigger issue.
Avoiding that potential disaster needs to be a priority. So, it’s important to consider these three warning signs that your Charlotte area commercial building probably needs some new HVAC equipment (or, at the very least, some immediate TLC).
Tenant, employee, or customer complaints
There’s never going to be a “perfect temperature” at which every single person who enters your building is going to be comfortable. So, complaints must be taken with a grain of salt.
However, if you’re hearing any of the following complaints routinely from tenants, employees, or customers spending time in your facility, there’s good reason to investigate why:
- Poor air quality - odd smells, mustiness, the smell of mold, or if the air is extremely dry or humid. All of these can be signs the HVAC system requires cleaning, inspection, maintenance, or repair.
- Large temperature swings - a reliable HVAC system will operate smoothly and efficiently while regulating temperature based on internal and external changes throughout the day. Especially if the system includes any level of smart controls and building automation, the temperature should not fluctuate a lot.
- Erratic controls - if the HVAC system is automated, but you’re still getting complaints, the sensors or controls could be malfunctioning. This may cause changes in temperature or air quality, often in localized areas.
Poor air quality, volatile temperatures, and erratic controls can cause people working in the building to be uncomfortable and unproductive, and can even cause you to lose business.
Out of control energy costs
Utility costs naturally rise based on supply and demand, and based on climate conditions. However, if you find that your energy costs are changing dramatically or there’s no end in sight, it’s definitely worth exploring how the HVAC system is utilizing that energy. There may be opportunity for a planned maintenance program or energy optimization plan to help reduce these costs.
It’s possible routine HVAC maintenance has been neglected or poorly performed, resulting in clogged air filters, dirty condenser units, or any number of other small situations that can be easily resolved.
Or, this could be a sign of a more substantial problem. One or more of the main HVAC components may be nearing the end of its lifecycle. The building itself may have fallen into disrepair causing hot or cold air to escape and forcing the HVAC system to work harder. It’s important to work with a trusted Charlotte commercial HVAC company to discover the root of the problem and do a cost/risk analysis to determine how to address the matter.
Commercial buildings are periodically inspected by outside agencies for a number of reasons, including maintaining compliance with various federal, state, and local regulations involving air quality and energy efficiency.
It’s important to treat news of non-compliance seriously, as failure to comply could cost you money (penalties or inability to qualify for rebates and incentives), and it can also be a strong warning sign that something is wrong with your HVAC system. This is especially true if the system is less than a decade old, because it was likely designed and installed with modern regulatory compliance in mind. If it’s since fallen out of compliance, it’s probably a sign of needed maintenance or repair.
These three signs are helpful to have on your radar as you run your business and consider the performance and efficiency of your commercial HVAC system in the North Carolina and South Carolina regions. If you notice these issues, or have questions about the performance of your facility systems contact AirTight FaciliTech today to speak to our team of expert HVAC technicians and discover the best solutions for your building.