Monthly archives for December, 2013

Protecting Your Heat Sensitive IT Equipment

One of the most important systems in many businesses today is the IT equipment and server.  Most are kept in closets or small rooms. What many forget is that even during cool or cold months these systems must stay cool. This equipment is very heat sensitive and may come as a surprise that it may need a cooling system set in place to protect it.

If you are in the process of designing a new building, a dedicated air conditioning system can be specified. However if you are like many companies with existing buildings, the electronics equipment was usually installed in the server closet during warm weather or it’s an older building. At the time the air conditioning system kept the closet cool and no further thought was given to the closet.  All things are great until your server overheats and shuts down.  Then you are in for a world of hurt.  And let’s be honest, it’s going to go down when you’re the busiest.

To combat these situations, installing a precision cooling systems is usually the traditional solution. These are high energy users and can be very costly.  However with new advancements in the heating and cooling business, new self-contained, ceiling-mounted industrial spot air conditioners now offer a more efficient cost-effective alternative.

Winter time isn’t the only time of year your electronic equipment may be in danger of overheating. The equipment usually requires a cooler ambient temp than the people occupying the building. So even during summer when your air is running full time, the electronics equipment may not be staying cool enough.  Even though it may not show outward signs of equipment failure, your systems life cycle may be shortened dramatically.  And as you know these systems are not cheap.

All this being said, you should set up an appointment with your St. Louis County Cooling  repair specialist to check and see if your server closet is cooling properly.  This can save you lots of time and money in the long run.

Technolgy is the Future of Heating Efficiency

Technology rules the world. We are always looking for ways to stay connected to the technological world we live in.  New technology is now allowing you to get information on your heating system remotely so you can check on it anywhere you have internet service.  This is great for days like today when most of us are enjoying our time with our families for Christmas or holiday events.

Several trends are starting to emerge in the HVAC industry for the development of smart products.  More products today are have microprocessors and electronics. Like many other industries, the move toward the ability for consumers to engage with these products on a regular basis remotely will continue to grow. Everyone wants to be the most efficient and watching your system on your smart phone or computer makes you feel more connected and in control of what is going on in your businesses comfort and energy systems.

Obviously the main drive for this is the need to conserve energy therefore saving money.  Also this lets you see the moment something may be wrong.  Making for getting a repair person in much sooner and saving you time. Because these advancements, green building are becoming more and more the norm.  They are becoming the industry standard for business. “Improving the users’ ability to obtain even more information about how their comfort systems are performing, especially at the component level, allows them to make informed decisions with minimum time and effort,” says ACHR News.

Smart technologies allow more data to become available to you helping better manage the performance of your buildings and making you aware of issues before they happen.  Intelligent heating technology helps to know and adjust to what building occupants need in terms of efficiency, comfort, and reliability. Talk to your specialist in heating in St. Louis for all the new technology for your HVAC system

Can I Reduce Routine Chiller Maintenance?

Some business owners may want to reduce chiller maintenance to save money.  They may think that this is ok and if something does go wrong the money they would have put out already will be enough to cover the cost of repair.  If you reduce the maintenance below the industry recommended standards, you will be reducing the chillers long term efficiency and life span.

The main reason why routine maintenance is needed is to find and locate small problems and fixes.  Finding these problems early can prevent them from becoming major very expensive problems in the future.

The HVAC News reported this scenario to describe what can happen without routine maintenance. “In one facility that decided to reduce chiller maintenance by ignoring chilled water and condensing water quality, the cooling tower media and make-up valves scaled up, the condenser tubes scaled up, head pressures gradually climbed, the power bill increased, and cooling efficiency dropped off to the point where corrective repairs had to be done on the cooling tower and both the evaporator and condenser barrels.” This cost the owner a lot money and down time while the unit was being repaired.

By not changing the oil filters on your system you can also run into problems. This can result in the internal oil ports on a centrifugal chiller becoming restricted, which can reduce the flow of oil through the motor, causing it to overheat. Think of this like your car and changing the oil. If you do it like you’re supposed to, the life of your unit will greatly increase.

Corrective repairs always cost more than the money you spend on routine maintenance. Also if your chiller may be running less efficient and you not even know it until you have it serviced.  Now your energy bill just went down.  To schedule you routine maintenance plan, contact your local Collinsville Cooling maintenance specialist.

Does Your Heating System Have a Funky Odor? It Could Be Dirty Sock Syndrome

Does your heating system have a funky odor?  Maybe it reminds you of your gym locker room from high school. The industry refers to this problem as dirty sock syndrome.   If you have this odor, you understand the name completely.  What is bad, this issue can even happen with newer units.  Why does it happen? And even more important how can you get rid of the smell and prevent it from happening all together?

Dirty sock syndrome is the combination of slime and mold found on coils and occasionally in the condensate pan. It is bacteria that grows on the indoor coil, specifically on a heat pump. It is not thought to be hazardous to occupants because it does not become airborne and is only detectable by the unpleasant odor. When the unit switches from heat to cool, the odor is released. The problem seems to mainly effect heat pump systems.

Now just because you have a bad odor does not necessarily mean its dirty sock syndrome. You could just have wet insulation. You need a repair technician to look over the system to rule this out.  Unfortunately if you do have dirty sock syndrome, you may have to replace the whole duct system, but only in extreme cases. However in most cases, these odors and smells are caused by mold or bacteria in the duct work, which can be eliminated though the installation of a UVC lamp in the return air duct inlet of the furnace.

You commercial heating maintenance business near Ballwin can assist you with cleaning coils to eliminate dirty sock syndrome smells and complaints. After the problem has been taken care of, a program of preventive maintenance measures needs to be set up to keep dirty sock syndrome at bay. As the main cause of dirty sock syndrome is lack of good preventive maintenance.

Making Your Commercial Refrigeration More Energy Efficient

shutterstock_77325445Energy use in refrigeration is huge. It counts for as much as 20% of all energy used worldwide. For this reason alone, it is not unbelievable that the US government has a whole division of the Department of Energy dedicated to lowering the energy used through refrigeration.  By lowering the energy used, there would be less energy consumption.  Consumption generates CO2 emissions, which helps contribute to global warming. Plus saving energy can save you money, a win for you and the environment.

If you own a supermarket, you know that your refrigeration system can equal to about half of all your energy costs. Restaurant owners only about 15-20% of your energy costs come from refrigeration.  Whereas convenience stores run somewhere in between the two.  Overall it’s a large chunk of change you pay out every month for refrigeration.  With a few simple tips, you can increase efficiency and save some money.

With modern technology energy efficiency has increased by around 10-15% according to the DOE, but still has a long way to go before it is up to where they want it to be. Condenser coils need to be kept clean and may even need degreased. They should be inspected once a month. Make sure the seals on the doors are working correctly.  If you notice any fogging or frosting on the glass this may be indicator that this needs addressed. Commercial ice machines or ice makers need to be kept clean and serviced at least bi annually but quarterly is even better.

Talk to your refrigeration specialists in Wentzville about upgrades available for walk in coolers and freezers that can also reduce the energy consumption. These micro computers may be able to save you as much as 10-20%. These can also extend the life of your compressor.  The initial costs for preventive maintenance will be paid back by the new running costs of your much more efficient machines.

Motor Failure on Your HVAC System

The motor on your HVAC system is probable the single most important component.  Hopefully your motor is one that has no issues and will continue working flawlessly for many years.  However if you get motor that stops working, you will be calling a repair technician and praying he/she can get it up and running in record time.

Many things can cause a motor to fail. The most important thing to remember is comprehensive inspections during regular maintenance can identify and diagnose problems long before the motor fails.

Overheating is most common cause of failure. For the most part there are three things that typically cause overheating.  Temperature is the leading factor in motor failure. An increase of only 10 degrees above its rating can cut a motors life in half. Buildup and dirty fan compartments can cause motors to worker harder and therefore hotter.  This then causes voltage irregularities. Dirt and moisture can also cause mechanical problems by breaking down the components. There are variable-frequency drives (VFDs) on your motor to help reduce motor failures from overheating and voltage irregularities.

Now if your motor does go bad, do you replace it or just repair it?  If you have a small HVAC system, such as a small office or even a home unit, then typically it is best to replace the unit.  New motors are more efficient, come with warranties, and are fairly easy to replace. If you have a motor of 25 horsepower or bigger, it’s usually best to repair the motor and replace the bearings.

There are some simple steps to help prevent motor failure.  Use a vacuum to clean your vents, not a wet cloth.  The vacuum will increase airflow and cool the motor, whereas wiping can push gunk and debris into the motor causing problems.  Routine preventive maintenance is the most important step you can take to prevent motor issues. Talk to your University City HVAC business about setting up a maintenance plan.


A Green Beverage System

With all the talk of everyone trying to go green from your cars to heating your business and home, it’s a no surprise that the beverage machines that we rely so highly upon in our restaurants would soon follow the trend.  Being energy efficient not only benefits our planet but it also benefits you as a business owner in keeping cost down.  These new beverage units are still being tested and won’t hit the market for a couple more years, well at least the mass market. In the mean time you can still make your beverage machine run more efficient by having restaurant equipment maintenance by St. Charles area repair professionals.

Currently these new systems are being developed by Manitowoc Foodservice.  They are using a new carbon dioxide based system with Multiplex. Yes there are other more energy efficient brands out there, but these guys are doing it green with the use of HFC-based (hydrofluorocarbon) refrigerants.  Manitowoc is replacing the HFC-based refrigerants with naturally occurring CO2 and therefore reducing the environmental impact. This natural refrigerant has little to no impact on global warming and zero ozone depletion capabilities. So you no longer have to handle capturing ozone-depleting refrigerants.

McDonalds tested the new system on their soda machine at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and is rolling out some units to be used in their European restaurants for more testing. McDonalds is trying to put its self out there as a green company and feels that this type of beverage equipment will be able to help them do just that.

These types of equipment will meet and exceed new global green equipment standards.  Manitowoc and Multiplex hope to release globally their new products in the near future.  Until then the best thing to do is keep your current equipment well maintained and purchase only the most efficient restaurant equipment on today’s market.

Maintaining Your Hot Deck Cold Deck System

With the temperatures outside at below freezing, you may forget that your business is still using its cooling system.  Many older industrial buildings use a balance system called a hot and cold deck system.  Basically both systems run 24/7 with the heating and a/c running at the same time. Dampers control whether or not a certain room gets heat or cooling. This system makes temperatures comfortable in all of the rooms of your business. These systems are not usually found in newer buildings because of new codes and laws that demand more energy efficient systems.

Now if you are not getting proper maintenance, one of these systems could go down and that is when you will have some serious problems.  Usually the air stream is split into two separate ducts and either heated or cooled by a coil. The air is then mixed, right at the unit outlet in a multi zone system or at the terminal unit in a dual-duct system. The coils are designed to operate with no water-flow control.

These systems depend highly on their temperature sensors. Logs are kept of the temperature changes.  A repair professional can tell if they are not reading correctly. If the sensor is not placed in the correct location the system will not work properly.  Costing you money in wasted energy costs. Energy is wasted when the air flows get out of balance usually overtime due to alterations and changes in the internal heat loads. The farther apart the heat and cool temperatures are, the more energy is going to be wasted due to the excessive mixing at the terminal units.

So save your business a lot of time and money and have a proper maintenance routinely scheduled by your Florrisant heating and cooling specialist

Service Your Boiler to Increase Efficency

shutterstock_20845372Proper maintenance on your industrial boiler is very important.  Every year there are numerous accidents and break downs causing shut downs. Yes boilers are safer with the new safety devices that are designed to prevent conditions that could become disastrous. Only when you combine these with proper maintenance can you really prevent the operating system from becoming a serious hazard.  And when I say serious hazard, I am talking loss of life, personal injury, structural damage, and damage to other equipment costing high dollars in repairs and potential lawsuits. Not to mention all the time that can be lost if you have to shut your business down.

Speaking of cost, proper boiler maintenance can also save you money by increasing the efficiency of your boiler. Boilers are not exactly low energy users. They can easily waste thousands of dollars if not running properly and increasing operating costs. Even the smallest decrease in efficiency can cause an ample increase in your energy budget. Water is both your enemy and your friend with a boiler system.  Impurities found naturally in the water can cause sediment build up or corrosion. You water needs to be clean going into the system.  Your heating repair specialist in St. Louis City can set you up with the proper chemicals to keep your water clean allowing for optimal productivity.

The other great reason to have regular maintenance is that it will extend the life of your boiler system. It’s just like servicing your car. The more you take care of it the longer the car will last.  Also your maintenance technician is going to find issues that may not even be showing yet. It is always best to take care of a small problem before it becomes a large problem.  So make sure you set up a plan with your repair person for regular maintenance. The maintenance company will keep a records and be able to identify any changes that could otherwise go unnoticed.

Importance of Maintenance of HVAC System

shutterstock_42183739Are you and your employees having problems with allergies? Even with nothing blooming this time of year some of suffer from severe allergies from buildup in our HVAC system.  You, your employees, and even your customers could be suffering from poor indoor air quality or IAQ.  Not maintaining your HVAC system can allow dust, pollen, and other debris particles to contaminate it.  Also mold can grow and then mold spores released into the air if moisture is in the system.

The EPA does not have set rules on how often you should clean out your system, but most recommend cleaning with the changing of seasons. You can also have your indoor air quality checked. Just think of all the air pollutants that are carried on your employees and from other outside sources.  It is easy to see how this debris could build up easily year round.

Here are some things to look for when checking to see if your business needs service. Check to see if the vents show signs of dust or mold.  Have employees complained about itchy eyes or other allergy symptoms? Have you recently had a rodent or insect infestation? It is getting cold out these critters tend to come in this time of year.  If you notice any of these things, call and make a maintenance appointment today.

Another thing that your HVAC service repair in South County can check while cleaning your ducts is for small problems.  Repairing the damage to these small repairs will help eliminate them from becoming into larger more costly problems.  Also by having a professional checking the HVAC systems, you may increase efficiency by fixing a lubricating parts. So by maintaining your system through service you will save money and you and your employees will also breathe easier.