Climate-controlled storage is becoming a much more popular service that most facilities offer, and having a well-functioning HVAC system (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), is vital. However, many self-storage companies will sometimes neglect maintenance on their systems, which can result in the HVAC system running extremely inefficiently. These poorly maintained appliances can sometimes increase energy consumption by nearly 30 percent, increasing your overheads and causing a negative impact on the environment. The best way to avoid all this is to instill some best practices and invest in technology that will make your HVAC system run more efficiently, as well as last longerr. Here are our tips.
Why maintenance is important
While we mentioned that keeping your systems in top shape will have it running more efficiently, there are multiple other reasons to maintain them. Firstly, having a poor HVAC system running around the clock will impact your utility bill massively, and dirty filters will impede airflow which will impact how effective the system is.
Secondly, consistently maintaining your system will mean it will last for much longer. Spotting small issues and nipping them in the bud will mean that you won’t have to call in a technician for a costly repair when they break down.
Lastly, an HVAC system is designed to ideally last 10-15 years, but without regular maintenance, it will have a much shorter lifespan. Regular tuneups will mean that your system will take longer to wear out, and you can have the system running at its peak for longer.
Ducts and filters will get clogged up unless they’re regularly cleaned and emptied. When they’re not taken care of, the accumulated debris will restrict airflow, and increase the amount of energy needed to keep the ventilation running. These are relatively simple best practices that your staff or a contractor can do, and will save you money in the long run.Another simple task is to constantly monitor the condition of your appliances, which will be explored in the next tip.
Many facility managers will find it hard to monitor the effect their HVAC system has on their bottom line and the environment. It’s difficult to manually check all of them, but not doing so means a larger chance of malfunctioning or inefficiency in your system. Thankfully, asset tagging and RFID systems allow you to have a clearer and more holistic view of how all your appliances are doing. A contractor will take down information on your appliances and apply a code sticker for future tracking and data collection. With this 360 degree view of your HVAC system, you can identify where things are working less efficiently and plan larger scale maintenance expenditure. This lets you avoid spending too much or missing certain issues that might not come to light without data.
Another popular solution is using sensor technology. The simplest example is installing a thermostat to a building’s HVAC system which uses sensors, allowing you to monitor the temperature at all times. It’s then easier to identify anomalies or spot things that are wrong. There are sensors for air flow rates, filter performance, humidity and much more, and using all of them in combination will give you a fuller picture on how your appliances are performing. Sensors are reducing in cost, and are now much easier to install and maintain, meaning self-storage operators everywhere have adopted them to check their HVAC systems.
Calling in a technician
Of course, all these tips are best practices for maintaining the systems, but calling a technician is still required for when malfunctions do happen. However, external help can also be used proactively as opposed to reacting to when accidents happen. Having a technician around once a year is recommended, even if your HVAC system is working fine. These tune-ups make sure your system is also working at its best, and will definitely be cheaper than a one-time visit from the technician when your appliances break down.
HVAC systems are crucial to offering climate-controlled storage options, and proper maintenance means you will have them working more efficiently, and lower the chances of malfunction.
Related Article: What does Climate-Controlled Storage Mean?