While dealing with an emergency HVAC repair at your commercial facility is never ideal, it also doesn’t need to be a huge disaster. Like most other situations you deal with as a commercial building owner or facility manager, identifying an issue early on and being prepared to deal with it can make even a serious emergency repair more manageable.
Breaking it down, there are six steps to every emergency HVAC repair scenario. While each situation is different, being prepared to handle all these steps can make even serious repair situations easier.
Step One: Discomfort
In most cases, an HVAC emergency begins with someone in the building becoming uncomfortable and realizing something is wrong.
Perhaps they’re noticing temperature extremes, or it’s taking longer than it should for the system to raise or lower the temperature effectively. Perhaps it’s a foul odor with no obvious cause, or very humid, dry, or stale air. Discomfort can also be caused by irritating noises coming from the HVAC system.
Hopefully, you or your maintenance crew will notice these issues before they progress too far. But, realistically, you may not realize anything is wrong until you get to Step Two.
Step Two: Tenant complaints
Unless your building is rarely occupied, your tenants will likely complain. While it’s not an optimal situation, it’s best to not just take a positive view of this development, but to actively encourage your tenants to come to you with complaints.
A smart building owner or facility manager will make sure tenants always have the means to quickly communicate with building staff if they notice something that seems off. The earlier you learn about an HVAC issue, the better, because you’ll just end up spending more time and money on undiagnosed issues and unaddressed repairs in the long run.
Step Three: Investigation
As soon as you hear about a potential problem, it’s time to thoroughly investigate the issue and identify what sort of repair or replacement may be necessary.
Many building owners choose to bring in a commercial HVAC services provider to handle the investigation, which is a smart choice. Unless someone on the staff has both the expertise and necessary tools to efficiently diagnose the problem, valuable time could be wasted trying to handle this in-house. However, if your in-house staff can confidently perform a thorough investigation, it can accelerate the process.
Step Four: DIY or not?
With the problem identified, it’s time to decide if the repair can be handled by you and your staff, or if you need professional help.
In most cases, working with trained and qualified commercial HVAC technicians to handle a repair is the wisest course of action. However, rarely, the investigation may reveal a very simple cause for the discomfort and complaints that you can easily resolve on your own. If this occurs, you can skip to the final step.
Step Five: Contact your commercial HVAC company
If you determine your in-house staff is not in a position to handle the needed repair, arranging for a qualified commercial HVAC company to handle it for you is always the best choice.
These professionals have the necessary tools, experience, and knowledge to handle any repair, along with quick and easy access to the necessary replacement parts. This facilitates a quick and painless resolution, protecting your assets and improving conditions for your tenants.
Step Six: Resolution/Repair
Resolving the issue by making the repair is obviously the final stage in every emergency repair scenario. It’s important to recognize, though, that how long it takes to get from Step One to Step Six has a big impact on the level of tenant dissatisfaction, the possibility of additional consequences, and the overall cost and complexity of repairs.
The sooner you can identify, properly diagnose, and effectively resolve an HVAC problem, the better the situation is for everyone involved, and the higher the return on your investment. To learn more, find out these three unavoidable signs your business needs a new HVAC system.