All buildings must have some fresh air circulation to maintain a healthy workplace. Otherwise, you may be looking at health risks for your employees.
There needs to be a way of exchanging the carbon dioxide that we exhale for fresh oxygen. Without this, your employees are at risk for complications such as headaches, increased heart rate, and dizziness. They’re even at risk for losing consciousness, which can lead to a CO2-induced coma.
The ventilation of your building plays a large role in CO2 levels. If your building is under-ventilated, levels will likely rise to dangerous percentages. If your building is over-ventilated, your energy bills will be higher than necessary. It is expensive to condition outside fresh air, so if you are using too much, you are likely paying too much. If your air is not meeting certain standards, OSHA may even intervene to ensure worker safety.
The best way to ensure proper ventilation in your building is to have CO2 sensors installed on your HVAC equipment. These sensors can detect the amount of CO2 in the air, and send out a signal to provide more or less fresh air based upon the actual conditions in the room. Over the past few years, these sensors have become more affordable for the average user. The growing popularity of these sensors has meant less ventilation-related employee accidents. Less accidents, better productivity and safety for all.
If you want to learn more about the benefits of CO2 sensors, contact the Pleune Service team today at 800.447.6907. Our team can elaborate on all the benefits of a CO2 sensor system, and help you find one that’s right for you.
Why is it so urgent when your technician tells you about pitting on your contactors?
One way to maximize the life expectancy of an HVAC compressor is to minimize its operation time in the inrush amperage mode. Inrush mode, in HVAC systems and other electronic devices, is the momentary burst of current that flows into the device’s system, causing it to start. Think of starting a car engine- the initial start takes more gasoline, and puts more pressure on the car, than leaving it running for a short period of time. If your vehicle used as much gas to run regularly as it does to start, you would use more gas in the long run and put unnecessary pressure on your vehicle.
This is what it’s like to keep your HVAC compressor running in inrush mode. When a compressor develops pitted contacts, or contacts that have indentations and damage to the metal, this can require the compressor to operate in inrush mode longer. The inrush amperage is near seven times that of the running amperage, placing an inrush running system, at times, over 100 amps. The longer your compressor runs in inrush mode, the more damage will likely be caused to your system.
A visual check will show the pitting in your system’s contactors, and the tech should recommend a contactor change-out to prevent a continuous problem to the compressor windings. For answers to more of your HVAC questions, or to set up an appointment with one of our technicians, call Pleune Service at 800.447.6907.
Yesterday, the crew at Pleune sent out a technician to visit a new customer. The service call was the result of the customer’s cooling not keeping up with the hot weather. With a brief inspection, it didn’t take long for our technician to figure out what the problem was.
Many customers who are not familiar with HVAC systems (and even some of those that are) are not aware of coil maintenance. This particular customer’s coils had not been cleaned in a long time. Our tech took this picture to show the customer the resulting buildup of dust and dirt in the unit.
A number of issues can crop up from an HVAC system whose coil maintenance is neglected. A unit cannot pull the proper air flow through when sucking air through a built up blanket of dust and other allergens. This can also be a fire hazard depending on the conditions. With the mixture of heated air and build up, the worst case scenario for your home or business could be a resulting fire from this hazardous combination.
Here at Pleune Service, we want to make sure you keep those coils clean and save yourself a service call, or worse, a call for a fire truck. We recommend getting your coils checked at least 4 times a year- roughly once every season. This will ensure that your family or employees are breathing in the cleanest air possible, and are avoiding a major fire hazard in the process. To get your HVAC system’s coils checked, and for any of our other services, call 800.447.6907 and ask for a Pleune Service technician. We’ll help you figure out what your system needs most!
Your HVAC system is working well right now, but it probably needs a regular check up more often than you think.
In order for your HVAC system to work properly, we recommend (at minimum) an overall inspection of your equipment at least twice a year. Ideally, this would mean checking your system for heating in the Fall, and checking it for cooling in the Spring. It is important that your equipment is looked over by a professional at least two times a year so the equipment can be evaluated and small issues can be caught before they turn into large costly repairs.
During these inspections, one of our Pleune service technicians can also help you determine if the time is coming to budget a replacement before the unit fails. A replacement will always be much easier- and much less costly- than an emergency repair. We also recommend that you have the filters changed four times a year. Plugged filters can cause your HVAC equipment to operate inefficiently- costing more in energy in the long haul, and possibly resulting in service calls on those extreme weather days, when you need your system most.
Luckily, Pleune Service can provide all of these repairs and updates, plus much more. We hope you will choose Pleune Service Company as your choice for your HVAC maintenance needs. We are here 24/7 to help you out and have a variety of service plans to fit your company’s needs. For more information about these plans, or to schedule an inspection, call 800.447.6907 to speak with a Pleune tech today.
There’s an exciting Japanese HVAC technology, and it’s gaining more acceptance in the states.
Invented by a company called Daikin in 1982, VRF systems, or variable refrigerant flow systems, use refrigerant for both heating and cooling. This puts them in the same family as ductless mini-split air conditioners. However, they differ from those units in that the condensing unit (outdoor section) is capable of controlling and fixing the compressor speed.
These indoor fan cooling units can be a number of different styles and configurations, fitting anything from a mid-sized office building to larger, commercial buildings. They can also number as many as 16 from one condensing unit.
The benefit to users is that each individual indoor unit can either heat or cool. Using only one unit greatly increases occupant comfort throughout a particular space, and is more efficient than using two units. There is an added benefit of substantial energy savings compared to the common roof top unit. This type of system has been in use in Japan and Europe since the 80’s and has a proven track record of reliability and comfort. They are also particularly well suited to office environments that have a variety of heating and cooling needs.
Pleune Service has recently installed such a system in our own office and we would be happy to show you the benefits and capabilities. If you have an interest in a VRF system, or need more information, please give us a call at 800.447.6907.
All lighting systems experience deterioration of performance during operation, and so require ongoing maintenance. As the useful light distributed by a lighting system decreases, wattage stays the same, resulting in energy waste.
In many buildings, lighting system maintenance consists of reactive rather than proactive solutions. Fixtures are rarely cleaned, although dirt and dust build up absorbs useful light. Defective components such as failed ballasts and broken lamp holders are replaced after malfunctions. Lamps are replaced only after they’ve failed. A service request is then registered for a replacement, which is scheduled among the other priorities of the maintenance team. Considering the waste in labor and energy costs, it’s time to think about a planned lighting maintenance program.
Planned lighting maintenance is the practice of organizing labor and resources to ensure you’re getting the most out of your lighting system. This practice both tunes the lighting system and optimizes lighting performance.
In a planned maintenance program, three actions occur on a periodic basis:
- Group relamping: Regularly replacing all lamps at once
- Fixture cleaning
- Inspection and troubleshooting
Planned maintenance strategies can:
- Reduce nominal labor costs related to fixture relamping and cleaning by up to 70%
- Reduce cost by concentrating lamp purchases into fewer, higher-volume buys
- Produce higher light levels over the life of the lighting system
- Generate lighting upgrade opportunities, such as energy-saving lamps, to reduce energy costs
- Ensure proper inspection and upkeep of the lighting system
A technician at Pleune Service would be happy to meet with you to evaluate your lighting maintenance needs. We have seasoned in-house electricians with years of lighting maintenance experience. As your mechanical contractor, educating you about opportunities for reduced energy cost is our responsibility. We also have a Customer Service Advisor familiar with available energy rebates to help you save. To set up an evaluation with a Pleune Service electrician, call 800.447.6907 today.
When it comes to our rooftop units, “out of sight, out of mind” applies to most of us. That attitude can change quickly when our roof doesn’t keep us cool on a hot summer day.
Having routine preventative maintenance done is the best way to keep rooftop units in good working condition. It is also the best way to save money long-term. Regular maintenance calls are always going to be more affordable than calling a technician during an emergency. A technician can also help alert you to issues so you can budget out large repairs and replacements. Regular maintenance of rooftop units has been shown to give owners energy savings of up to 11%. Allowing yourself to plan ahead before the unit breaks down will save you time, money, and most importantly, stress.
Location and placement may also play a part in whether your unit is performing efficiently or not. If the rooftop unit is not in the right location, it may hinder the unit’s operation. Placing a unit on a black roof may also reduce the economizer’s efficiency. This can work against the cooling mode when the OSA is full open on a roof at 100 degrees or hotter.
Dirty or clogged filters could be at fault as well. These kind of blockages can reduce airflow, causing your unit to run less efficiently and increase its energy usage. Changing belts and cleaning coils regularly plays a key role in how your rooftop unit works. These are all relatively inexpensive maintenance tasks that will help make sure your unit is always running at peak performance levels. In the long run, it will save you emergency downtime, and keep you from feeling the heat on the hottest day of the year. To learn more about how much you can save with a rooftop unit inspection, call 800.447.6907 to speak to a Pleune Service technician.
When employees suffer health or comfort issues linked to time spent in a building, and no specific illness is at fault,“Sick Building Syndrome” could be the culprit. Many times the cause can be flaws in the HVAC system, which can be fixed with regular maintenance. Sometimes, though, the cause is mold, use of industrial chemicals, or lack of fresh air.
A few symptoms of this phenomenon include sinus or skin irritation, headaches, fatigue, and aches/pains. Symptoms usually disappear when occupants leave the specific room or building, and reappear when they return to that area. In some cases, individuals can have long-term health effects from the irritant. An onset of symptoms often occurs for several individuals in as little time as a few weeks. Symptoms can also reappear seasonally due to the use of heating or cooling equipment.
Inadequate ventilation, chemical use, vehicle exhaust, bacteria, mold, pollen and viruses can all cause SBS. Dirty filters and poor maintenance of HVAC systems can also cause Sick Building Syndrome.
To find out if a building is “sick”, a diagnosis by a trained occupational health or industrial expert should be performed. They will perform a walkthrough and likely survey the building occupants for common symptoms. An expert may make recommendations to improve building health based on many observations, including poor cleaning quality, poor ventilation, or water damage.
There are ways to help prevent your building from becoming sick. It starts with proper design and good maintenance of buildings. You can also clean roof shingles; use ozone to eliminate molds and bacteria; replace ceiling tiles and carpet; and make sure that chemical use is minimal in well ventilated areas. Increasing air exchanges and proper maintenance of HVAC systems is also helpful. Call the Pleune Service team at 800.447.6907 to find out more about what you can do for a sick building.
Energy conservation has gained popularity ever since the rise of “going green”. The lists of tips and tricks on how to be more environmentally friendly are endless these days. So what can you do to make your business more energy efficient, and even keep some extra cash in your pocket?
Most people don’t know that in a typical building the HVAC system accounts for around 40% of your utility bill. Proper maintenance to your HVAC equipment ensures your system keeps running efficiently. However, even the most efficient HVAC mechanical system wastes money when it runs in an unoccupied building. Anytime your HVAC equipment delivers more cooling, heating, water flow, or air flow to an area than necessary, it wastes energy.
Consider taking a look at your HVAC control system. Do you know when your HVAC equipment is running? Does it run around the clock? What are the settings when your building is vacant? Taking some time to re-program your thermostat or finding a way to reduce the runtime of your HVAC system can save you a lot of money. It also significantly reduces your energy use, making your business that much more “green”.
Pleune Service specializes in HVAC control systems, and installs the most cutting-edge energy saving products. From a full blown Web based Tridium AX system, to programmable thermostats with intelligent recovery, we design systems that control comfort and maximize efficiency. We can custom tailor a system that fits your budget and your requirements. Our sales engineers will evaluate your building’s control system to give you ideas and a sample budget for minimizing your energy consumption. Contact a technician today at 800.447.6907 to see what system would be right for you and your business.
There’s an environmentally friendly air conditioner out there, and it gets hot before it cools you down.
When do you need your air conditioner most? Many would say when it’s hot and the sun is shining. So why not a solar-powered AC? This relatively new creation has popped up in places such as Australia and the U.A.E., but the first prototype arose out of China. Now, people in the U.S. can get them, and environmentalists and frugal individuals alike are on board.
These types of units have a lot of perks. The first is the lower cost. Electricity prices continue to stay relatively high, so a solar-powered unit as opposed to an electrically run unit saves on cash. Solar-powered air conditioners also use less energy to keep you cool, leaving less of a carbon footprint behind.
The big question, though, is whether or not these units are reliable. Solar powered units, which use “thermal chillers” to run and have fewer moving parts, are expected to last much longer than the average unit. Not only that, but even on the cloudiest of days, these units can be backed up using natural gas. There’s no need for any other external backup system to make sure your air keeps up on those hot summer days.
To see what types of HVAC units would work best for you, call the Pleune Service team at 800.447.6907. Our service techs are available 24/7 to answer any of your heating and cooling questions.