HVAC Facts – Answers to Your Common Questions Part 1

Commercial HVAC Systems, Rooftop Units and Mechanical Rooms

Your building’s HVAC system is a big investment, and one that’s essential to providing your customers and employees with a comfortable environment. As one of the most crucial components in a facility, it’s vitally important to take care of your HVAC system to ensure reliable, safe operation and optimal efficiency levels are met; we cannot stress this enough.

This is not only to keep your building comfortable temperature-wise, but also to avoid breakdowns and costly repairs that could be otherwise prevented, thus keeping your building occupants and budget happy. We’ve compiled a list of common questions that customers ask us regarding their HVAC systems and how to best care for the unit to get the most out of this vital investment.

Common questions about HVAC and heating equipment in your commercial building.


What is HVAC?

HVAC is an acronym for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. The term HVAC is used most often to describe the entire heating and cooling system of a building.

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment in a commercial facility.

What should you do if your heating system is not working?

Check to see if it is powered on, and inspect the following components:

  • Batteries
  • Circuit breakers
  • Setpoints
  • Air filters
  • Furnace vents

If all of these pieces are in proper condition and your system is still not working, you should call a professional HVAC company to have a certified service technician diagnose and repair the problem.

What equipment requires preventative maintenance?

All equipment should have some type of preventative maintenance to keep it running optimally, or at the very least should be checked for proper operation. This will help to ensure your system is operating at peak efficiency to prevent untimely breakdowns and costly repairs.

Why is it important to have regular maintenance on my commercial system?

HVAC preventative maintenance is important to ensure that the equipment functions properly and at its highest efficiency. By having regular inspections, you are more likely to catch a potential problem in the early stages. If problems are left unchecked, your system can lose 5% of its operating efficiency every year due to dirt buildup alone. Typically, commercial systems run harder than residential systems, leading to an increase in dust and debris buildup, which can cause them to require more frequent service to maintain optimal operation.

Professional service technician performing preventative maintenance on a commercial HVAC system.

What can I do to troubleshoot HVAC problems on my own?

There are things you can do on your own, but with the advancement in technology, it is best to call a service technician from a reputable HVAC company. Some things you can look over yourself include:

Ensure that:

  • Panels are properly placed on equipment
  • Setpoints are set correctly (higher than the room temperature for heating, and lower than the room temperature for cooling)
  • Air filters are clean and in place
  • Unit is clean and free of debris

Check:

  • Batteries in battery-operated thermostats and replace if necessary
  • Circuit breakers and reset if necessary
  • Furnace vents and make sure they are free from obstruction

 

Common questions about Air Filters in your HVAC system.


Why is it important to change the air filter in my HVAC system?

Clogged or dirty air filters block the normal airflow through your HVAC system and reduce its efficiency, which can cause system breakdown or failures, which are much more expensive to repair.

Comparison of a dirty and clean air filter for your HVAC system.
Comparison of a dirty and clean air filter for your HVAC system.

Are all HVAC air filters the same?

No – there are many kinds of filters and they are available in different sizes, materials, and efficiency values, and can be disposable or washable. A high-quality air filter is essential to properly maintaining your equipment.

What type of filter should I use to keep the system and ductwork clean?

This depends on personal preference and medical necessity, i.e., asthma or pulmonary disorders. Typically, at Custom Aire we recommend a pleated filter, and depending on the type of your equipment, it could be a 1″, 2″, or 4″ filter.

It’s important to remember that with air filters you get what you pay for. However, the better the filter the more restrictive it is to help keep out as much debris and dirt as possible, which can sometimes have adverse effects on your equipment. For this reason, we suggest consulting your HVAC professional for recommendations if you’re questioning which will be the best filter for your unit in the long run.

How often should I replace my air filter?

Generally, most 1″ filters should be changed every 1-2 months. Larger filters (3″-5″ thick) can last up to 3-6 months between changes.

Where is my air filter located?

Your air filter is located in either the blower compartment of your furnace, a wall-mounted return air grille, or a filter rack located in the ductwork.

We hope these answers have helped to further your knowledge of your building’s HVAC system, and how important preventative maintenance can be to your system and monthly budget. Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series for more FAQs regarding your AC unit.

Still have questions regarding your HVAC equipment? Contact us today to speak to one of our knowledgeable experts and learn more about how our Energy Savings Maintenance Agreements can help you save big.