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October 2018

What’s Causing Your Air Pressure Issues in Your Office?

What’s Causing Your Air Pressure Issues in Your Office? 240 210 Amy Gasca

While everyone in the office may be convinced the ghost of a disgruntled ex-coworker is what is opening and shutting doors, brushing by you when you feel a draft of air, or whistling and making those weird noises- have no fear.

It’s just your HVAC system.

Air pressure imbalance can cause these odd things to happen and can very well convince you of a paranormal entity in your office. Positive and negative air pressure are to blame. Let’s talk about what that means and what your solution might be.

What causes air pressure imbalance?

Hot air rises so this may cause lower pressure in lower floors of your building. Exhaust fans can expel too much air and create an imbalance as well. The fan motor may be running too high and drawing to much air. Poor ductwork can lead to both negative and positive air pressure resulting in weird unexplained noises and drafts.

What does negative and positive pressure mean?

Negative air pressure means that the air pressure inside your office or building is lower than outside, which will make the air from outside to be sucked in. This is what causes doors slamming shut and doors that are nearly impossible to open. This will cause your HVAC system to have to overexert.

By now, you may be relieved to know that there are no ghosts haunting you and your office. Leave it to the professionals to take care of any air pressure issues you may be facing.  Whether you need to fix a motor, more ventilation, or some ductwork, a trusted HVAC contractor should be your first call in order to square away any problems you have in your space.


Duct Issues and How they Affect Your HVAC Unit

Duct Issues and How they Affect Your HVAC Unit 1024 683 Amy Gasca

Duct Issues and How They Affect Your HVAC Systems

You are having problems with air quality in your building. Noise, improper cooling, and stale air are all caused by duct issues. Ducts are responsible for delivering and moving air throughout your building. Here are some signs of duct issues:

Uneven heating and cooling

While some rooms in your building are at the perfect temperature, you may notice that other rooms do not have this same luxury. Holes along your duct system are the culprit to uneven temperatures.

Unpleasant smells

Moisture that builds up in your ducts can grow nasty molds and mildews that can cause odors to travel into your building. Ducts that are dirty from buildup from rodents and other pests can also contribute to this issue.

Restricted airflow

Clogged and dirty ducts trap cool air in and prevent it from reaching your building space. Leaky ducts also do not allow air to travel properly. Not only will you not feel cool air blowing out your vents, you may notice the air to be stuffy. Clogged ducts will make it hard for you to be able to enjoy cool and fresh air that your HVAC unit is supposed to be delivering.


Cracks and opening along the duct work of your HVAC system can lead to annoying noises in your building. Older buildings are especially susceptible to whistling noises as the duct work is older and has developed leaks throughout the years.

Frequent Filter Replacement

Filters that clog frequently are more than likely due to ducts that are full of debris. Clogged filters can lead to poor temperature and air quality, so its important to tackle the real issue underlying in the duct system rather than simply replacing your filters on a frequent basis. This can become costly when your fix could be a simple duct cleaning.

Thankfully, there are several things you can do to get your duct issues taken care of. Start off with an inspection done by a trusted commercial HVAC contractor. A thorough cleaning is a sure way to eliminate some problems you may be facing. Reparation of any leaks will fix airflow issues and noises. A revaluation of your duct design may also help with any issues as well. Removing longer tracts and sharp bends can help your system better deliver air to your building.

To get started in tackling your duct issues, be sure to get into contact with a trusted HVAC service provider. They will be able to identify any needs you have and get your system on the right track.


HVAC Importance in the Healthcare Industry

HVAC Importance in the Healthcare Industry 1024 605 Amy Gasca

HVAC Importance in the Healthcare Industry

The healthcare industry does not have the luxury of skimping on their HVAC system. The health and lives of patients are in the hands of a facility that is expected to maintain its environment at the best standards possible. Failure to do so can result in expensive litigation, a damaged reputation, and even death.

In the United States, healthcare facilities are the second top energy consumers. HVAC performances are the largest consumer of energy for hospitals. Frost and Sullivan has a research presentation that does a great job at breaking this down in graph form:

An HVAC system goes beyond providing comfortable temperatures. It determines air quality that matters to keep patients healthy. Here are some things to consider regarding HVAC standards in the healthcare industry:

Air Quality

Contaminated air is the healthcare industry’s worst enemy. Humidity is the perfect environment for dangerous molds to thrive. Bacteria and allergens spread when air isn’t flowing appropriately. If an HVAC system is not able to properly regulate the air, this is a massive problem.  Poor air quality can make a patient’s health plummet. A neglected system will not be able to provide the proper air quality a healthcare facility needs, so it is important to make sure all HVAC components are functioning at optimal efficiency.


There are federal standards for temperature controls in a healthcare environment. Failure to adhere and report any sort of temperature variance can result in hefty fines. Exposing patients to extreme hot or cold temperatures can dramatically affect their health and is not something to be taken lightly. Maintaining a comfortable temperature for all patients is a must in a healthcare facility as each patients’ needs are important and should not be ignored.


It’s important to make sure an HVAC unit is up to standards to run efficiently at all times. The CDC’s Guidelines for Environmental Infection Control in Health-Care Facilities has a whole section dedicated to HVAC recommendations. Filters must be continuously monitored to ensure dust will not cause issues, and even as far as removing bird nests from outside components is mentioned. These little things can greatly determine an HVAC unit’s effectiveness and ability to provide the proper air to a facility. Any sort of neglect can lead to an unexpected breakdown that a facility does not have the luxury to undergo.

One of the most effective measures a healthcare facility can take is getting into contact with a HVAC contractor and getting on a preventative maintenance plan. The right HVAC contractor will take the time to properly ensure that all systems will get the utmost care that they need so patients can remain in good standings. Being on a preventative maintenance contract will ensure that patients will always be in the best care that they can be, as facility employees can focus on other priorities knowing that their air handling system is under control.


The “V” in HVAC: Ventilation

The “V” in HVAC: Ventilation 527 350 Amy Gasca


The “V” In HVAC: Ventilation


You’re familiar with the basic cooling and heating functions of a HVAC, but how much do you know about ventilation? Ventilation is vital in maintaining your building’s air quality. Without it, you would not get fresh air inside your building and instead get stuffy, stale air.

The Importance of Proper Ventilation

Ventilation is responsible for circulating and purifying air in your space. It keeps air fresh and comfortable for building occupants to enjoy. Poor ventilation can cause a stuffy, smelly space and even lead to health issues due to toxins and unwanted air particles being trapped inside your building. Mechanical ventilation is important to keep things moving and ensuring the proper amount of fresh air is being allowed into your space.


Mechanical ventilation uses ducts and fans to bring in the appropriate amount of fresh air into your space. Too much air coming can affect the air balance and hinder efficiency. Unexplained door shutting and odor migration can be caused by too much air coming in. Not enough, and the air becomes stagnant and uncomfortable to be in. Smells and pollutants get trapped making your space be undesirable to be in. Your employees may constantly step out for fresh air and customers may not come to your business because of smells lurking around. The exhaustion of air is also important. Because ventilation also effected the humidity of the air, it is important that the air is expelled in an appropriate location so nothing is damaged.


Ventilation is so important that there are even building codes addressing it and its effects on air quality. Commercial buildings are expected to maintain a standard for their ventilation and air quality. ASHRAE Standard 62.1 applies to commercial buildings and outlines all there is to adhere to.


Because ventilation is vital in its role to providing the upmost quality of your buildings air, be sure to be up to date with your commercial HVAC unit. Be sure your system is adequate for your surrounding climate and can meet your needs appropriately. Get in touch with an HVAC company to help get on the right track.


HVAC Budgeting: How to Maintain Your Budget

HVAC Budgeting: How to Maintain Your Budget 594 350 Amy Gasca

Budgeting: How to Maintain Your HVAC System Budget

As a facilities manager, it is your job to take care of the maintenance around your building and keep everything running while not going over budget.
An HVAC system can easily call for unplanned repairs and maintenance that you have already addressed in your budget, but here are some ways to keep these unpredictable costs at bay:
A routine preventative maintenance plan will be a life saver when it comes to maintaining a budget. Once you sign a contract with an HVAC contractor that you trust, you can expect and plan out services and repairs your system will need. Keeping your system maintained will help reduce the need for unexpected repairs and replacements at a minimum. A PM plan can avoid major blunders that can put you well over budget. Here’s what a typical PM plan may include:
Condenser coil cleaning:
If condenser coils are neglected and not cleaned from dirt and grime build up, they will not be able to properly release heat and cause your system to overheat and your compressor will break down. This is a costly expense you do not want to be surprised with. A PM plan will usually include an annual cleaning of your condenser coils.
Low refrigerant levels are a sure sign of a leak. This will lead to your space being not being cooled efficiently and in turn lead to your system overexerting to overcompensate. Instead of doing the easy fix of recharging your system, a PM plan will be helpful in repairing and preventing the unnecessary costs of recharging your system.
Filter Replacements:
It is important to stay on top of replacing filters to ensure proper filtration and to keep your unit working efficiently. A PM plan will take care of this for you so you can go ahead and include this in your PM plan budget.
Besides a PM plan, keep in mind that planning ahead for replacing parts can help maintain your budget. If you can recognize beforehand that certain equipment will need to replaced soon, you can avoid the unexpected expense in the long run.
Above all, make sure to choose a trusted HVAC contractor to help you maintain your budget. Choose a contractor that will help you decide on a PM plan that will meet your needs and also keep you within budget.


Smart Roof Top Units: A Shift in Technology for Commercial HVAC

Smart Roof Top Units: A Shift in Technology for Commercial HVAC 1024 768 Amy Gasca

Smart Roof Top Units: A Shift in Technology for Commercial HVAC

Everything around is being optimized to be as smart as a human. Our phones, cars, and computers have drastically shifted since their break through. These new, innovating technologies are designed to make our lives as consumers an easier and better experience. Don’t think a commercial roof top HVAC unit can follow this “smart” trend?
Think again.
Introducing the smart rooftop unit.
A standard RTU has and is a reliable system for commercial buildings, offices, and manufacturers. But, this new breed of smart RTUs is a game changer. In an article with ACHR News, Johnson Controls Commercial Product Marketing Manager Brian Wathen describes them as having the capacity to “monitor, adjust, detect, and diagnose itself and indoor environmental conditions to ensure proper building occupant comfort”. This isn’t the end of its capabilities. Wathen continues to elaborate that these new systems can also provide feedback to users on its conditions and possible issues immediately through wireless communication using an electronic device. One type of smart unit takes things a step further- Internet of Things enabled-where all data collected gets loaded to the cloud. Jim Macosko from Daikin tells ACHR News that an IoT enabled unit is able to use the data it collects, combine it with external analytics, and increases its IQ with the information it harvests. He continues to explain how the unit is able to use all this information to better help the building’s owner make decisions for its unit.
While a smart RTU comes with quite the price tag, it may be worth it for building owners to invest in. Chris Opie spoke with ACHR news on the clear advantages of a smart roof top HVAC. He notes that the unit provides better comfort control and energy efficiency because its ability to communicate with itself. They can monitor its surroundings such as temperature, air quality, and humidity and are then able to auto adjust themselves through sending messages to fans and compressors. Steve VanPeursem, also from Daikin, explained that smart rooftop HVAC are also easier to repair because of its abilities to send diagnostic messages to a dashboard. Rather than a service tech having to manually inspect a unit, they can quickly use the dashboard to view information about the unit and make repairs accordingly.
Opie speaks on how investing in a smart rooftop HVAC is worth it despite the obvious price difference. He explains the benefits of the machine’s life cycle and its ROI. Opie claims that a smart RTU will actually even pay back faster through energy savings and its ability to self-diagnose with can limit service calls. The wireless communication capabilities will also reduce installation costs as they can communicate with other systems and make things easier for the installer.
As these innovative rooftop HVAC units are making their breakthrough in the commercial and industrial HVAC industry, the response is taking slower than usual. Shaun Thomas from Rheem Mfg. Co points out that most business owners usually look for a smaller price tag rather than the latest technology. With time, smart roof top units will likely become the norm as their benefits are overwhelming.
Just like other innovations in technology, the consumer will need time to accept and adapt to the better choice due to comfort in what the standard holds. Before long, smart roof top units are expected to make their breakthrough and be on top of buildings everywhere.


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