CBRE | FacilitySource provides an innovative, technology-driven, single-source facility management and support solution to leading brands across North America. CBRE | FacilitySource maintains the industry’s largest and most reliable data repository to provide business intelligence, transparency, flexibility, support and the Elite Network of Service Providers to save clients’ money and get the most out of their facilities while offering peace of mind. Established in 2005, FacilitySource was acquired in 2018 by CBRE Group, Inc., the largest commercial real estate services and investment firm in the world. For more information, visit https://www.facilitysource.com.
It’s summer, and it’s hot outside! Every season brings different challenges for facility managers, and the hot weather summer brings specifically challenges HVAC units and can even cause unit failure.
As a facility manager, put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Imagine spending a hot summer day visiting your local mall. Outside, it’s extremely hot (102-degrees!). With a cold iced-coffee in one hand and your wallet in the other, you excitedly head to one of your favorite department stores which is having a huge shoe sale!
As you optimistically walk through the glass doors of the store entrance, you realize something isn’t right. You don’t see anyone shopping in the store even though it’s having a great sale and it’s a Saturday. As a drop of sweat forms on your brow- you realize what’s wrong. The air conditioner isn’t working. Not sure if you can handle the muggy heat (or let alone enjoy the shoe sale), you turn around and exit the store.
During the summer months, HVAC units play an extremely vital role for facilities as they keep buildings cold and customers happy. Even though it is an HVAC unit’s job to provide a facility with cold air, hot weather can cause a unit to fail.
How High Heat Leads to HVAC Failure
Ideally, an HVAC unit should always be blowing out 55-degree air to keep a building cool and comfortable for its occupants. For a building that is in an area that typically experiences 90-degree weather in the summer, a heat wave that drives the outside temperature over 100-degrees can have detrimental effects. Why? Because the building is simply not insulated to handle that type of heat. Higher outdoor temperatures can make an HVAC unit work overtime, which can strain the unit especially if it is not properly taken care of through scheduled preventative maintenance. The more strain a unit experiences, the higher chance of complete failure.
How to Prevent Your Commercial HVAC from Failing Due to High Heat
Scheduled, preventative maintenance will significantly help your HVAC unit not only run more efficiently overall but can also decrease the risk of a unit failing during hot days. The two main preventative measures that need to be taken during HVAC maintenance is coil cleaning and the changing of air filters. If coils and/or air filters are dirty or clogged, the overall efficiency of a unit can significantly decrease.
For example, if your HVAC unit has clogged coils that are decreasing efficiency by 20% and a dirty air filter is also decreasing efficiency by 20%, the unit is already only running at a 60% capacity. Hot days and high humidity can also have a negative affect on capacity, as the unit needs to work harder and run longer to keep a building cool and comfortable for its occupants. If a hot day decreases a unit’s efficiency by 10%, the unit is at half of its capacity and therefore, is ineffective of doing its job. The more catch-up a unit tries to do by staying on longer, the more at risk it is at failing. By ensuring HVAC units are properly maintained, unit efficiency and capacity will be much higher and will be able to withstand heat waves without complete failure.
The Benefits to Routine Commercial HVAC Preventative Maintenance
Preventative maintenance is the key to avoiding HVAC unit failure. Routinely having a service provider perform preventative maintenance on commercial units also provides the following benefits:
- Increased Unit Efficiency
- Decreased Energy Usage
- Lower Energy Bills
- Happy employees and customers
Conclusion: Why Facility Managers Should Care About Heat Waves and HVAC Units
It’s all about a customer’s experience and customer safety. If an HVAC unit fails during a hot summer day, customers most likely won’t spend much time in the facility, let alone enter it. By ensuring your interior facility maintenance solution includes scheduled HVAC unit maintenance, you’ll keep your customers happy and cool.
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