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The beginning of the heating season is a great time to be reminded that your HVAC (Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning) system needs to be inspected and cleaned as necessary by a Qualified Professional Air Duct Cleaner. The HVAC System should also receive a “tune-up” by a Professional HVAC Contractor to ensure the components are operating as designed and installed.
Prior to turning on the heat as a part of a buildings overall energy and indoor air quality management plan, you should inspect the HVAC system and components with the help of a qualified HVAC Inspection professional. An industry qualified person means someone who is a HVAC professional who has a working knowledge of the system. A NADCA (National Air Duct Cleaner Association) Certified individual, or Licensed HVAC Contractor are examples. They can often work together to best determine a healthy IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) approach.
During the change of seasons, it is a great time to change your filters. Your HVAC system acts as a circulation system and any system that relies on the circulation of a material through a closed system (oil, air, water, etc.) needs to have a filter in place. As a HVAC System replenishes its supply of air, it brings in dust, dirt, and other particulate matter found in the air that is discharged into occupied space. Without a filter, your system will quickly “load” and will fail. Likewise, failure or overload of a filter will cause the system to be compromised. Filters are variable in their designs and efficiency. Most filters for commercial HVAC AHU’s (Air Handling Units) are rated using the MERV system, which are the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values as designated by ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers). The higher the MERV Rating, the more particulate and smaller particulate that will be trapped by the filter. Never increase the MERV rating on a filter within an AHU in a commercial setting without ensuring the AHU can handle the increased stress that is being introduced. There are many types of motors including variable drive motors that cannot handle increased resistance. Be certain to check with your HVAC Contractor regarding any change made.
While the filters on your system do a decent job of keeping foreign particles from contaminating your AHU, coils and ductwork, your system components and ductwork will more than likely still fall victim to contaminants as you can see in the internal picture of an AHU I shared above. It is important at regular intervals specific to your building needs to clean your ductwork and HVAC System Components to ensure your HVAC system is circulating clean air into the occupied space. This will also help to ensure your system is running as designed while consuming a lot less energy. Your building occupants will also thank you!
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