Red alert – signs the AC system is in need of maintenance

October 19th, 2019 by

red alert

Spring is here, and summer is just around the corner. In a country like Australia, that means commercial air-conditioners everywhere are gearing up for some hefty work over the hot season. Cooling large business premises is no easy feat, even though that is what they’re designed to do. In order to ensure best performance, it’s important to have your system regularly maintained and serviced. Of course, there are still emergencies or unexpected issues from time-to-time.

When it comes to HVAC systems, the sooner you address any problems or issues, the better the outcome will be. As problems are left to become progressively worse, the time and money required to fix them increases.

Here are some of the signs you’ll see if your air-conditioning is crying out for some help:

You’ve set the thermostat to cool air, but it’s blowing hot

 When cool air is no longer cool, that is a problem. This can be a sign that the indicator system’s compressor has crashed or requires service, or it could mean there is a faulty capacitor, or a blown fuse.  Refrigerant leaks are also an option. If your system starts blowing hot air when you have it set to cool, call for expert help sooner rather than later!

Leaking or excess moisture

If liquid is escaping from the unit, or around the unit, the two main causes are typically; a blocked or broken drain tube or a refrigerant leak. The first option is less serious, though both will require professional repair. This is another sign you should never ignore, call for help right away.

Consistent, unusual noises

 Whether it’s squeaking, grinding or grating, if your HVAC system starts making noises that are unfamiliar, address the problem straight away. This is a loud warning sign and usually means the problem is significant. A belt may have slipped out of place, motor bearings could be broken or some of the HVAC components may urgently require lubrication. Don’t delay on this one, it could be serious, get the professionals in ASAP.

The airflow is minimal

If the air-conditioning is on, but not much air is circulating through, this could be a sign of obstruction, or a problem with the filter. It could also be caused by an issue with the ductwork. Call maintenance when you notice any decrease in the air flow and have the cause diagnosed and corrected swiftly.

It doesn’t smell right

 Bad odours coming from your HVAC system is never a good sign. This commonly happens when systems aren’t regularly maintained and serviced. Bacteria can grow in the coils and in other elements of the system. Even a musty smell could be a sign of mould in the ductwork or the unit itself. Don’t let this sign fester either, call for help promptly.

Commercial HVAC systems are engineered with heavy use and longevity in mind. With regular maintenance and servicing, they should operate at peak efficiency for many years. However, if you do come across any issues, such as the warning signs discussed above, the best thing to do is call for help quickly. This will limit the damage, and get your system running smoothly again faster. It will also save you time and money.

At Equilibrium Air Conditioning, we provide complete air conditioning solutions to suit any type of development, whether it’s commercial office space, healthcare, education, retail or industrial construct. We also offer maintenance and repair services. If you have any questions regarding commercial air-conditioning, including the signs that your existing system may be in trouble, give our friendly team a call on (02) 9439 4822.

 

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Equilibrium excited to be part of topping ceremony for SHOR project

October 10th, 2019 by

SHOR topping

Back in September this year we attended the topping ceremony for the Multiplex SHOR construction project for NSW Health. We were very excited to be part of the celebrations, and thrilled to have hit a huge milestone on the project. It is great to see that it’s moving on target.

It’s a privilege to be part of this big project, involving the construction of a 12 storey commercial building at the Royal North Shore Hospital in St. Leonards. The ongoing redevelopment efforts are part of the biggest in NSW Health history.

Some quick facts about the Royal North Shore Hospital:

  • It was established in 1885
  • RNSH is a major teaching hospital
  • Approximately 3,000 babies are born annually at RNSH
  • It is one-of-seven major trauma centres in NSW
  • RNSH meets the health needs of four local government areas, Mosman, Willoughby, Lane Cove and North Sydney.
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The importance of sustainability in project design

October 3rd, 2019 by

sustainable design

As time passes, the concern for our environment increases, because we want our planet to remain beautiful and capable of sustaining human life for many generations to come. We want our communities to be happy and healthy, our air to be clean and our natural resources to remain abundant. As communities grow, and the demand for modern conveniences increases, it will become even more important to design buildings and engineering projects, such as HVAC systems, with sustainability as a paramount concern.

HVAC systems can consume a lot of energy, and this consumption is actually highly dependent on the design of the building that the unit is situated in, as well as the choice of unit, and the level of maintenance completed. Quality is hugely important.

Green building concepts aim to design buildings that have minimal impact on the environment and depletion of natural resources. These methods not only have great environmental benefits, but are cost effective over the long term as well. The more energy-efficient a home or office is, the lower the running costs. So, what exactly is green building?

“In simple terms, green buildings are energy and resource efficient, non-wasteful and non-polluting, highly flexible and adaptable for long-term functionality; they are easy to operate and maintain, and are supportive of the productivity and well-being of the occupants.” – The design of a green building Hui, S. C. M., 2001. HVAC Design and Operation for Green Buildings, In Proc. of the Shaanxi-Hong Kong Refrigeration and HVAC Seminar 2001, 11-13 June 2001, Xian, China, pp. A44-51.

Experience has taught us that green building is an ever-evolving concept, and something that is unique to particular requirements and circumstances. It is a “whole systems” approach, factoring in the life cycle of the entire project, as well as the external environment.

If a building’s standard components are optimised (site, windows, walls, floors, and HVAC systems), building owners can “substantially reduce energy use without increasing construction costs. The most effective green design is a fully integrated design whereby architectural, HVAC and electrical systems all interact to minimize size, waste, energy use, and other negative impacts on the environment.” [Hartman, 2000].

HVAC systems significantly contribute to a building’s efficiency as they have the potential to cause severely unfavourable environmental hazards such as; discharging contaminated water and air containing dangerous chemicals, oils, refrigerants, other fluids and microbiological organisms. HVAC engineers are consequently responsible for avoiding these potential hazards where possible, and charged with devising action plans to benefit building owners, stakeholders and the environment. Engineers need to push architects to better design envelopes, and educate building owners and developers on the importance of green, sustainable design. It’s not surprising to note that the green design process actually involves a high level of collaboration from all involved parties. Optimal HVAC design requires focus on the thermal characteristics, using high-performance glazing, insulation, and sun control to substantially reduce heating and cooling burdens.

In addition to benefiting the planet, and reducing the running costs for the building owner, “green design” is also known to increase business productivity. When indoor environmental quality improves, research suggests the occupants of a room will experience higher levels of alertness, improved performance, a reduction in illness and subsequently, the risks of absenteeism are lowered.

Green building design is important for so many reasons, and HVAC systems, as large contributors, must always lead the way with efficient design. Environmental responsibility is everyone’s business and responsibility. At Equilibrium Air Conditioning, we believe in looking to the future, and that means sustainability is always a key factor in design and construction of every single project we undertake. For all your commercial air conditioning needs, please feel free to call our friendly, experienced team on (02) 9439 4822.

** References: The design of a green building Hui, S. C. M., 2001. HVAC Design and Operation for Green Buildings, In Proc. of the Shaanxi-Hong Kong Refrigeration and HVAC Seminar 2001, 11-13 June 2001, Xian, China, pp. A44-51.

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