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Emergency HVAC Services: Preparing For Summer Outages

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Power outages are inconvenient and disruptive to your business, but preparing for the unexpected is a necessary strategy for all facility managers. By creating an emergency outage response plan, you’ll be better prepared to manage any interruptions caused by summer storms, technology failures or other emergencies.

Here are some steps to take.

Have a backup power source in place – All commercial buildings are required by code to connect certain building functions — fire alarm systems, egress stairwell lighting, elevators and more — to emergency backup power. Standby power systems are also required to keep critical equipment, including ventilation, building automation and hospital equipment, functioning in emergency situations. In addition to adhering to codes, having a backup power source is a smart way to help minimize an outage’s impact on your operations by reducing downtime and preventing possible data loss.

Know what to do in an emergency – and who’s in charge. Your emergency plan should list all members of your emergency response team, as well as their contact information and responsibilities. Document all equipment in your facility, including what’s required to maintain any critical areas. Then identify any potential sources of failure, along with the best location and any logistics for temporary HVAC equipment, should the need arise. Once you have a comprehensive plan, train other members on your facilities management team and be sure to regularly review and update it.

Sign up for outage alerts with your provider – This way, you’ll be in the know for any outages as they happen and receive timely updates on when to expect power to be restored. You can also help report an outage in your area.

Call your HVAC provider – Many commercial companies offer 24/7 emergency services. Trust your local B&I professionals for reliable services that will get your building back up and running.

Upgrading your HVAC system to handle summer heat

The summer heat can be hard on your equipment. That’s why regular maintenance and service are imperative to help ensure optimal performance for your HVAC system. Depending on the age of your commercial system and your building’s unique needs, an upgrade might be a consideration, but requires careful planning.

1. Assess current system performance. To determine the scope of the upgrade required, evaluate the performance of your HVAC system. Identify any shortcomings or areas where improvements might be needed. You’ll also need to calculate the cooling load requirements of your commercial space. Consider factors such as square footage, occupancy levels, equipment heat gain and insulation levels.

2. Consider high-efficiency equipment. Look for systems with a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating for air conditioning units and a high Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) for rooftop units. Energy-efficient equipment can help reduce operating costs and improve overall performance.

3. Optimize ventilation. Adequate ventilation is crucial to maintain indoor air quality and to remove excess heat and humidity. Consider adding or modifying ventilation systems by increasing the number of air exchanges or installing energy recovery ventilators.

4. Implement zoning and controls. Zoning capabilities allow you to divide your commercial space with separate temperature controls to highlight where cooling efforts are needed most, improving comfort and energy efficiency.

5. Enhance insulation and sealing. Ensure that your building has proper insulation to minimize heat transfer. Inspect and seal any air leaks in the ductwork, windows, doors and walls.

6. Monitor and optimize. Utilize smart building management systems and data analytics to monitor and optimize the performance of your upgraded HVAC system. These technologies allow you to track energy usage, identify inefficiencies and make data-driven adjustments to enhance system performance.

Contact B&I to conduct an energy audit, assess your specific needs and recommend suitable upgrades for your building.

 

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