Fall is a difficult time of the year. From one day to the next, you can experience 10, 20, even 30 degrees or more of fluctuation in the temperature. Add in rain and humidity, and its easy to see why a building’s HVAC system can have a difficult time keeping up with the demands. The environment changes from one moment to the next, and your HVAC system doesn’t know whether to keep it hot or keep it cold.
The result? Throughout your building, there will be spots that many consider overheated, or simply not warm enough. High humidity may start causing condensation buildup, and mold and mildew may quickly start contaminating the air. And when the air isn’t as clean as it should be, it can quickly have an impact on your employees or tenants.
Your job as the property manager or building owner is to provide a comfortable atmosphere for all that reside there. But if its an uncomfortable environment, they are already taking matters into their own hands.
They bring in personal fans and space heaters to keep underneath their desks. This continues to impact your building’s hot and cold zones by misleading the sensors that are trying to keep individual areas of the building at certain temperatures.
They block air vents. Nobody likes a cold stream of air blowing down on them as they sit at their desk, especially if they run cold anyway. Walk around the building and you’ll probably find a vent or two with paper or cardboard taped over the vent, attempting to control the situation on their own.
The only thing these do-it-yourself strategies do is cause more problems with the efficiency of your HVAC system, and compromise the safety guidelines of your work-space. Personal heaters, for instance, can be a fire hazard and can even lead to power outages throughout your building.
In many cases, employees begin to assume that working in a building means they’ll consistently be combating the hot/cold problem, and will more often than not have to take matters into their own hands. But as a property manager or building owner, realize that there are many things you can do, and it all starts with a phone call to your local HVAC contractor.
Regular maintenance with an HVAC system can often find and fix the little problems before they even begin. Your hot/cold zones may be caused by something as simple as a clogged duct or a dirty air filter.
There’s also a chance your system hasn’t been changed or updated to keep up with demand. If the building layout has changed and usage has increased, the duct work should be configured to keep up with the demand. Even something as simple as changing the layout of cubicles could have a major impact on the efficiency of the HVAC system.
If you’ve noticed more space heaters making their way into your building, or have received more than one complaint from tenants this fall as the weather turns colder, it might be time for your HVAC system to be evaluated. With hundreds of components and thousands of working parts, your HVAC system may be costing you more than you realize. Find out today how you can make your system more efficient, and keep your tenants and employees happy all season long.
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