Category Archives: HVAC Maintenance

Indoor Air Quality – Comfort & Health

08
Oct

In our recent blogs we talked about Pre-Winter Maintenance, HVAC & Back to school and some common maintenance issues. This time lets get into deciphering the Comfort and Health aspect of indoor air by focussing on the indoor air quality. We live in a world now, where ensuring healthy environment for our employees, family and friends alike is the top most priority.  

The Physiology of Comfort

It isn’t rocket science to understand that the heat generated and dissipated by the human body will vary based on factors like age, gender, activity level, clothing and size. But at the same time, it is a complex problem to solve or estimate the individual comfort needs. The fundamental factors that would determine a person’s comfort level are the temperature, humidity levels and the velocity of surrounding air. And while considering the processes within the human body, an individual’s metabolism rate, blood circulation and even hydration levels would be the determining factors to assess the right temperature & humidity settings.

Indoor Air Quality

ASHRAE standard “Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality” outlines the minimum ventilation rates and other measures required to ensure that there are no known contaminants at harmful concentrations in the space so that not only the occupants are comfortable but the environment is free from hazardous and discomforting odours from contaminants.  

Common Contaminants

Carbon dioxide (CO2) and Carbon monoxide (CO) are the two most common contaminants found in occupied spaces. CO2 levels increase when spaces are overcrowded as humans and animals exhale CO2 and carbon monoxide levels tend to generally arise when there is incomplete combustion of hydrocarbon from fuel and also smoking by occupants.

Adding an industrial set up to the above scenario will considerably alter the air quality by adding more harmful gases to the air and may lead to headaches and nausea as common symptoms.

VOCs, Mold and Particulate Matter are the next set of contaminants which can increase in concentration by a number of factors like use of building materials and finishes, cleaning agents, fungi growth, soot, smoke and decay of organic material like vegetables.

In totality, proper indoor air quality not only helps productivity in a work place by avoiding the sick building syndrome, a condition where the occupants feel physical problems because of the environment they are in, but also organizations also stay away from untoward situations like lawsuits, strikes and non retention of workers.

Adequate ventilation in the space helps the air quality by increasing the air changes and replacing the stale air by outside fresh air in the contained space.

Controlling Contaminants

For maintaining good Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) ideally the following strategy might be very effective. Source elimination or modification to meet the desired goal, use of more outdoor fresh air to increase ventilation rates, space air distribution and schedules maintenance of the HVAC equipment.  

HVAC Preventive Maintenance Programs

Preventive maintenance programs can enormously reduce or keep the checks on ensuring the HVAC equipment are running at optimum capacity. The number of checks needed in a building and the equipment installed can be so many that it may be a cumbersome job for property managers and building owners to allocate enough time to. In these scenarios it is very efficient to get a dedication, professional and skilled HVAC contractor to maintain and repair your HVAC equipment.

At Air Track Inc, we offer Energy Saving Preventive Maintenance Programs to suit your needs. Maintenance programs help in controlling the operating costs over the life of an equipment. Call us at 905 330 4056 for all your industrial and commercial HVAC needs.  

We specialize in installation and maintenance of HVAC equipment including but not limited to: Gas Heating, Electric Heating, Heat Recovery Wheels & ERV, Boilers, Air Conditioning, Chillers, Heat Pumps, Dehumidification, Humidification, filtration systems & Full line of controls and electrical.

Common HVAC maintenance Issues

05
Oct

Timely preventive maintenance of HVAC equipment avoids major, expensive and catastrophic damages to it and keeps the property owner proactive rather than being reactive towards this important cause.

Listed below are the most common HVAC repair issues that occur and may show up during maintenance. At Air Track HVAC Solutions, we specialize in installation and maintenance of HVAC equipment including but not limited to: Gas Heating, Electric Heating, Heat Recovery Wheels & ERV, Boilers, Air Conditioning, Chillers, Heat Pumps, Dehumidification, Humidification, filtration systems & Full line of controls and electrical.

In addition to this HVAC systems are responsible for more than 40 percent of total energy use, so keeping it running properly and problem free is the first step in achieving peak efficiency. 

Dirty Cooling Coils (Evaporator & Condenser Coils)

Missing, defective or insufficient air filters are the main cause of dirty cooling coils. This results in restricted cooling, plugged motor passages, dirty blower wheels, loss of airflow and refrigerant flooding in most cases. Compressor and bearing failure, motor failure, increased energy consumption and insufficient air flow are the possible outcomes of leaving this untreated.

Defective Drive Belts

Improper tightening of belts and not replacing worn out belts results in loss of airflow, sheave wear and refrigerant flooding. Major Pulley replacement, motor failures, noise and compressor damage may occur because of the defective drive belts.

Refrigerant Leaks

Improper charging of the system, improper leak detection, no action on detected leaks, leaking seals and gaskets and loose expansion joints are some of the causes of refrigerant leaking outside the system into the conditioned space or the environment. This results in short cycling of the compressor, system freeze up, lack of cooling effect and loss of lubrication in the system. Refrigerant leak into the environment may lead to potential EPA violations, compressor failure and substantial additional costs and energy consumption.

Ignition Problems

Ignition issues could arise from various factors like dirty burners, flame sensors or pilots.

Clogged Drains

Improper inspection of drain pans, dirty cooling coils and lack of cleaning of drain pans may lead to clogged drains. The water builds up in the unit may lead to localized flooding in occupied areas and also creates a potential for mold. The damage to other equipment in the occupied space, ruining of ceiling tiles and lack of indoor air quality are the possible outcomes of this very common problem.

All these common problems can be avoided or are minimized whenever you have a maintenance plan in place. At Air Track Inc, we offer Energy Saving Preventive Maintenance Programs to suit your needs. Maintenance programs help in controlling the operating costs over the life of an equipment. Call us at 905 330 4056 for all your industrial and commercial HVAC needs.  

Winter Is Coming! Think About HVAC Maintenance for Winter

27
Sep

We can already feel the mercury dropping, especially at nighttime, as we are back in schools and companies are planning to call people back in offices from the long work from home culture. No matter how long the transition takes, it is always better to be prepared and give your employees, students, customers & other civilians the best comfort conditions and your HVAC system plays an important role in this.

Since Canada is known for its crazy weather, there might be a weekend coming very soon where we realize we need heat from the hibernating Air handling units, boilers, heat pumps, roof top units or furnaces and the system is just not ready. This is without a doubt the best time to schedule the winter – prep HVAC maintenance.

It is always better to be proactive than reactive when it comes to the harsh winter weather. Also, considering the global supply chain crisis, every industry is scrambling to get the required parts and raw materials for their projects, the lead times can vary a lot when the need is urgent. Commercial and industrial HVAC industry is no different to this squeeze in supply of HVAC equipment.

Importance of Winter Maintenance for your HVAC system

The annual tune ups and calibration of your HVAC system is the most important thing in your “to-do” list in order to avoid any untoward situations later on.

The benefits are as follows:

  • Life of the HVAC equipment or Heater. All manufacturers consider the scheduled recommended preventive maintenance services into account when forecasting the life of the Heater, VRF, chillers, boilers or any other equipment which provides comfortable conditions for a facility. The heater is unlikely to make it that far without maintenance. You get the longest possible effective life for your heater with regular care.
  • Avoid warranty being void. Sometimes it might just be the unfortunate factory or manufacturing defect and a major costly part of the equipment can fail. When you apply for warranty claims you need to provide the manufacturer reports of timely maintenance of the equipment in order to get the parts replaced.
  • Maximum energy-efficiency. The regular tune ups of the HVAC system ensure the units are running at maximum efficiencies and thus reaching designed temperatures in minimum amount of time. This will bring down the operating costs to minimum and ensure longer life of the equipment as well.  
  • Fewer repair calls. Being proactive with the scheduled maintenance most of the time results in fewer breakdowns and thus fewer repair calls.
  • Safer operation. Now that you have made the right choice of getting the equipment tested for pre winter maintenance, this ensures the chances for any major catastrophic event goes down and it is safer to operate.

Preventive Maintenance Checklists for Small Refrigeration Units

13
Dec

 

Across food and Medical industry Small refrigeration units are very popular and important. If unit is breakdown in an unexpected time, then you have to face profit loss along with the repair cost. Mostly the reason for failure is lack of proper maintenance.

To achieve the reliable and uninterrupted operation follow the following tips

  1. Before starting the refrigeration unit make sure that the crankcase heater be energized at least eight hours minimize refrigerant migration foaming of the oils and the resulting immediate compressor failure.
  2. Manually check out and calibrate the basic parts such as safety controls and expansion values
  3. All electrical and mechanical equipment’s should be checked visually for any damages and wear outs.
  4. Measure the oil levels in the unit and check out the quality. If oil is low in level or damaged in quality replace with new oil.
  5. Check the motor magnetic starter and ensure the safe starting the unit
  6. Visually inspect all electrical terminals and ensure it was on proper tight.
  7. Examine the over load protection on the unit
  8. Check and clean the condenser from dirt and dusts.
  9. Check the system for the presence of moisture, if so install the filter dryers
  10. Take preventive actions to avoid moisture

Heating Systems Preventive Maintenance Checklists

08
Dec

It does not matter what type of heating is installed – it is important, what is being done to keep the system in optimal working condition. Timely preventive maintenance of heating systems – is the best way to ensure trouble-free operation and maximum performance. A maintenance before cooling and heating season also very important, it will avoid future failure of the system and keep the optimum temperature at the time when it is most needed.

 Gas Furnace Preventive maintenance Checklist

  1. Visually check for black Soot for chiefly composed of carbon, produced by incomplete combustion, if so contact Air Track Inc.
  2. Remove the combustion chamber and inspect the color of flames, the flames should be fairly even and blue. Yellow flames indicate dirty burners.
  3. turn the thermostat off and flip the power switch off on the heater
  4. Remove and clean the burners. Dirty burners can cause poor combustion
  5. Inspect the blowers and clean
  6. Change the heater filter every one to three months
  7. Check the heat exchanges for crack and damages
  8. Inspect the fuel pipe for corrosion and damages
  9. Check controls of the system to ensure proper and safe operation.
  10. Check starting cycle of the equipment to assure the system starts, operates and turns right.

Oil Heater Preventive Maintenance Checklist

  1. Look for signs of black soot around your heater. Soot outside the furnace itself could mean that the unit is burning more than oil
  2. Look at the smoke color, if the smoke is black the oil is not burn completely
  3. Carefully check for any vibrations and unwanted noise, if notice contact Air Track Inc.
  4. Check the fan belt
  5. Lubricate the blower motor fittings
  6. clean the burner nozzle prevents clogs and ensures that oil can easy move
  7. Check controls of the system to ensure proper and safe operation.
  8. Check starting cycle of the equipment to assure the system starts, operates and turns right.