HVAC Service FAQ
What kinds of service agreements are there?
There are many different kinds of service agreements but they fall into three general categories:
Preventative Maintenance – regular filter changes (frequency depending on equipment and location), Spring Inspection of all cooling systems, fall inspection of heating systems
Comprehensive Maintenance – Preventative maintenance as above but also including annual cleaning of all coils
Full Maintenance – Comprehensive Maintenance as above but also including all parts and labour for any equipment repairs
Why is changing filters on my HVAC units important?
Filters protect HVAC units from dirt that will coat coils and other parts inside the units. A proper filter change program will go a long way to ensuring that coils transfer heat efficiently allowing the HVAC unit to use less energy and keep other components such as compressors from failing.
What are the different types of filters?
- Throw away cardboard frame type filters. These filters are generally the least effective and are the most economical if you do not want to purchase a frame for a pad type filter.
- Pleated filters are the most efficient and are considered to be the best type of filter for collecting dust. The cost is very high compared to the other two types.
- There are a wide variety of filters available these three are the most common.
- Consider the environment factors, how often you want the filters to be changed and the quality of air you need in your facility.
- Are there construction, road traffic, and bus stops in the area?
- Is there a need to have a very clean airflow, E.G. labs, paint booths etc?
- Is there a lot of smoke from industrial applications?
Some filters such as cardboard framed are not suitable for other applications such as MUA or ex vents. Pleated filters will clog up 4-6 times faster than the other types so expect to have more frequent filter changes with a higher cost, but cleaner air.
You can get treated pad type filters which can collect finer dust particles for a nominal increase in cost but will require more frequent changes.
Please contact your customer service representative to find out if the filters you are using are the best for your application.
Why is it important to have the coils on my HVAC units cleaned regularly?
Even with a good Filter program coils in any HVAC unit will require annual cleaning. Units with dirty coils do not transfer heat effectively which results in the machines working harder and longer to do the required amount of heating or cooling. When the unit works harder it uses more energy and stresses the equipment leading to expensive repairs. Coil cleaning will save money in both energy and repairs.
How can I control my ice machine repair costs?
The average time to repair an ice machine can be between 4 to 6 hours for small problems and up to 8 to 12 hours for more serious problems. i.e.: if you calling on the weekend or at 4.00pm week days for an ice machine problem it could be 8.00pm before it is going again. It will then take another couple of hours to make enough ice that you can use with the end result being 1 hr before you close you have enough ice. You will end up paying over time rates to get the machine fixed. Remember $50 can buy a lot of ice, $150 of overtime will get you about a bucket full of ice. It may be more practical to buy some ice. The same applies for the weekend only your bucket of ice will cost you anywhere from $400 up. $400.00 can buy a lot of ice on the weekend. In some cases it may not be practical to do this and you will need to call for service, however if you think about the above you will have a better understanding of your needs. If you check your ice machine in the morning then the above will not be a problem for you.
Why does my air-conditioning inevitably fail on the hottest days?
When HVAC systems are not maintained properly, they have to run harder than they were designed to run. For example, if the cooling coils that transfer heat from the inside of your building to the unit’s refrigerant are like the radiator of your car. If they get covered in dirt they cannot transfer heat efficiently. Therefore, less heat is transferred, so to give the same amount of cooling the unit must run longer. Similarly if the coils that transfer heat from the refrigerant to the outside are dirty, less heat is transferred from the refrigerant to the outside, which means the refrigerant stays hotter. Hotter refrigerant cannot absorb as much heat from the inside of the building which means again that the system must work longer. Soon your equipment is working much harder and longer than it was designed to do.
Now throw in a hot summer’s day, which your equipment was probably specified to barely be able to handle when running at peak efficiency and the equipment breaks down. The fact that it happens on a Sunday when everyone’s at home and an emergency repair call is billed at double time is truly Murphy’s law.
What is the advantage of programmable thermostats?
Programmable themostats allow you to set your HVAC equipment to only condition your space when it is occupied thus saving energy (money).
Should I set my thermostat to “On” or “Auto?”
When the thermostat is to “On” the fan in the HVAC unit will run continiously whether the unit is heating, cooling or doing neither. Setting it to “Auto” means that the fan will only run when the unit is either heating or cooling.
Most people assume setting to Auto will save energy by having the fan run less. However, many commercial spaces are designed to bring the fresh air required by building codes in from outside through the HVAC equipment. If the thermostat is set to “Auto” fresh air will only be brought in when heating or cooling takes place which is a violation of the building code. In these cases the thermostat should be set to “On” to ensure continuous supply of fresh air
Why do my freezers keep icing up?
The most common cause for freezers icing up is warm moist air getting into the freezer from the outside. This warm air is chilled by the cooling coil in the freezer and then moisture condenses on the coil and freezes.
The most likely source of this warm air is either leaks around the door through a worn out gasket or staff leaving the door open while they shift product in or out. If the door must remain open make sure they are using a plastic hanging curtain to keep the exchange of air to a minimum.
Aerco has over 40 years of experience servicing HVAC Systems in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, and Victoria. Call us today!