January 2023

4C — January 2023 — Owners, Developers & Managers — M id A tlantic Real Estate Journal


O wners , D evelopers & M anagers

Seasonal preventive maintenance can help avoid costly repairs and winter emergencies 5 tips to keep your HVAC systems operating at peak performance this winter

W HIPPANY, NJ — Mechanical Ser- vice Corporation (MSC) , one of the region’s most trusted experts and service providers in HVAC, process cooling, and building automation, provides tips for building owners and facil- ity managers to ensure their HVAC systems are ready for harsh winter conditions. “One small equipment fail- ure can easily snowball into a costly emergency situation, especially when tempera- tures dip below freezing,” said Peter Klos , technical

peak performance at all times throughout the season.” Buildings practicing proper HVAC preventive mainte- nance (PM) use up to 30% less energy than those where systems are allowed to dete- riorate. On average corrective repairs can cost two to four times more than total preven- tive maintenance costs and supply chain issues can make repairs even more costly, with delays currently spanning between weeks and up to two years. For building owners and facility managers, creating and maintaining a PM plan

ensures that the parts are ordered before they completely fail and threaten to take down whole systems. MSC provides the following tips to avoid costly commercial HVAC repair this winter sea- son. To truly optimize equip- ment, extend its lifespan and avoid a potential emergency, consider the following: 1. Check economizer function Even in buildings that have an HVAC maintenance pro- gram in place, economizers are frequently overlooked, misunderstood, or both. With- out proper PM, sensors drift

out of calibration, dampers get stuck, linkages break, seals fail, and actuators stop work- ing properly. We’ve also come across cases where economizers were not installed properly and some that were never connected at all. Economizers are extremely effective in reducing energy costs, often to the tune of hundreds or even thousands of dollars a month, and are required by code in most com- mercial buildings. The best way to determine whether your economizer is opera- tional is through regular preventive maintenance. 2. Inspect heat exchangers It’s imperative to inspect your heat exchanger at the start of every heating sea- son. If your heat exchanger isn’t working properly, your building won’t heat properly and it can also be potentially dangerous if leaks or other damage are neglected. 3. Balance hydronic systems If you notice your building has hot and cold spots, high energy bills, drafts or stuffy areas, or there’s a frequent need to adjust the thermo- stat, your building may ben- efit from testing, adjusting and balancing (TAB), or air and water balancing. TAB typically uncovers a combination of issues that can degrade HVAC performance, so if you are experiencing these issues, it’s crucial to enlist a NEBB-Certified TAB provider to conduct advanced diagnostics. Most recom- mended fixes are certainly far less costly than replacing equipment. 4. Check heat pump systems Regular heat pump main- tenance can prevent small issues that would otherwise turn into major repairs. It’s important to inspect all com- ponents and the area around your heat pump to make sure everything is working properly and to replace any worn parts that could become problematic down the road. 5. Check heating controls It’s important to ensure all controls are working prop- erly. If you have a faulty thermostat, it can cause your heat to run on short cycles, run nonstop or not turn on at all. It may seem obvious, but make sure to change the batteries regularly and that you have the correct settings in place. MAREJ

service manager of MSC. “With current supply chain disruptions delaying parts several weeks, months or even a couple years, and winter bringing a seasonal increase in demand for ser- vice, it is critical to ensure your HVAC is functioning at


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