It’s no secret that routine maintenance for a business’s HVAC system is the key to longer unit lifespans, better energy efficiency, and reduced operating costs. However, the commercial air conditioning company that you choose to work with can provide you with more assistance than an annual service visit. In fact, businesses should consider tapping into the knowledge and expertise of their professional service partners to not only better understand the current units they employ, but to also plan for the future as well. With that in mind, what questions should you ask your company to stay “in the know”?
Is My Unit Appropriately Sized for My Building?
If you came into possession of the building your business occupies, rather than having had a hand in its creation, you may not know everything about your HVAC system that you should. Ensuring that whoever had the current unit installed sized the hardware correctly is an important step, and should be a part of your contractor’s initial inspections of the property. A unit that is not matched to the cooling needs of the space will either struggle to meet those needs and will wear out, or run too frequently and consume excessive amounts of energy. Ask your contractor to check whether your unit matches the expected cooling load of your building. If it doesn’t, it may be time to investigate a replacement.
What Kind of Lifespan Can I Expect from My Equipment?
Understanding how much time you have until critical components reach the end of their usable life can be vital in making long-term plans for your cooling needs. No one wants to face a sudden and serious outlay of funds to replace equipment that failed without warning. Ask your contractor to provide you with a best guess estimate of how much life your units have left in them. By looking at the overall age of the unit and the relative condition of major components, your contractor can let you know if you have years of reliable service left or if you should begin planning and budgeting to make a change sooner rather than later.
How Often Should I Schedule Service?
Think about how often your business relies on its air conditioner. In some areas, it could be all year round; in others, it still operates for most of the calendar. Would you drive your car for an entire year without an oil change? It’s not a good idea — things wear out, and a lack of timely maintenance can lead to the development of problems you might have otherwise avoided.
Therefore, be sure to ask your contractor how frequently your units should receive care and attention. Annual or semi-annual service is a good idea for general check-ups, but other visits to provide preventative maintenance may be ideal. Find out what milestones you should use.
Do My Ducts Need Cleaning?
When was the last time you thought about the ducts in your business? If the answer is “never,” it’s likely your ducts could use a thorough cleaning. Dirt, dust, and airborne debris build up and accumulate in ductwork over time, creating stale and musty odors and allowing circulating air to pick up allergens after the filter. Cleaner ducts equal better airflow, which equals better comfort and efficiency. The good news: you don’t need duct cleaning very often. Ask your contractor to assess the condition of your building’s ductwork and, if necessary, to provide you with a quote for addressing the concerns. When your staff can breathe cool and clean air while reducing stress on your HVAC system, everyone wins.
Can I Improve Efficiency or Reduce Costs?
Everyone wants to know what it takes to get their power bills down, no matter how large or small the company. Having an economic system is another area where an in-depth discussion with your service provider can prove to be very illuminating. Basic maintenance such as regular filter changes and coil cleaning can help, of course, but you may want to know whether you should stick to a certain thermostat setting. Are there other cost-cutting measures you could employ, such as the use of electric fans to better circulate the air? Find out how close to the floor your energy bills are and how much room you have to make changes for savings. Instead of engaging in guesswork, allow the pros to show you the right way to make your AC work its hardest for you.
Start a Conversation with Your Commercial Air Conditioning Company
Ultimately, any one of these conversations could be the start of a fruitful conversation with your preferred commercial air conditioning company. When it comes to keeping your employees comfortable at work while avoiding ballooning energy expenditures, professional input should be the start and end point of your efforts. Consider taking these questions and reaching out to qualified HVAC contractors today to start digging into answers that can improve your business.