Here’s Your Commercial HVAC Summer Maintenance Checklist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s that time of year again when your building’s commercial HVAC system needs to be in tip-top shape to keep maintenance costs down, reduce downtime, and keep your tenants as comfortable as possible.

A year-round proactive and preventative maintenance plan is the most effective way to keep your system running smoothly year-round, however there are a few simple summer tasks that will increase your commercial HVAC system’s efficiency and performance, increase its lifespan, and keep your building cool all summer long.

Commercial HVAC Maintenance Programs

 

1. Change Your Air Filters

Your HVAC system’s air filters are responsible for the efficient, clean flow of air. Over time, they collect dust, dirt, and other particles which accumulate, restricting airflow, and resulting in your HVAC system working harder to cool your building.

It’s best to change your air filters at least once every three months, however there’s nothing wrong with changing them out more frequently, especially if they are visibly dirty.

 

2. Have Your Evaporator and Condenser Coils Cleaned

Dirty evaporator and condenser coils are responsible for many maintenance calls we receive each summer. Clogged evaporator coils will cause your system to freeze up, preventing airflow from moving across the coils, and eventually shutting off on low pressure control; dirty condenser coils on the other hand, can lead to your air conditioner taking longer to bring your building’s temperature down and eventually shutting off on high pressure safety control.

Dirty coils in your system, when left without cleaning, can result in costly repairs and damages to your HVAC system, which is why the best way to prevent any issues with your system’s coils is with a regular maintenance plan from Air Stream.

 

3. Check/adjust the program on your thermostats

When the temperature changes, so do the needs of your HVAC system. Maybe your tenants are using a different part of the building this time of year or enjoying Summer Fridays out of the office. To reduce energy consumption and costs, it’s a great idea to adjust your system’s controls to better match the needs of the season.

 

4. Do a Visual Inspection

One of the simplest ways to identify potential issues with your commercial HVAC system is by doing a quick visual inspection to make sure nothing looks out of the ordinary. Look around your system’s components and make note of any noticeable wear, rust, buildup, leaks, or disconnected pipes; any of the above issues could be impacting the performance of your HVAC system, and a technician should assess them immediately to prevent unnecessary downtime and energy costs.

 

Set Up Your HVAC Maintenance Plan Now

Year-round the most foolproof method to prevent issues with your commercial HVAC system is by keeping a regular proactive and preventative maintenance plan in place. You’ll benefit not only from reduced energy costs and downtime, but also happier, more comfortable tenants and year-round peace of mind that your system is working optimally.

To set up a maintenance plan now, call (516) 747-4700.

 

 

 

5 Ways to Improve Your Building’s Indoor Air Quality

For commercial property owners, indoor air quality is of the utmost importance, particularly as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, as it can affect the health and comfort of your tenants. So, if you are looking for ways to create a healthier and more comfortable environment for your employees and tenants, identifying some areas of improvement that can affect the air quality in your building is a great place to start.

What is Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)?

As defined by the Environmental Protection Agency, “Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) refers to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants.” Poor air quality can affect not only the comfort, health, and productivity of your employees or tenants in a building, but can have lasting effects, such as severe diseases, allergies, aggravated asthma, headaches, eye irritation, and reduced lung function.

An Indoor Air Quality test measures the following:

Factors That Contribute to Indoor Air Quality

Indoor air quality is constantly evolving and new pollutants and smells are introduced into the air, such as dust, smoke, and mold, to name a few. There are also mechanical factors at play, such as the state of your building’s ventilation system, any moisture or humidity that’s present, and the building’s overall design.

It’s also of utmost importance to have a regularly maintained commercial HVAC system. Read on for a more in-depth look at ways you can promote good indoor air quality in your building, as stated by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Indoor Air Quality Tip #1: Don’t Block Air Supply Vents or Return Grilles

Often, a building’s furniture, partitions, and equipment are placed in such ways that vital commercial HVAC systems become blocked, affecting air circulation, temperature, and pollutant removal functions. Always make sure that air supply vents and return grilles are free from blockage. From time to time, open the windows to let new air into the building.

Indoor Air Quality Tip #2: Make Sure Air Filters Are Regularly Changed

This one may sound like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how often it’s the culprit of an indoor air quality issue! A regular HVAC maintenance plan from Air Stream will ensure your air filters are changed on a regular schedule, minimizing dust and buildup.

Indoor Air Quality Tip #3: Ensure Your Building Is Sufficiently Ventilated

Poor ventilation significantly impacts indoor air quality, as efficient ventilation is necessary to keep air moving, pushing out pollutants, and preventing health and comfort issues for the building’s tenants. If you would like your building’s ventilation inspected to see if it’s sufficiently getting the job done, you can call our team at (516) 747-4700.

Indoor Air Quality Tip #4: Identify and Remove Pollutants

To best improve the air quality in your building, it’s critical to consider all the factors at play and develop a strategy to manage them through source control. This could be as simple as making sure to prevent exhaust fumes from your building’s loading dock from entering the building, for example.

Indoor Air Quality Tip #5: Have Your Air Professionally Cleaned

Air cleaning is another way you can boost the indoor air quality in your building; with a commercial-grade service, you can ensure your air quality is at a safe and comfortable level for your employees and tenants.

Air cleaning could include the use and/or implementation of any of the following:

Final Thoughts: Is Your Indoor Air Quality at a Safe Level?

Maintaining the health, safety, and comfort of your tenants is no easy feat, but we’re here for you! For an evaluation of your building’s indoor air quality, call (516) 747-4700 to set up an appointment.

 

 

Why Your Commercial HVAC System Needs a Spring Cleaning and Tune-Up

Spring is in full bloom, which can only mean one thing—it’s time for spring cleaning!  

Now is the perfect time to kickstart your seasonal HVAC maintenance with a thorough inspection and cleaning of your system before the peak of summer when the last thing you want is for your building’s air conditioning to fail.  

Here are 3 reasons why your commercial HVAC system needs a spring cleaning and maintenance tune-up: 

 

Reason #1: Reduces Energy Costs 

If you’re looking to keep energy costs down, cleaning your commercial HVAC system needs to be a priority! Over time, dirt and debris can build up, which can then reduce the airflow of your system, making it work harder to get the cooling job done. With regular cleanings and tune-ups, your system performs at peak efficiency, making your ongoing energy costs much lower. 

 

Reason #2: Increases Longevity of Your Commercial HVAC System

Regular cleaning and maintenance of your commercial HVAC system is key to ensuring it stays in great working order for years to come. By investing in a regular HVAC maintenance plan, you can reduce the costs you’d spend on HVAC repairs and system replacements. 

 

Reason #3: Greater Indoor Comfort for Your Tenants 

The last thing you’re going to want to deal with during the dog days of summer is repeated calls from your building’s tenants about malfunctioning air conditioning. With seasonal cleaning and maintenance on your system, a technician is much more likely to catch potential issues before they become a summertime air conditioning nightmare that frustrates your tenants. 

 

What to Expect from an HVAC System Spring Service Call 

To keep your system in tip-top shape, there are several components of your commercial HVAC system that should be cleaned and serviced in the spring, following a thorough inspection by a trained professional. 

 

Air Conditioner Coils 

Your commercial HVAC system has two types of air conditioning coils, evaporator coils and condenser coils. Evaporator coils are the indoor air-cooling coils responsible for removing heat from the inside and creating a cool and comfortable space for your building’s occupants. Condenser coils, on the other hand, pull heat from the inside of your building and exhaust it outside.  

Without cleaning your system’s coils, they will become clogged, restricting airflow and taking your system longer to cool down (costing you more money).  

 

Drain Lines 

Your system’s drain lines are another component that need to be cleaned and maintained. Condensation from your air conditioner collect in the drain line, making it the perfect environment for mold and algae. Over time, this can lead to the buildup of sludge, bacteria, fungus, and even blockages that can cause water to build up and overflow.  

 

Refrigerant Levels 

To maintain effective cooling in your building, your HVAC system needs to maintain the correct refrigerant level. With a technician’s watchful eye on your refrigerant level, not only will it remain at the correct level for peak indoor cooling and comfort, but it’s also possible to catch potential issues such as leaks before they become a major problem that could cause downtime. 

 

Wiring 

Damage to wiring is a common issue for commercial HVAC systems, usually due to pests like rats who have sought shelter during the cooler months of the year. Your technician will look for wiring issues and alert you to any issues requiring repair or replacement. 

 

Air Filters 

Last but not least—your system’s air filters should be changed on a regular basis to allow air to flow cleanly and freely throughout your building for optimal indoor comfort. 

 

Schedule Your Spring Commercial HVAC Maintenance Now 

No matter the season, the best way to prevent issues with your commercial HVAC system is with a regular proactive and preventive approach from Air Stream AC. Our team goes beyond maintenance alone and takes multiple measures to ensure your HVAC system’s deficiencies are addressed before they become issues in the future.
 

To request service now, call (516) 747-4700. 

Why Your Commercial HVAC System Needs a Cooling Tower Startup

Spring is here…is your HVAC system ready?!

As one of the first steps toward preparing your commercial HVAC system for warmer weather and maintaining the comfort in your building, a cooling tower cleaning and startup are recommended.

What Happens When Your Cooling Tower is Shut Off and Drained in the Winter?

Your HVAC system’s cooling tower serves a necessary role in providing cool air consistently across your building. In New York, many property managers shut off and drain down their buildings’ cooling towers in the off-season, and then start them back up in the spring. Because cooling towers are located outdoors are subject to the elements of winter weather, dirt and debris may accumulate into the dry sump, and will need to be cleaned out prior to filling the cooling tower.

Cleaning the Cooling Tower

Prior to the startup of your cooling tower, it’s necessary to obtain services of chemical treatment company to coordinate cleaning and disinfecting cooling tower as required by New York City law.

Air Stream AC starts by removing debris from the tower. Next, we grease the motors and pumps, and inspect and tighten all electrical connections and components. Then, we fill the cooling tower, run pumps to circulate, and inspect the tower for any water leaks or mechanical issues that may need to be addressed prior to cooling season. Finally, you’ll need to contact the chemical company return to complete the cleaning and disinfecting process, as well as to start up the chemical treatment equipment.

Starting Up the Cooling Tower

After your cooling tower has been professionally cleaned and disinfected, Air Stream AC’s service technicians will return to pull clean all condenser water strainers at pumps and AC systems as needed. Water strainers are like filters; if they become clogged with dirt, it will impede the flow to your water cooled condensers, potentially causing cooling operations failure. Once your cooling tower is cleaned and serviced, Air Stream AC service technicians will inspect and start up your cooling systems to help ensure a smooth transition into the cooling season.

Schedule Your Cooling Tower Startup Now

As with all components of your commercial HVAC system, the best way to increase longevity, achieve greater cost efficiency, and maintain a comfortable space for your building’s tenants is through preventative maintenance. If you’re in need of a cooling tower startup this season or are ready to explore professional commercial HVAC maintenance plans for your property, call (516) 747-4700.

 

We Find Out Why Compressors Fail!

When a compressor fails, there are several contributing factors that could be causing the underlying problem; often, your system has a mechanical issue. In such cases, a trained professional is needed to correctly identify the type of failure occurring to repair the underlying issue and keep your building’s cooling system running as optimally as possible!

It’s very important to identify why the original compressor failed so that it won’t happen again.

Read on for more information about the different types of compressor mechanical failures which may cause your commercial HVAC system to break down.

When to Contact Air Stream Air Conditioning for Maintenance and Repairs

If you suspect your system is experiencing one of the issues above, you’re likely going to see warning signs, including:

Identifying Compressor Mechanical Failures Indicators, Symptoms, and Corrections

Most compressors fail due to system malfunction which must be corrected to prevent repeat failures.  After a compressor fails, field examination of the failed compressor often will reveal symptoms of system problems.  Proper corrections will help eliminate future failures.

Below are several examples of reasons compressors fail:

Refrigerant Flood back

This occurs because of liquid returning to the compressor during the Running Cycle. The oil is diluted with refrigerant so much that it can’t properly lubricate the load-bearing surfaces.

Flooded Starts

In this case, refrigerant is migrating to the crankcase oil during the Off Cycle. Then, when the compressor starts back up, the diluted oil is unable to lubricate the crankshaft load-bearing surfaces, causing erratic wear.

Liquid Slugging liquid slugging

Liquid slugging occurs when liquid tries to compress in the cylinders, causing an extreme flood back in the first stage of compound in open drive compressors, and a severe flooded start in the second stage of compound in refrigerant cooled compressors.

High Discharge Temperature

This air compressor mechanical failure is the result of temperatures in the compressor head and cylinders reaching such high temperatures that the oil inside is no longer able to lubricate properly. This causes the pistons, rings, and cylinder walls to wear, which in turn results in blow by, leaking valves, and metal fragments in the oil.

Loss of Oil

This occurs when there’s insufficient oil in the system’s crankcase, which prevents the proper lubrication of the bearing surfaces. As a result, there will be a uniform wearing of all load bearings.

General or Uniform Burn

In this case, the entire motor winding is uniformly overheated or burned.

Single Phase Burn

Single phase burns occur because there isn’t a current running through the unburned, and two phases of a three-phase motor become overheated.

Half Winding Single Phase Burn

This burn occurs when half of a part winding start motor has a single phasing condition, meaning two contractors are used in the part winding start and a problem exists within one of the contractors.

Half Winding Burn

Here, half of all phases of the part start winding motor become overheated or burned.

Primary Single-Phase Burn

In the case of this mechanical failure, only one phase of a three-phase motor is overheated or burned.

Start Winding Burn

Here, only the start winding is burned in a single-phase motor due to excessive current in the start winding.

Run Winding Burn

This mechanical failure is characterized by only the run winding being burned in a single-phase compressor.

Spot Burn

Spot burns involve a localized burn within the winding, between the winding, or from winding to ground, and can be a result of an electrical failure or a mechanical failure resulting from foreign materials in motor winding.

Best Approach Measures to Prevent Compressor Mechanical Failures

Regular air conditioner maintenance is critical for identifying mechanical issues with your commercial HVAC system and keeping a comfortable environment for your building. Our trained team of experts is well-versed in troubleshooting, identifying, and repairing air conditioning compressor issues to prevent further issues with a compressor repair/replacement and help extend the life of your equipment—give us a call at (516) 747-4700 to choose your proactive and preventative maintenance plan.

5 Ways to Get Your Commercial HVAC Unit Ready for Summer

With temperatures rising everyday, now is the perfect time to make sure your commercial HVAC system is ready and running at peak performance! Keeping your building reliably cool is one of the most important ways you can perfect your environment.

Here are 5 summer HVAC tips to help ensure your commercial system is in tip-top shape.

Summer HVAC Tip #1: Have Your Air Filters Checked and Replaced

Your commercial air conditioner has filters that filtrate particles out of the air, ensuring only clean air makes it into your building, keeping indoor air quality at comfortable levels. However, air filters become clogged with dirt and debris over time, which negatively impacts your airflow and air conditioning system’s efficiency. Over time, this results in using more energy and money to perform the same job. Getting your air filters checked and replaced regularly is key to maximizing your system and saving money.

Summer HVAC Tip #2: Get Your Ductwork Cleaned

Your air conditioning system’s ductwork is another common component where dust, mold, allergens, and debris can build up and impact performance and air quality if not maintained regularly. Dirt is bound to accumulate in your air conditioner’s ductwork, and some occupants of your building may be particularly susceptible to this buildup; individuals with allergies or asthma, as well as the elderly and small children may be significantly impacted by poor air quality. A simple call to Air Stream can help ensure your ducts are clean, less energy is wasted, and your occupants are comfortable.

Summer HVAC Tip #3: Have a Professional Take a Look at Your Condenser and Evaporator Coils

Most of the service calls we receive are due to dirty evaporator and condenser coils. When left without maintenance, dirty coils can result in costly repairs and even damage to your commercial air conditioning system.

Clogged evaporator coils result in your coils freezing up, and preventing airflow from moving across the coil. A service technician is required to turn off the system to allow the coils to defrost, and a chemical cleaning and full operations check are necessary.

On the other hand, if your system’s condenser coils become clogged, it’s going to take your air conditioner longer to bring your building’s temperature down, resulting in a higher energy bill each month! Over time, if clogged condenser coils go without maintenance, the condenser coil will not allow airflow across the coil, which will cause the system to shut down on high-pressure safety control. A service technician will then need to perform a chemical power washing to remove the dirt that accumulates in the coils to allow airflow through the coil and perform a full operations check on the system.

The best way to prevent these issues before they start? Regular maintenance on your commercial unit from Air Stream!

Summer HVAC Tip #4: Integrate Smart Building Controls

One of the “hottest” ways to keep cool this summer? Smart building controls!

With smart building controls, your air conditioning system leverages the latest HVAC technology to integrate and automate all aspects of your building management, giving you the opportunity to perfect your environment, improve energy efficiency, and reduce operational costs.

With smart building controls, you’ll benefit from:

Smart building controls are the future of comfortable living—get started now!

Summer HVAC Tip #5: Schedule a Preventative Maintenance Call with Air Stream AC

In need of a commercial HVAC service call before summer heats up? Air Stream goes beyond typical HVAC maintenance—we’re all about proactively taking the right measures to ensure that all your system’s deficiencies are addressed to prevent any issues or downtime when you need your AC most! To schedule service, call (516) 747-4700.

How to Increase Ventilation in Buildings with MERV Filters

You can’t perfect your environment with imperfect air quality, and when it comes to air filters, not all are created equally. Read on to learn how you can increase ventilation in buildings using MERV air filters (plus a few extra tips!) 

What are MERV Filter Ratings? 

MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value; it’s a system that evaluates the efficiency of air filters based on how well they catch particles of various sizes, such as dust and other contaminants, and prevent them from passing through the filter into a building’s air stream. 

Filter MERV Rating Chart

Essentially, the higher the MERV rating, the higher the air filtration capabilities of that air filter. An air filter MERV rating ranges from 1 to 20, with 20 being the highest level of filtration. For commercial HVAC needs, we recommend at a minimum, a MERV 13 filter for a superior commercial option to combat bacteria, smoke, sneezes, and other contaminants.

Merv Ratings

If you want to ensure your indoor air quality is pristine, a MERV 20 filter will be the most premium solution, which is why it’s often used in settings including surgical operating rooms. More than likely, a MERV 13 filter will suffice; in fact, when selecting a MERV filter, it’s much better to go with the appropriately rated MERV filter so as not to impair its performance. 

Choosing the right air filter chart

Environmental Benefits of High-Quality MERV Filters 

As we’ve learned all too well over the past year, particle filtration often presents better health benefits, including: 

Clean MERV Filter vs. Dirty MERV Filter

9 Additional Tips to Improve Air Quality 

  1. Increase outdoor air ventilation, using caution in highly polluted areas. 
  2. When weather conditions allow, increase fresh outdoor air by opening windows and doors. Don’t open windows and doors if doing so poses a safety or health risk, such as inviting a risk of falling or triggering asthma symptoms to occupants in the building. 
  3. Use fans to increase the effectiveness of open windows. To safely achieve this, fan placement is important and will vary based on room configuration. Avoid placing fans in such a way that could potentially cause contaminated air to flow directly from one person over another. One helpful strategy is to use a window fan, placed safely and securely in a window, to exhaust room air to the outdoors. This will help draw fresh air into the room via other open windows and doors without generating strong room air currents. 
  4. Decrease occupancy in areas where outdoor ventilation cannot be increased. 
  5. Ensure building ventilation systems operate properly and provide acceptable indoor air quality for the current occupancy level for each space. 
  6. Increase airflow to occupied spaces when possible. 
  7. Turn off any Demand-Controlled Ventilation (DCV) controls that reduce air supply based on occupancy or temperature during occupied hours. In homes and buildings where the HVAC fan can be controlled at the thermostat, set the fan to the “on” position instead of the “auto,” which will operate the fan continuously, even when heating or air conditioning is not required. 
  8. Open outdoor air dampers beyond minimum settings to reduce or eliminate HVAC air recirculation. In mild weather, this won’t affect thermal comfort or humidity. However, this may be difficult to do in cold, hot, or humid weather. 
  9. To improve central air filtration: 
    1. Increase air filtration to as high as possible without significantly reducing design airflow. 
    2. Inspect filter housing and racks to ensure appropriate filter fit and check for ways to minimize filter bypass. 

Perfect Your Environment with MERV Filters 

Choosing the right MERV filter is essential to perfecting your building’s environment, and you don’t have to do it alone! To ensure you’re using the right commercial air filter, contact Air Stream today at (516) 747-4700. 

Why Do I Need an AC Coil Cleaning?

With warmer temperatures upon us, there’s no better time to gain some knowledge of your air conditioning system, starting from the inside out! Knowing just a few details about how your commercial HVAC system works can help you decide what to do when it’s not working like it should.

So, first we need to understand what air conditioner coils are and what they do!

What Are Air Conditioner Coils?

There are two types of air conditioning coils which make your system work: evaporator coils and condenser coils.

What’s an Evaporator Coil?

An air conditioning system’s evaporator coils are the indoor air-cooling coils which removes heat from the space, creating a comfortable environment we know and love!

What are Condenser Coils?

The condenser coils are another vital part of your air conditioning system. These coils pull heat from the inside of your building, then exhaust it outside.

What Happens if Air Conditioner Coils Aren’t Cleaned?

Dirty evaporator and condenser coils make up the bulk of the service calls we receive. When neglected, these maintenance needs can become costly and cause damage to your air conditioning system.

Evaporator Coil Maintenance

When evaporator coils become dirty or clogged, the system, the coil will freeze up.  This will not allow air flow across the coil. A service technician will need to turn off to allow coil to defrost, chemically cleaned and perform a full operations check on the system.

Stored maintenance practices can help alleviate issues with your system’s evaporator coil, and regular filter and belt replacements are essential to your system.

Evaporator coils, with proper filter changes and coil brush downs during maintenance should only require chemical cleanings every 5-7 years, depending on run time and other variables, such as construction or particles or solvents in the air.

 

 

Air-Cooled Condenser Coil Maintenance

When your condenser coil becomes dirty or clogged, it will take your air conditioning system longer to bring the temperature down, costing you more money to get comfortable. If left unattended, the condenser coil will not allow air flow across coil, which will cause system to shut down on high pressure safety control. This will require a service technician to perform a chemical power washing to remove the dirt that accumulates in the coils to allow airflow through the coil, and perform a full operations check on the system.

Standard air-cooled condenser coils should be chemically power washed at least once a year in the Spring.

More frequent cleanings may be necessary if excessive dirt in the air gets trapped in the coils from construction or traffic.

 

Contact Air Stream Today for Your Air Conditioner Cleaning

Maintaining your commercial air conditioning system is critical to perfecting your environment. Performing routine maintenance on your evaporator and condenser coils can keep your entire system running efficiently, minimizing costs and muggy buildings.

To ensure your air conditioning system is in tip-top shape this spring, contact Air Stream today at (516) 747-4700.

 

 


400 Crossways Park Dr Suite 102
Woodbury, NY 11797
Tel : (516) 747-4700
Fax: (516) 747-0063
Email: info@airstreamac.com

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