Summer Maintenance for Your South Florida Commercial HVAC

As summer temperatures reach scorching heights, you’ll want to keep your HVAC unit in working order. You can perform regular maintenance checks yourself, or you can partner with an HVAC company like Garrison Mechanical, which can perform preventive maintenance for you. Whichever way you choose to check on your air conditioning this summer, here are some HVAC maintenance tips you can follow:

Replace Your Air Filters

This is one of the most important rules of HVAC maintenance. Replacing your air filters monthly, or at least seasonally, will prevent dust from building up in them. Dirty air filters restrict airflow in your HVAC system. This means your unit or system will have to work harder to run properly, driving up your energy bills and increasing the risk of a breakdown. Changing the air filters is one of the most inexpensive ways to ensure your HVAC system runs efficiently during the summer.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat, such as NEST, can learn your building’s cooling patterns. Once it learns these patterns, the thermostat can increase your HVAC system’s energy efficiency by sending cool air through those patterns. This allows your air conditioner to work with the building to cool it off.

Check for AC Slime

AC slime is part condensate left over in the AC unit’s drip pan and part water that mixes with the condensate. Algae and fungus can grow in AC slime, which will eventually clog the unit’s drain line if it is allowed to grow. You can remove the slime yourself either by removing the drip pan from the AC unit (if the drip pan is removable) or emptying the water from the pan with a cup (if it is not), spraying the pan and the coils with coil cleaner, and wiping down the pan and the coils. Then you can place two condensate tablets in the drip pan and allow them to dissolve. These tablets prevent AC slime from forming. This quick step can help your HVAC unit run smoothly for the rest of the summer.

Keep the Air Moving

You can improve the airflow in your building by keeping as many doors open as possible. Closed doors prevent air from circulating between rooms, so opening the doors will improve circulation. Running ceiling fans will also help the cool air from your HVAC system circulating throughout the building, but remember to turn them off during off-hours. These tactics will keep the air moving without forcing your HVAC system to work too hard.

Insulate Your Building and Your Ducts

Insulating your building with white blinds in the windows can help reflect heat away from it. You should close the blinds on the west- and south-facing sides of your building during the day for maximum effectiveness. You should also insulate and seal your HVAC system’s ducts to prevent them from leaking, which could raise your energy bills. Overall, insulation keeps your building cool and helps your HVAC system run efficiently for long periods of time.

Commercial Summer HVAC Maintenance

If you have questions about summer AC maintenance, or if you would like us to take over maintaining your commercial HVAC systems, contact us today. We perform commercial and residential HVAC maintenance, and we will work with you to find solutions that fit your business’s needs.

Why You Should Invest in HVAC Test and Balance

If you’re installing a new commercial HVAC system, you may know you should have your new system tested, adjusted, and balanced. But what exactly is air balance? What will this testing and balancing process do for your system and your building? Here’s what to know about the process.

What Is Air Balance?

Air balance is how much air a heater or air conditioner brings in versus how much air it expels. If the heating and air conditioning system expels more air than it consumes, it has a negative air balance. This commonly occurs in old buildings and in buildings that have been repurposed for new industries or extended through new additions. If the system brings in more than it expels, it has a positive air balance. But if the system brings in and expels the same amount of air, it has a neutral air balance. You want your system to have a neutral air balance.

Potential Air Balance Problems

When the air in your HVAC system is improperly balanced, problems can arise. For instance, if your system has a negative air balance, as described above, it is taking in untreated air and distributing it throughout your building. This creates condensation, and that condensation will invite contaminants into the system. These contaminants could increase the risk of health and safety problems among your colleagues and employees. Improperly balanced air can also cause drafts and cold spots throughout your building, and those will decrease your workplace’s comfort level.

What Does the Test-and-Balance Process Look Like?

At Garrison Mechanical, we have our new installations tested and balanced by a third-party contractor. This contractor performs NEBB-certified tests on our HVAC equipment to check its air flows (or water flows, for chilled water systems). Then the contractor documents all of their findings and compares them against the system’s design plans. They also make any necessary adjustments to make sure the system runs properly and has appropriate air distribution.
It is important to understand that although we do not perform the test-and-balance procedures ourselves, we hire and pay the contractor to make the process simpler and easier for you. We do this because we know you want to focus on running your business, so we provide a test-and-balance solution that’s painless for you.

Benefits of Test and Balance

Performing test-and-balance procedures on your heating and cooling systems provides many benefits for your business and your commercial building. These benefits include:

  • Prolonged equipment life
  • Increased energy efficiency
  • Optimized system performance
  • Improved air quality
  • Increased workplace comfort

These benefits contribute to a healthy, harmonious work environment, and they are just some of the reasons you should consider investing in HVAC testing and balancing.

We Can Help With Your Testing and Balancing

If you are interested in having a commercial HVAC company install your new system and letting that company take care of the testing and balancing process, contact us today. We will work with a NEBB-certified third-party contractor to make sure your new system works properly. Though this isn’t a process we work on directly, we can oversee it so you have fewer appointments to schedule, which lets you get back to running your business.

Summer Energy Savings Tips for Your Residential HVAC System

Have your energy costs risen with the South Florida summer temperatures? If they have, you should look into ways you can save energy. While blasting the air conditioning might seem like a good idea on a 95-degree day, you should consider your energy bills and your environmental impact first. Here are several tips for staying cool in the Florida heat while reducing your energy costs:

Use Preventive Maintenance

Having your heating and air conditioning system serviced regularly is called preventive maintenance. Waiting until your system suffers a major breakdown to have it serviced is called reactive maintenance. Engaging in preventative maintenance will keep your system working throughout the summer and in the long run. This type of maintenance involves checking on and fixing small problems before they become large ones. That includes:

  • Changing your air filters every month, or at least at the beginning of every season. This will improve the air quality in your home and prevent dust and allergens from causing health and breathing problems for you and your family.
  • Having the coils and fans professionally cleaned. This will improve your system’s energy efficiency.
  • Sealing the ducts in your home. This prevents air leaks that decrease your system’s efficiency.

While you can perform some of these tasks yourself, such as changing out the air filters, some require professional residential HVAC services, like the ones we offer. Hiring an HVAC services company to inspect and service your system regularly means your system will be serviced safely by a licensed technician. While you will have to spend money to hire these professional services, you will ultimately save money in the long run because you won’t have to hire professionals for many larger, more expensive repairs.

Keep the Air Moving

Instead of blasting your central air conditioner at its highest level, you can use it at a more moderate level and use ceiling fans to keep the air moving. To do this, you should keep doors open between rooms in your home. This will help the cool air travel freely between rooms, whereas closed doors would keep the air trapped in specific rooms.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

Using a programmable thermostat, such as Sensi, gives you greater control over your energy consumption. You can use a zoned cooling system, which is a room-by-room thermostat that comes with one multi-zone controller. With this system, you can set different rooms to different temperatures. So you can set an empty bedroom zone to a higher temperature, such as 80 degrees, while you can set the fully occupied living room zone to 73 degrees.

Use Window Treatments

While this tip doesn’t directly involve your HVAC system, it’s an additional way to keep your home cool. Having your windows treated with solar film will block out the brightest rays during summer and help keep your home cool before you even have to touch the thermostat. You can also put up curtains, drapes, blinds, or thermal-backed shades and keep them closed during the hottest periods of the day.

South Florida Residential HVAC Services

If you are interested in using preventive HVAC maintenance to help keep your house cool this summer, contact us today. We can fix small HVAC problems before they grow larger, but we also offer residential and commercial HVAC emergency services in case a major breakdown does occur.