Ensuring Effective and Efficient HVAC Equipment After Downtime
As many facilities have been shut down due to the “Stay Home” order by the Governor, it is essential to understand proper steps to ensure your HVAC equipment is ready to be started for safe and efficient measures.
Many facilities have likely adjusted the HVAC system temperature setpoints to unoccupied temperature setpoints or off during this period. These system modifications saved energy and money during this period; however, system problems, humidity, mold, and odors can arise when HVAC equipment sits idle for extended durations. Below are steps recommended by our in-house professional engineer to re-start and get your HVAC equipment back in service to ensure it is operating efficiently.
Check, Clean, and Flush all HVAC parts: Cooling coils, condensate drains, and traps dry out, and odors may become noticeable due to fluids not running through the system. It is recommended to clean and flush all HVAC units with a deep cleaning and sanitization before starting up idle equipment. Outdoor coils and equipment should be cleaned of dust of debris for efficient system operation. Ensure proper system performance by checking fan motors, refrigerant charge, pressures, temperatures, and amps draws on compressors.
Air Filters: Filter edges should be sealed to limit bypass and improve indoor air quality. Higher MERV rated filters can also be installed to capture smaller size particulates improving indoor air quality.
Clean Cooling Tower Basins: Cooling tower basins likely need to be cleaned of dirt, leaves, and debris. Cooling towers should be disinfected during the cleaning. Condenser water strainer screens should be removed and cleaned before pump start-up.
Water Treatment: Water treatment controller should be reviewed for proper operation. Flow switch probes should be cleaned and checked. Water treatment sensors should be re-calibrated, and pumps are primed. Chemical levels should be checked as evaporated water may have caused abnormal concentrations, and the chemicals may be more viscous than normal. Plastic tubing should be checked for cracks.
Equipment/Product Upgrades: This is an excellent time to consider the installation of equipment and products, which may improve system operational efficiency and indoor air quality. UVC lights can be installed to reduce and limit biological growth, reduce system pressure drop, improve airflow rates and coil heat transfer, minimize energy consumption, and maximize system operating efficiencies.
The measures noted above can improve overall system operational efficiencies and improve indoor air quality. At Pueblo, we have certified technicians available to perform this work and are ready to discuss, review, and assist you in evaluating your HVAC system for these operational improvement opportunities.
For questions or more information, please call the office at (800) 840-9170, or email Steve O'Brien below.
Chief Technical Officer
Pueblo Mechanical & Controls