Many modern HVAC systems are complex and require the skills of a trained professional. If your on-site maintenance staff is not fully familiar with HVAC systems, hire a professional before you are faced with a system failure or water management crisis.
We have included some steps you can take to to increase the life of your equipment and decrease the need for a trained professional; please read more to learn how:
Relative humidity should be monitored in all areas of the building, as an indicator of moisture problems. Moisture problems can occur in commercial buildings when there is uncontrolled airflow between conditioned and un-conditioned spaces within the building or between outside air and conditioned space. Uncontrolled airflow can occur wherever there is a leak or break in the air barrier of the building (around pipes, at wall and roof connection points, etc.). When there is a leak or break in the air barrier, any unbalance in the airflow associated with the HVAC system can result in significant airflow into or out of the conditioned space. When the unbalance creates a lower (negative) pressure in the building than that outside the building, then external un-conditioned air, which can be moisture laden in summer or high humidity conditions, is drawn into the wall or roof cavities where the moisture condenses on surfaces that have been cooled by air conditioning.
- Check the HVAC system balance regularly to ensure appropriate pressures and airflow.
- Check HVAC response to thermostats, humidistats, and other control systems regularly.
- Here are some common causes of negative pressure and common solutions:
- Insufficient return air supply
- Common solution: adjusting dampers, installing vents in walls or doors.
- Improper balance of ventilation and exhaust systems (combustion appliance venting, laboratory fume hoods, kitchen exhaust, etc.)
- Common solution: add appropriate air makeup and conditioning measures.
- Supply duct leaks
- Common solution: taping or sealing joints in ducts.