When it comes to HVAC systems, maintenance matters

PG&E
Improve Student and Building Scores with Energy Efficient HVAC Equipment

Airflow problems can reduce the efficiency of a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system by up to 15%. Considering that HVAC energy usage can constitute up to 70% of a building's consumption during peak hours, proper HVAC maintenance is essential to running an efficient business.1


How poor HVAC maintenance costs a business


An inefficient HVAC system can cost a business in many ways. The most obvious of those costs is financial. Air leakages, heating and cooling systems that respond poorly to ever-changing climate, and old, inefficient HVAC equipment can all lead to exorbitant monthly utility bills.


Evaluating HVAC system performance


The first way to determine whether HVAC maintenance is necessary is to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the building's current HVAC system. There are several questions to ask as part of such an assessment:


  1. How old is the building's current HVAC equipment (air conditioning units, boilers/furnaces, ventilation systems)?
  2. Are utility costs higher than expected, and/or have they risen recently without a logical explanation?
  3. Are employees satisfied with indoor temperatures and air quality (for example, are there problems with dust and/or allergies among employees)?
  4. When thermostat set points are raised in the winter, or lowered in the summer, is the HVAC system able to maintain the new thermostat set point temperature in the building?
  5. How much HVAC energy consumption is dedicated to indoor spaces that are rarely used?
  6. Does the business/building have a regular HVAC contractor who does routine check-ups?

If the answers to any of these questions are concerning, it is time to work on finding an HVAC contractor who can help with solving or mitigating any issues.


How long-term HVAC maintenance benefits a business


Developing and implementing a long-term HVAC maintenance program with the help of a qualified HVAC contractor can pay off in many ways. Reduced utility bills, a more sustainable environmental profile, healthier work place and improved operational efficiency are just a few of those benefits.


Businesses in Central and Northern California are also in line for further financial assistance through PG&E's Commercial HVAC Optimization Program. The program offers generous incentives for enrolling in a one-year air conditioning quality maintenance service agreement and installing optional HVAC upgrades.


PG&E customers who enroll in the program can save anywhere from $250 per year, per unit, to $500 per year, per unit. Direct incentives can reach as high as $1,726 per unit.


PG&E's HVAC Optimization Program can provide the following benefits:


  • Optimize HVAC system performance and efficiency
  • Improve indoor air quality and thermal comfort
  • Help prevent HVAC unit failures
  • Reduce carbon footprint

How working with a qualified HVAC contractor benefits a business


Working with a qualified HVAC contractor is central to maximizing the benefits of an HVAC system. HVAC contractors have the experience and expertise to evaluate a building's current systems, point out flaws, provide advice about fixing and maintaining the system, implementing that advice and overseeing the long-term effectiveness of the system.


For business owners and managers in Central and Northern California, finding an HVAC contractor who can perform this work is easy. Simply refer to PG&E's list of participating HVAC contractors.2


To find out more about selecting and working with an HVAC contractor, download the eBook, "The Complete Guide to Working with a Lighting or HVAC Contractor."


Sources:


  1. Pacific Gas and Electric Company
  2. Pacific Gas and Electric Company