HVAC system maintenance myths busted
For mobile equipment and field sites, the HVAC system is a crucial component and one that can really impact a company’s bottom line. Of course, business owners and project managers want to get the most out of their HVAC system to save on energy costs and prevent repairs and replacements. However, there are a few common HVAC system myths that can do more damage than good.
While part of our role as a leader in mobile heating and cooling systems is to provide HVAC solutions and services, the bulk of the care is in the hands of the company using the HVAC system. Routine maintenance is important and should always be performed as scheduled, but the small daily practices are what can lead to future problems. Today, we’re busting these common HVAC system myths and what you can do instead to lengthen the life of your unit.
Myth #1 – Only change filters once a year
How often filters need to be replaced depends on many factors, such as the number of airborne particles and pollution on the job site. HVAC systems designed for heavy-duty environments have commercial filters that can handle the job. Regardless, filters need to be absolutely clean so airflow can circulate efficiently. Dirty filters can lead to the HVAC unit working harder than it should and eventually cause a breakdown. Check the filters periodically, at least once a month, and keep up with maintenance services.
Myth #2 – Shut the unit on and off to save on energy costs
This is a common misconception for both commercial and residential HVAC systems. While it makes sense to shut the unit off to avoid overuse and save on energy, constantly turning it on and off can have the opposite effect. This is because HVAC systems use more energy during the first few minutes of running and the frequent start-stop can harm the compressor.
Instead, keep the system on throughout the day and shut it off when you know no one will need to access the building for an extended period of time (at least 4 hours). Of course, this is highly dependent on the operations as well. For example, some field sites need purified, conditioned air that can’t be compromised. Thankfully, modern commercial HVAC systems are energy-efficient and are intelligently engineered to automatically adjust to the environment.
Myth #3 – The larger the square footage, the larger the HVAC system should be
Installing the wrong sized unit causes a host of problems. A too-small system won’t be effective and run longer than necessary while an oversized unit will cause the system to short cycle (constantly shutting on and off). Both problems can lead to premature failure, costly repairs and replacements, and higher energy bills.
Not all HVAC technicians are equipped with the right knowledge about commercial and mobile equipment needs. For example, an HVAC technician who mainly services commercial buildings may not know all the details when it comes to sizing an HVAC unit for a temporary mining site. When fitting an HVAC unit, always consult with heating and cooling experts experienced in your particular operations.