March 10, 2020

Space Heaters and Fans: The Root Problem That Makes Them So Common

Every facility professional is all too familiar with the age-old thermostat debate: someone is always too hot or too cold, and if they can’t change the thermostat, they resort to creating their own climate with a space heater or fan.

While the problems with these personal devices are well-known—safety and fire hazards, health considerations, and added electricity cost—the bigger issue is, they don’t solve the root problem.

What IS the root problem? Why are temperatures at your facility so irregular in the first place?

Look no further than your HVAC system, where 3 primary issues can have a huge impact on temperature fluctuations at your facilities:

  1. Poor or no maintenance: when was the last time your HVAC system received maintenance? Has a professional examined your system to identify simple repairs that could make a bug difference in performance? Is it time to replace an old system?
  2. The wrong size equipment for your facility size: this can work both ways, with oversized equipment causing drafts and large temperate swings, and undersized equipment incapable of keeping up and therefore unable to control the temperature.
  3. Your system no longer matches your building size or structure: HVAC systems are designed to support a specific building size and configuration. When renovations or building add-ons are completed on your facility, HVAC systems are often overlooked. The existing HVAC system isn’t designed for the new building size or configuration, and you end up with an uncomfortable working environment for everyone. This issue is the most common reason our experts find for wild temperature swings in a facility. What about your facility – do you have an HVAC system that was designed for a different facility size than you now have?

In addition to these 3 common causes of temperature fluctuations, there are other underlying issues that could be impacting your HVAC performance:

  • Controls: Is a system balance required? Failed or improperly calibrated controls won’t maintain the space comfort.
  • Underperforming systems: Dirty coils or air filters? Lack of airflow is the most common root cause we see, and dirt is often the reason.
  • Lack of cold air returns: If the air doesn’t circulate, it won’t get conditioned. The system needs to be able to flow.
  • Ductwork layout: Poor ductwork layout and sizing causes excessive system, wear along with uncomfortable controlled spaces.

All of these issues can be addressed with regular maintenance, and with advice from an HVAC expert who knows what to look for and how to address common—or uncommon—problems.

Rudolph Libbe Group’s HVAC team has some of the most experienced technicians in the region. By entrusting your equipment maintenance to them, you’ll have peace of mind, and equipment that operates effectively and efficiently.

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