Property Management – Clearing the Air

August 12th, 2020 by

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2020 has been a difficult year for many Australians, but it has also been a challenging year for managing and maintaining clean air, particularly in large buildings. There has never been a more important time for commercial and large domestic properties to effectively manage air conditioning.

While the World Health Organization’s understanding is that COVID19 is not transmissible through air conditioning but rather, it’s mainly spread through respiratory droplets, the community is hyper-aware of the environment, cleanliness and the need for fresh air in our homes and workplaces.

A key consideration moving forward from this point is the change in the habits or building occupants. The prevalence of working from home has increased very significantly and while there will be an adjustment, it is very likely that a greater number of people will continue to work from home into the future.

Managing the perceptions of tenants as they relate to cleanliness and fresh air is very important at this time. While we understand that the filters used in apartment building air conditioning are not likely to be fine enough to make an impact on the transmission of a virus, many of our customers have commenced replacing filters and cleaning ducts more often, to both improve overall health conditions, and to maintain the confidence of their tenants.

As we transition from the colder months to summer, another consideration may be the introduction of more fresh air into the existing system in your building. With more people working from home, the expectations of tenants are likely to change. Increased efficiently and effectiveness will likely become a consideration for tenants and residents alike.

The Equilibrium team are highly experienced in the engineering, installation, management and servicing of air conditioning specific to the application of large resident and commercial buildings.

Our experienced technicians are on call, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to provide a reliable service that ensures your building has safe and efficient air flow.

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Air-conditioning in Winter – what you need to know to keep your workplace safe

July 23rd, 2020 by

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After hot weather earlier in the year, air conditioners have surely done their fair share of hard work. But is it time for them to really have a well needed rest? Well that answer depends on the level of comfort needed by your staff, customers or patients and the list goes on. So the answer is probably a big no, but what do you need to do for your hard working machines?

Getting your air conditioner serviced is the best way to prevent any lag of air comfort and above all this will help keep the air temperature optimal for a healthy working environment.

As commercial systems are tailored for more complex use, maintenance is higher compared to residential air conditioning units. Commercial air conditioning units need more highly-skilled technicians to ensure accurate installation, maintenance and repairs.

Some of the benefits of a proper air conditioning service are:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Reliable temperature
  • Promotes comfort
  • Saves costly repairs

At Equilibrium, our technicians are in constant communication with our expert mechanical engineers and management team to ensure maintenance solutions are comprehensive and sensitive to the client’s budget and operational specifications.

Highly qualified, our service technicians are trained in, and fully conversant with, all mechanical, refrigeration and ventilation systems. We are authorised by ARCtick.

Our experienced technicians are on call, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to provide a reliable service that ensures your workplace is safe and comfortable.

CALL OUR SERVICE DEPARTMENT 24 HRS / 7 DAYS

Phone: (02) 9439 4822 OR After hours Phone: 0422 446 088 (5pm – 6am)

Email: [email protected]

 

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COVID 19 Equilibrium Response

April 9th, 2020 by

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As the COVID 19 Crisis emerged, the whole of Australia and the world was coming to terms with the situation. As the world has had to adapt to new ways of doing business, Equilibrium Air Conditioning has been taking the situation very seriously and is putting new policies and procedures in place to keep everyone safe. Some of the things we are doing as an organisation:

  • Social distancing on site
  • Masks and gloves on site
  • Working from home – those employees that are able to work from home (using video conferencing for meetings and other means of technology)
  • We are using “whatsapp” on sites for getting information to workers on various projects i.e. pre-starts and toolboxes to prevent gatherings of staff and subcontractors.
  • Regular updates and reminders via email
  • Minimise the number of employees working in the two offices – they are spread out
  • For those working in the office we have set up three hand sanitiser stations
  • Increased the number of days the offices are cleaned

If you are needing some information about COVID 19 & support, please logon to the Australian department of Health website –  https://headtohealth.gov.au/covid-19-support/covid-19

From everyone at Equilibrium Air Conditioning we hope that you all stay safe and help our great National overcome this crisis as soon as possible.

 

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Why is air-conditioning so important during bushfire season?

February 11th, 2020 by

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It’s the bushfire season that will be talked about for years to come and not just because of the tragic loss of life, both human and animal. Air quality conditions, like the fires themselves, have been unprecedented and many commercial HVAC systems don’t have the filters to cope.

Smoke from bushfires is made up of very small particles and gases. These particles can irritate the eyes, nose and throat and penetrate deep into the lungs where they aggravate existing respiratory conditions such as asthma. As a result, we’ve been told by health authorities to “stay indoors” but just how safe is indoors under these unprecedented conditions?

While household air conditioners do not filter the fine particles found in bushfire smoke, commercial HVAC systems are better suited, especially buildings that rely on recirculated and filtered air conditioning systems. This is why agencies have been encouraging people to spend time at shopping centres, cinemas and other large commercial buildings.

However, even large HVAC systems usually do not have filters designed for the types of conditions we’ve been experiencing, with day after day of poor and hazardous air quality. Unfortunately, if bushfire smoke is thick and prolonged, these commercial systems can get overwhelmed.

If your business is in an area that has been affected by bushfire smoke in recent months, it’s highly recommended you have your filters changed out or inspected to ensure they’re performing efficiently. As smoke particles build up in filters, HVAC fans have to use more energy to push the air through and that will be costing you money.

There’s also a risk the filtration system could completely fail if smoke particles are allowed to continue to build up. And with the bushfire season far from being over, not to mention the dust from the ongoing drought, now’s the time to speak to Equilibrium to talk about optimising your filtration performance.t

For more about bushfire smoke and air quality, visit health.nsw.gov.au

To book your HVAC filter inspection, please feel free to call our expert team at Equilibrium Air Conditioning on (02) 9439 4822.

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Indoor air quality and air conditioning

November 13th, 2019 by

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You can’t see the quality of the air you’re breathing in, but it has the potential to significantly impact your health. Indoor air quality (IAQ) affects our health and comfort at home and at work.

What is indoor air quality (IAQ)?

 “The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) defines indoor air as air within a building occupied for at least one hour by people of varying states of health. This can include the office, classroom, transport facility, shopping centre, hospital and home. Indoor air quality can be defined as the totality of attributes of indoor air that affect a person’s health and well-being.”

 Indoor air quality is measured by; cleanliness of the air (presence or absence of dust, pollen etc.), humidity, temperature control and odour.

In the commercial space, it’s imperative that businesses have effective, energy efficient air-conditioning solutions that are clean and maintained. Most commercial premises have constant human traffic, so IAQ is just as important in the workplace as it is in a residential sense. Poor indoor air quality can negatively impact your health, your comfort levels and your power bills.

Air-conditioning does a lot more than pump out hot or cold air on demand. It also plays a major part in maintaining good IAQ.

What can be done to ensure your air-conditioning system is working efficiently and continually circulating clean air?

 Air-conditioner filters typically require changing at the beginning of both heating and cooling seasons. Quarterly is even better. This is a rather lengthy project when talking about commercial premises, which is why having your system professionally serviced at these intervals is best practice. A clean and full-service including the changing of older, clogged filters will allow the air-conditioner to continue to filter out dust pollen, spores and other airborne nuisances that are detrimental to human health.

Why is air-conditioning cleaning and maintenance so important for IAQ?

Changing the filter is important because dirty filters restrict airflow, forcing your system to work harder. This ultimately brings down the energy efficiency of the system, and increases your power bill. Not only that, but air circulation needs to remain constant for air quality to be maintained. Dirty filters are also known to overheat, causing permanent damage.

Another aspect of indoor air quality that air-conditioning helps to sustain is humidity. Air-conditioners are designed to reduce indoor humidity, which is a known contributor to the growth of mould. Mould is a major threat to IAQ as it can cause substantial health problems.

Health problems that are commonly associated with poor indoor air quality, according to The Australian Government Department of Environment and Energy, include:

  • Sensory and skin irritation(skin, eyes and throat)
  • Neurotoxic symptoms (such as; weakness, paralysis, flu-like symptoms, headache, vision loss, memory problems, impaired cognitive function, depression, loss of circulation, imbalance, behavioural problems and OCD)
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Odour and taste symptoms

Provided your commercial air-conditioning system is well maintained, clean, and continues to filter the air properly, it should last a long time. Regular cleaning and maintenance will prolong the life of the unit, increase energy efficiency, and sustain good indoor air quality. This will benefit your staff, clients and your bottom line.

For all enquiries on engineered air-conditioning solutions, commercial system maintenance and servicing, or the importance of maintaining indoor air quality, please contact our knowledgeable team at Equilibrium Air Conditioning on (02) 9439 4822 or email- [email protected]

 

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

October 19th, 2019 by

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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

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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

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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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What is the standard life expectancy of an HVAC system?

September 26th, 2019 by

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Commercial HVAC systems work hard to maintain temperature control in business and industrial premises, sometimes functioning constantly. HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air-conditioning. In NSW, we experience weather of both extremes. The heat can be scorching, and the winter can be quite chilling too.

A reliable commercial HVAC system is a must, no matter what industry you’re operating in. HVAC engineering and solutions may be a necessity, though they are a significant investment for your business. Because of this, it’s understanding that life expectancy is a major concern. Typically, a good quality, well-maintained commercial HVAC system will last at least15-20 years. Factors that will determine actual longevity include:

  • Sizing of the unit in relation to the ductwork
  • Sizing of the air conditioning system in relation to building square meterage
  • Frequency of servicing, maintenance and changing of the filters
  • Outdoor climate, weather conditions and intensity, and the occurrence of any major weather events
  • Quality of engineering and installation
  • Intensity of thermostat settings

When your commercial HVAC system approaches the end of its life, you may start noticing some warning signs. Once they start appearing, it’s important to call in professional help sooner rather than later. A qualified service technician can help you determine whether the malfunctions are repairable, or whether you will need to consider replacement. Signs to look out for include:

  • Production hot or cold air inconsistent with your designated temperature settings
  • Diminished airflow
  • Strange odours or noises
  • Leaking or excessive moisture
  • Short cycling or switching off too soon
  • Drastic increase in energy bills and consumption
  • Frequently requiring repairs

Whilst no system can be manufactured to last forever, most HVAC units are made to endure climate, regular usage and the passage of a decent amount of time. You can get the most out of your system through proper care and maintenance. Ensure your system is serviced regularly, and call for help at the first sign of trouble.

If you’d like to know more about HVAC systems, including further information on their life expectancy, please feel free to call our expert team at Equilibrium Air Conditioning on (02) 9439 4822.

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Why your air conditioner needs regular maintenance and servicing

December 7th, 2018 by

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Just as your company vehicles require regular maintenance and servicing, your HVAC system needs the same care and attention. Given that your commercial air conditioning system is keeping your staff and customers comfortable for extensive periods of time each day, it makes sense to be vigilant and attentive when it comes to this investment.

The three main reasons for air conditioning servicing and maintenance are:

  • Extending the lifespan of the system

Air conditioning is a significant financial outlay for any commercial enterprise. Any time you invest heavily, you want a decent return. In order to get the most out of your HVAC system, and have it last as long as possible, you’ll want to have it regularly serviced. Servicing and maintenance will keep the unit running at peak efficiency, and prevent small problems from becoming larger ones. It’s estimated that regular servicing can extend the lifespan of an air conditioning system by up to five years.

  • Reducing running costs by maintaining peak energy efficiency

By ensuring that all parts are clean and functioning correctly, a unit can run without difficulty, which means it will consume less energy. Less energy consumption translates to lower electricity bills and reduced running costs. In a commercial setting, the air conditioning is typically used for lengthy periods of time, and the energy savings from having a healthy, well-maintained unit will be significant.

  • Preventing costly repairs by catching problems early

Just as catching problems with your system early will help it to last longer, it will also save you some money. Some issues are minor and inexpensively fixed when caught early. If they are allowed to continue, the problem becomes worse, and the solution is always more work and more money. Prevent huge repair bills by having your system serviced and maintained on a regular basis.

If you are a Facilities Manager or Building Owner, you’ll want to know your HVAC system is in good hands. At Equilibrium Air conditioning, we pride ourselves on making this experience fairly ‘autopilot’ and easy for our clients. Our technicians are in constant communication with our management team and our expert mechanical engineers to ensure you receive maintenance solutions of the highest quality. Our services can be tailored to suit your commercial needs and budget.

We have highly trained and qualified technicians, fully acquainted with all mechanical, refrigeration and ventilation systems, and we are authorised by ARCtick. We are on call 24/7 to provide reliable breakdown services and can assist in any emergency situation, getting your unit back up and running in as little time as possible.

If you’re wanting to invest in a quality commercial air conditioning system, or you’re interested in our maintenance and servicing packages, feel free to contact Equilibrium Air conditioning today on (02) 9439 4822. We encourage you to protect your investment in air conditioning equipment through proper care. In doing this, you’ll have a reliable, energy efficient system for years to come.

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