Commercial HVAC systems are critical for daily business operations in a variety of different ways. If you are a customer-facing business like a retail store or other location, not having proper heating or cooling could leave your customers feeling uncomfortable. This may cause them to leave faster, which ultimately means less profit for you. In other areas, like industrial settings or businesses that work with a lot of perishable products (restaurants), a hiccup in HVAC could mean thousands of dollars of wasted product, not to mention a halt to operations. In some cases, the costs are more subtle. For example, if there’s a minor fault with the HVAC system, you may be paying far more for energy costs, even if everything technically is still working.
The stakes are high when it comes to commercial HVAC systems, which is why it’s important to make sure that you have a solid plan right from the initial installation. So, with this in mind, here are some of the critical items you should be considering and adding to your commercial HVAC installation checklist.
Choose Your System Wisely
Many well-meaning companies set themselves up for failure right from the beginning by not choosing an HVAC system that’s the right fit for their needs. Here are a few of the main factors that need to be discussed before making a purchase.
- -Size: This is a balancing act. Choose something too small, and you won’t effectively reach all parts of your building. Choose something too big, and your energy costs will be through the roof.
- -Brand/System: In general, you want to try and make an investment in a brand that you trust, but you also want to be mindful of the system. For example, if space is at a premium in a smaller building, a packaged system may make more sense since you can put both heating and cooling in the same cabinet. A ductless system may give you the heating or cooling you need without a huge duct system.
- -Location: In some cases, where your business is set up will radically impact the system that you install. For example, a warehouse that will need refrigeration equipment set in an arid area is going to need extremely powerful equipment to make sure that it can do its job. Consider temperature extremes or fluctuations as well.
Focus on Sustainability
HVAC is one of the biggest energy consumers for commercial buildings, mainly because it generally needs to be on in some capacity at all times, as well as the fact that more ground needs to be heated or cooled compared to, say, a typical residential property. With that said, upgrading a legacy system to a modern one can be a bit time-consuming and expensive. You’re better off trying to have a sustainable installation right from the beginning. Not only do you not have to upgrade for a while, but you also get to save money each month. Here are some of the key sustainable points to focus on.
- -Programmable thermostats make it easier for building managers to adjust the temperature as needed to meet business needs while also saving money. For example, you can keep things at the proper temperature to keep perishables cool while not cooling parts of the building that you know people either won’t use or will use very rarely.
- -Investing in proper sealing of heating and cooling ducts, as well as wrapping them in insulation, will help save money by keeping hot and cool air from escaping.
- -Consider investing in Energy Star-certified HVAC equipment. This is especially pertinent if you are replacing equipment that’s over 10-15 years old.
In addition, regular maintenance can reduce overall costs by as much as 40%, which leads nicely into our next point.
Putting Together a Maintenance Plan ASAP
As we mentioned before, even minor issues with your commercial HVAC system lead to major problems down the line. As a result, your goal should be targeting symptoms of those problems before they have a chance to increase. The best way to do this is by setting up a commercial HVAC maintenance plan with your provider when the installation is initially done. This helps you in a variety of different ways:
- -Checking the air filter will ensure that your building doesn’t have dirt and dust moved around.
- -Technicians will check that there aren’t any problems with the thermostat so you can maintain a consistent and comfortable temperature.
- -The parts of your HVAC system will be lubricated to keep them running smooth and functional for longer.
- -Professionals will clean up the coils to make sure they do an effective job of removing heat from indoor spaces.
Note that these are just some of the fundamental parts of a commercial HVAC inspection. Talk to your installer if there are specific procedures you should also have done on a regular basis based on your industry and equipment.
Supplement Your Installation With Appropriate Technology
Another point to talk about commercial HVAC repair and installation is making sure that you go about implementing it in an organized way. For example, when you have multiple teams working in an area at the same time, how are you determining the progress of different tasks, hours spent, and equipment usage? We talked about commercial HVAC installation cost as well, but how are you charting the different expenses associated with these jobs? In order to have all this information in one setting, HVAC companies need to utilize project management software like eSub.
How does this work out in practice? Our platform is built in a modular style, so you only have to buy the components that you need. Trying to be more efficient? Use our employee and equipment tracking to have a solid record of your daily activity. More concerned about financial information? Our software makes it possible to easily compare your bids and actuals to ensure that you are making data-driven decisions. Best of all, this info can be accessed in any setting via the cloud.