Heating, ventilation and air conditioning in offices are often crucial to the business operating at all. Not only is a comfortable work environment required by government legislation and union agreements, but without climate control the server room may go into meltdown and so will the staff. Hidden dangers include dangerous fumes and other airborne pollutants or pathogens like Legionnaires disease. Issues that can get you closed down when they’re discovered.
Planned Preventative Maintenance
Many offices have a service agreement with HVAC contractors directly or through the leasing company, but whether in contract or not, a rapid response to a breakdown is of the utmost importance to any business. Quite simply, a system breakdown that isn’t quickly fixed can spell the end of the business. A danger some discover only too late.
Data centres and major restaurants almost always have maintenance and emergency response arrangements drawn up with their business plan because they know any delay in dealing with an air conditioning crisis is a catastrophe. Likewise, in medical laboratories positive and negative air pressures are important to prevent cross contamination from area to area. Not planning simply isn’t an option.
If you’re aware that all is not quite right with your HVAC equipment but it hasn’t yet stopped, it’s important to call HVAC contractors out to look at it as soon as possible as noise, smell or poor performance can be signs of worse to come. Also, systems that aren’t working as intended could be costing more than you realize.
Hot water and heating can account for 60% of fuel bills whilst ventilation loses 30% of the heat from many commercial buildings. Every day passing means bigger losses from your margins. Expert inspection may foresee problems and solutions you hadn’t thought of. For example, in a TV or recording studio an air conditioning system might make noises that will be picked up by recording equipment, requiring retakes or over-warm servers could be slowing down your network.
Governments are tightening energy efficiency targets for commercial buildings. Sometimes your efficiency can be improved by installing heat recovery systems, or, conversely, cooling coils to use outside air to help the air conditioning. If you have high ceilings, destratification fans can reduce energy use 20% by blowing warm air downwards.
Poor air conditioning can increase a building’s energy consumption and carbon footprint by 100%. Inexpensive modifications may enable you to cut bills and hit energy targets at the same time. Higher efficiency motors might save 5% on the running costs of your ventilation with minimal outlay. Timers that don’t switch on and off at optimum times could waste a fortune. Variable speed fans save electricity by slowing when ventilation demand decreases.
Smart Building Control Systems
The greater the integration the more efficiently an office building can be run. Smart appliances can be integrated into these systems and temperatures, humidity, timers, and alarms all controlled from a webpage or mobile phone. Ask your contractor.