BMI Mechanical Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning
BMI Mechanical Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning

Community & News

BMI has always been active in the communities in which we operate and in which our employees live. We believe our corporate social responsibility is not only to the environment — to help protect it through the use of efficient technology and our tailored preventative maintenance programs — but also to enrich the lives of those in most need in the communities we serve.

Our community involvement spans the duration of BMI’s existence, and includes a range of activities. Past presidents Gail and Garth Brott were long-time Rotarians. Current BMI President and Chief Executive Officer Dax Brott is a board member for the South Valley Industrial Collaborative (SVIC), and was an active member of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) Central California chapter, serving as board treasurer for nine years.

2015 "BMI Hose Bibs" Softball Team

2015 “BMI Hose Bibs” Softball Team

BMI has lent is support — through sponsorship, donations, and time — to many deserving organizations and fundraisers over the years, including Relay for Life, Wish Upon a Star, BARC, NAPD and Foodlink. And for nearly 40 years, BMI has sponsored the local adult softball team, the “BMI Hose Bibs” (named fondly for Garth Brott’s affinity for plumbing).

Whether its through speaking at local school “career days” about the opportunities available in the HVAC industry, or by donating time and resources to provide temporary cooling options to a local children’s museum, BMI will continue to play an active role in our communities, and we are always on the look-out for ways we can leverage our expertise to benefit our neighbors in need.

While we’re not in it for the recognition, it’s always nice to see your name in print! Check out some of our news coverage below:

Categories
Archives
dripping air conditioner
▸ May 26, 2021

“My air conditioner is dripping” — so, what now??? 

If your air conditioner is dripping fluids, don’t panic. There are a handful of common issues that can lead to a drippy AC. As long as you take the right steps to correct the cause of the leak, all should be fine. However, if you wait too long to fix your dripping air conditioner, other, more serious issues can start to develop. In a worst case scenario, a leaky air conditioner can damage and destroy floors, walls, and ceilings and not to mention, your AC system as a whole.

This being said, if your AC is dripping, turn it off and contact a licensed HVAC professional as soon as you can. In the meantime, let’s discuss a few different reasons you might be experiencing a leaking AC.

The evaporator coils are frozen.

Frozen evaporator coils can be caused by different issues, such as a broken motor or dirty coils. However, the main issue at play here is restricted air flow, which can lead to the formation of ice and dripping water. 

If this is the case with your AC, you should get to work immediately. You may be able to correct this issue on your own by replacing the air filter and removing and cleaning any dirt or debris. But, if you aren’t familiar with ACs (and especially if you’re dealing with a commercial building or office AC), then we recommend contacting an HVAC company. This is especially true if one of your issues also happens to be low refrigerant or a broken motor. 

Failing to correct frozen coils can result in compressor issues and no cool air coming from your AC.

Related Content: Your Spring HVAC Maintenance Checklist

The drain pan is cracked.

If your drain pan is cracked, this could be a relatively simple issue to fix (at least temporarily). You’ll want to check both the pan and pipe connected to the pan for any leaks. If you notice any, you can use a sealant to patch it up. However, upon doing so, you’ll still want to contact an HVAC company to have the pan fully replaced. This is necessary if this is the drain pan that is located underneath your coils (there are two pans). This pan is permanently affixed to your system and will need to be professionally removed.

Your drain is clogged.

As we mentioned earlier, your evaporator coils can become frozen because of dirt and debris — causing your AC to drip in the process. But keep in mind, a dirty, clogged drain line can cause leaks in general. Cleaning your AC should hopefully be part of routine HVAC maintenance, but it can be difficult to handle on your own if you don’t have the right tools and experience. 

If you’re at all concerned about cleaning your AC, contact a professional and rely on them to thoroughly clean up your system and remove all dirt, algae, and other debris.

Related Content: How to prepare your HVAC for summer

Your filter is dirty.

Replacing your air filter on a regular basis can easily slip your mind — but this slip of the mind can definitely cause issues for your AC later down the line (including leaking water). While this can go back to the frozen coils mentioned earlier, it can also impact and damage other equipment within your system. 

Make sure you’re replacing your filter on a monthly basis or you’re working with an HVAC company that provides this service as part of their proactive maintenance program.

Other common HVAC issues:

indoor business

If you’re wondering how to improve indoor air quality, then you’ve come to the right place. Having good indoor air quality (IAQ) is an important facet of managing your business. With good IAQ, your employees will be more comfortable and more productive. You should also experience fewer HVAC issues since your equipment will be better maintained in the process of achieving and maintaining that good indoor air quality.

However, to achieve better indoor air quality, you need to test and measure your current and ongoing IAQ. The following content outlines when and how to do this and what results you can expect along the way.

How should you test your indoor air quality?

When it comes to testing your indoor air quality, the best possible advice we can give you is to make sure you work with someone who understands exactly when and how to test IAQ. If you don’t work with someone knowledgeable, then you won’t actually know if what you’re doing is or isn’t working and you won’t be able to quantify any type of ROI.

On top of this, measuring IAQ requires specific equipment and testing resources that you likely won’t have available to you. While some testing (ex. CO2 levels, particulate counts) can be handled on-site by an HVAC contractor, other testing (ex. pathogens, mold) will require samples to be collected and sent off to a laboratory.

In most cases, you can reach out to your current HVAC service provider. They should already have in-depth experience with your HVAC and its history, and if your HVAC requires additional speciality testing, they can connect you with a company that’s capable of providing that service.

If you don’t have a current HVAC provider, you should seek out an HVAC contractor that specializes in commercial buildings. 

When should you test your indoor air quality?

  • Before & After: It’s important to test your IAQ before you begin any improvements with your HVAC system and at regular intervals during the improvement process. This will help you target and address specific problems such as VOCs (volatile organic compounds), odors, mold, and high particulate counts.
  • During Preventative Maintenance: If you’re on a preventative maintenance program with an HVAC company, then make sure they’re testing your IAQ as part of your contract. IAQ should be tested when reviewing filter condition, outside air ratios, and more.
  • Annually: Depending on your building, you may be required to test and measure your IAQ on an annual basis (or sometimes more). For example, healthcare facilities are required to test and record Air Changes per Hour (ACH) at least once a year.

How to improve indoor air quality?

If you want to improve your indoor air quality, that’s a great business goal. Better indoor air quality can only do good things for you, your employees, and your guests. However, there are a variety of methods and techniques HVAC professionals use to achieve and maintain good indoor air quality. 

  • Proper filtration: It’s important to make sure you have the proper filtration system set up for your business and the system you have in place (keep in mind, not all systems can handle all filtration solutions — the wrong one can do damage). While MERV filters are currently the most popular option, some situations necessitate specialized solutions such as bag filters, carbon filters, or HEPA filtration.
  • Ventilation: A professional HVAC contractor can adjust outside air rates and assist with program controls and thermostats to maintain proper ventilation in your building. (Learn more about ventilation and COVID-19.)
  • Preventive Maintenance: As we mentioned earlier, the proper preventative maintenance can keep your equipment clean and allow your HVAC contractor to identify IAQ concerns before they have the chance to cause major issues.
  • Modern Technology: There are a variety of modern technologies HVAC professionals use to improve and maintain indoor air quality. These can include UV lighting, needlepoint bipolar ionization, and hydrogen peroxide. With some of these options, slight adjustments to how you operate your HVAC system are required. Because of this, it’s important to consult with a professional contractor during the selection and installation process.

Need help improving your IAC?

At BMI Mechanical, we have in-depth experience helping our clients improve and maintain their indoor air quality. We’ve helped companies deal with everything from seasonal allergies to COVID-19. If you’d like more information on how we can help you combat poor indoor air quality, send us a message today. We’d love to talk.

indoor office environment

What is indoor air quality and why is it important? According to ASHRAE:

“Good IAQ (indoor air quality) is achieved by providing air in occupied spaces in which there are no known or expected contaminants at concentrations likely to be harmful and no conditions that are likely to be associated with occupant health or comfort complaints and air with which virtually no occupants express dissatisfaction.”

In other words, IAQ can impact the health and comfort of building occupants. The lower the IAQ, the more issues you can expect to encounter. These issues can include everything from mechanical system repairs and productivity losses to legal expenses and negative publicity.

This being said, it’s important to take steps to improve and maintain your indoor air quality. Here’s what you need to know about what affects indoor air quality and how to improve it.

What factors impact indoor air quality?

There are a variety of everyday situations that can negatively impact indoor air quality. These situations include but are not limited to:

  • Seasonal contaminants: When the outside temperatures increase, humidity tends to increase, as well. This can lead to pollen, mold, and dust creeping indoors (especially true during harvest season). This is different from colder months… when dry air tends to lead to an increase in the cold and flu.
  • Regional contaminants: Geographical environmental issues such as smog and smoke from wildfires can also negatively impact IAQ.
  • On-site conditions: Manufacturing and other processes handled on-site can result in harmful fumes or odors.
  • Inadequate ventilation: Poorly ventilated buildings can result in the build-up of CO2. High levels of CO2 can actually result in nausea, dizziness, fatigue, and headaches. In extreme cases, CO2 build-up can result in the loss of consciousness.
  • Other indoor air contaminants: Other issues that can lead to inadequate indoor air quality can include a dirty HVAC system, cleaning material, maintenance processes, human activities (ex. smoking, body odor, etc), dirty/dusty areas, pesticides, water damage, and more.

All of these situations can create less than ideal working conditions for building occupants. Not only can it result in the loss of productivity and an increase in sick days, but it can have an impact on the health and safety of your occupants, as well. In the process, your business will suffer financially.

Using MERV filtration to improve IAQ

There are a handful of ways to improve indoor air quality. One of the most popular methods right now is leveraging MERV (minimum efficiency reporting values) filtration, which refers to the smallest particle size a filter can effectively capture. 

The higher the MERV rating, the smaller the particle the filter can capture; however, not all equipment is capable of handling a high MERV rating. This is important to remember since MERV 7-8 is a standard for typical commercial and industrial facilities — yet, MERV 13 is recommended for COVID protection.

In most cases, you can’t just replace your standard filter with a high-rated MERV filter. This is especially true if your filter may be contaminated with viruses or other harmful particles. You should work with a licensed HVAC professional who can fit and seal your system for the MERV filter and safely remove your old filter. 

Other ways to improve indoor air quality

Aside from relying on MERV filtration, there are other ways we rely on to improve the indoor air quality for our clients. These methods can include:

  • Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization: NPBI is a technology designed to attack unwanted particles in the air — including everything from smoke and viruses to mold and dander.
  • Spring HVAC Maintenance: Routine cleaning and maintenance to the most crucial components of your HVAC system can help your building avoid the unnecessary build-up of dust, debris, and more and help you keep your system functional in the process.
  • Summer HVAC Prep: When hotter months are on the horizon, it’s important to make sure your HVAC system can handle the increase in temperature and avoid IAQ issues that stem from increased humidity.
  • Green Building Trends: Modern green building trends include technology and measures that make it easier and more manageable to improve indoor air quality.
  • Proactive Maintenance: A licensed HVAC professional can provide regular maintenance and upkeep for your HVAC system, keeping it clean and functional in the process.

Need help improving your IAQ?

At BMI Mechanical, we have decades of combined experience providing preventative maintenance for companies all across California. Our technicians and associates know what it takes to create, customize, and implement a proactive solution that improves and maintains indoor air. 
If you want to learn more about how this process works, send us a message today.

Small AC blowing out warm air on table
▸ May 5, 2021

Is your AC blowing out warm air? If this is the case, you might be able to self-diagnose the issue on your own. 

However, even if you are able to diagnose the issue, you may still need professional help. Whether it’s a residential or commercial AC unit, you need to make sure you correctly identify the issue and safely fix it. Otherwise, you could end up causing more harm to the unit or… causing harm to yourself.

Let’s take a few moments to answer the question, “Why is my AC blowing out warm air?”

Is your thermostat on the wrong setting?

Before you do anything, check your thermostat. This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people notice that their ac is blowing warm air and then automatically assume they need to contact an HVAC technician.

Double-check that your AC is not set to heat, that the batteries are working, and that it is set to the correct temperature.

It’s also important to remember that there is a difference between “auto” and “on”, and you should review your thermostat’s guide to make sure you’re using your settings correctly.

Is the airflow restricted?

There are a few reasons you may not be getting the airflow you need in order to get cool air, but typically, it’s a direct result of your vents. Keep in mind, this particular issue can lead to other, more complicated issues. So, if it is restricted vents, make sure you fix it quickly.

Keep Reading: How to prepare your HVAC for summer

Are you having electrical issues?

If your outdoor unit does not have electricity, then this could be the reason why your AC is blowing warm air. Your indoor unit won’t be able to work correctly if your outdoor unit isn’t working correctly. This could be as simple as a blown fuse, but it could be a little more complicated than that. Either way, this usually indicates a larger problem, and it’s recommended that you contact a licensed HVAC company. 

Keep Reading: How to find a commercial HVAC company

Is your unit low on refrigerant?

If your AC is blowing warm air, it could mean that you have a leak somewhere. If this is the case, you’re likely running low on refrigerant — which will ultimately cause that warm air to blow out. In this situation, make sure you contact an HVAC contractor so they can fill up your refrigerant and fix your leak. Failing to fix the leak will simply lead to more warm air later down the line. 

Is your unit dirty?

Without proper HVAC maintenance, your unit could suffer. Dirty filters or coils can lead to buildup, which can mess with the flow of air. Make sure you’re partaking in regular HVAC maintenance — whether in a home or office building — to avoid buildup complications.

Need help with your HVAC unit?

At BMI Mechanical, we provide proactive HVAC maintenance for companies throughout California. We have decades of experience creating greener buildings, preventing HVAC breakdowns, and lowering HVAC repair costs. If you’re interested in learning more about our HVAC services and solutions, give us a call or fill out our online form today.

Related Content:

▸ April 29, 2021

When those hotter months roll around, you’ll likely be running your AC equipment on doubletime. This means that your equipment will be placed under more stress than it’s used to, increasing the risk of unexpected breakdowns in the process.

But where exactly do these issues come from, and what can you do to avoid them? Let’s take a few moments to discuss some of the top reasons HVAC equipment fails in summer and provide you with some simple summer HVAC tips along the way.

5 Common Summer HVAC Issues

Dirty Air Filters

What does it cause?

  • refrigerant flooding
  • inadequate air flow
  • restricted evaporator coil
  • not properly cleaned

What’s the result?

  • it consumes excess energy
  • it can cause the compressor, bearing, or evaporator motor to fail

Dirty Motors

What does it cause?

  • windings overheat 

What’s the result?

  • it can cause the motor component to fail
  • consumes excess energy

Refrigerant Leaks

What does it cause?

  • lack of lubrication
  • improper system charge

What’s the result?

  • it can cause the compressor to fail
  • consumes excess energy
  • the system can freeze up

Plugged Drains

What does it cause?

  • water build-up

What’s the result?

  • lowers indoor air quality
  • promotes the growth of mold and bacteria
  • leads to leaks and strong odors

Missing or Loose Panels

What does it cause?

  • conditioned air lost
  • water infiltration 

What’s the result?

  • consumes excess energy
  • damage to the equipment
  • unnecessary rust and corrosion

There are a handful of other common HVAC issues you can expect during hotter months, including faulty drive belts and burnt contact points. However, it’s important to remember that there is a slippery slope — one issue can lead to multiple issues. 

This being said, whether it’s one of these issues or multiple issues at the same time, you could find yourself with an HVAC system that doesn’t work at all. If you operate in a sensitive environment that requires a particular temperature, this could result in a complete production halt and end up being way more expensive than it should be. 

Keep Reading: When should you repair equipment and when should you replace equipment?

How to avoid summer HVAC issues

The best possible way to avoid summer HVAC issues is with a preventative maintenance solution from a licensed HVAC contractor. Even if you have a barebones maintenance solution, your contractor will still be able to educate you or even warn you about potential problems. This will give you the opportunity to fix issues before they can cause a breakdown, which can definitely end up saving you money in the long run.

In fact, research has shown that for every $1 in deferred maintenance you can expect to spend $4 in future repairs. Not only that, but deferred maintenance can result in increased energy consumption, too. Even something as simple as dirty coils and filters can result in a 30% increase in energy use (via ASHRAE).

Keep Reading: Learn more about how to properly prepare your HVAC for summer

Other unforeseen expenses associated with summer HVAC issues can include a decrease in productivity. With an HVAC system that’s improperly working (or not working at all), employees won’t be as comfortable, and you can expect to see a dip in effectiveness and productivity. 

HVAC issues that lead to inadequate ventilation and poorer indoor air quality can also lead to a sudden increase in paid sick leave. According to the National Energy Management Institute, this particular issue can account for 1.5%-6% of annual payroll expenses.

Keep Reading: Learn more about how needlepoint bipolar ionization can improve indoor air quality

Need help preparing your HVAC for summer?

Check out our Spring HVAC Maintenance Checklist and then give BMI a call. We have decades of experience helping businesses keep their HVAC systems working, energy and repair costs low, and indoor air quality high. We’d love to help you, too.

Give us a call or fill out our online form to learn more about our preventative maintenance solutions.

summer office setting bmi mechanical
▸ April 23, 2021

As we transition into warmer months, it’s time to start considering summer HVAC maintenance. Since hotter temperatures will likely require your equipment to work longer and harder hours than its used to, a summer HVAC tune-up is always recommended. 

If you fail to properly prepare and maintain your HVAC equipment, you could end up facing breakdowns, cost inefficiencies, and diminished productivity. In fact, according to IFMA, a building that is too hot or too cold are the top 2 office complaints, and according to the NCEMBT, proper HVAC performance and maintenance can “increase building performance in occupant comfort [and] productivity and reduce equipment failure, downtime, and costs.”

But what exactly can a summer tune-up save you from and what, specifically, should you be tuning up? Let’s dig a little deeper into summer HVAC maintenance.

How does summer impact your HVAC system?

Hotter months will impact your HVAC system differently than colder months, and here are a few reasons why:

  • Hotter outside temperatures make it more difficult to transfer heat, causing your system to work longer and harder to do the same job it always does. This can have a negative impact on your compressor, which drives the entire cooling cycle.
  • Hotter inside temperatures force your system to run longer just to maintain the appropriate indoor temperature. Your system should be equipped to handle this extra run time. If it’s not, problems will pop up.

Which areas are most susceptible to issues?

Areas that need to be kept cooler due to heat-generating equipment (or spaces that simply require colder temperatures) are more susceptible to issues during warmer months. This includes but is not limited to:

  • server rooms
  • data centers
  • manufacturing plants
  • printing rooms
  • refrigerated rooms (refrigeration units)
  • any area that needs to be humidity-controlled

With these areas in particular, equipment will definitely need to work double-time to maintain the appropriate indoor temperature. If they are not able to keep up with indoor requirements, then it could lead to very costly interruptions and even complete halts in production and manufacturing.

Keep Reading: Learn more about how to lower HVAC costs

Summer HVAC maintenance tips you don’t want to forget

There are a variety of maintenance tasks you’ll want to perform before and during those hotter months. These tasks come at varying levels of expertise, so you’ll likely want to reach out to a licensed HVAC professional to guarantee everything is completed properly. Here’s a list of tasks to get you started in the right direction:

  • Spring Maintenance Checklist: Make sure you perform a complete spring maintenance checklist. This includes full testing and inspection of all components, so you can identify any issues before they become problems.
  • Spring Cleaning: Aside from routine maintenance, you also need to properly clean your entire system, especially your coils. This will help guarantee proper heat transfer and reduce the risk of breakdowns. 
  • Replace Air Filters: When replacing your filters, make sure you’re using commercial grade that’s at the proper filtration efficiency (MERV rating) for your equipment and environment.
  • Proper Insulation: If you have a split AC system, make sure your exposed refrigerant piping is properly insulated. It’s important that the supply piping is well-insulated so that the summer heat doesn’t turn the liquid refrigerant into gas before it gets to your air handlers.
  • Find a Partner: Double check that you have a trusted HVAC partner on speed dial. You’ll need one just in case an emergency pops up (and of course, to ensure proper summer maintenance and upkeep).

Read More: Your Spring HVAC Maintenance Cleaning Checklist

Get help with your summer HVAC maintenance

At BMI, we pride ourselves in providing the best possible HVAC maintenance services for our clients. Our goal is to keep HVAC systems running as smoothly as possible and in the process, limit downtime, lower costs, save energy, and improve your productivity.
Take a look at our preventative maintenance services or fill out our online contact form to learn more.

low angle photo of high rise building hvac

BMI Mechanical is an official Linc Service Contractor, and we are extremely proud of this title. Generally speaking, being part of Linc Service means we are committed to our environment, and we actively engage in prudent energy usage and conservation practices. Here’s how Linc Service breaks down being a Linc Service Contractor:

“Contractors in our network specialize in meeting the unique needs of clients by customizing a solution that maximizes the client’s operating budget, increases the building’s efficiency, and helps to prolong the life of building assets. Service and solution offerings include building design, equipment retrofits and replacements, commissioning and recommissioning, proactive and preventive maintenance, controls, energy audits, measurement and verification, and energy management.”

There are lots of reason why we’re a Linc Contractor, but that’s not really what this blog focuses on. Rather, they’re really the 6 ways we’re committed to sustainability. Commitment to the environment in our Linc Code of Ethics is just one of those ways… and not all Linc contractors necessarily adhere to the 6 items we’ve highlighted below.

Let’s take a few moments to cover 6 ways we embody what it means to be committed to our environment.

Community Involvement

Since we’re an HVAC contractor for large companies throughout California, we have the opportunity to really make a difference and encourage sustainability on a broader scale. To do this, we are actively involved in a variety of associations, including:

Electronic Systems

At BMI, we’ve switched to a fully electronic system, and by doing so, we have nearly eliminated the need for paper in our service department. Not only does this encourage a greener work environment, but it also enables us to improve communication and benefit from real-time data when we’re out in the field. 

As an added bonus, our customers can access their complete work order history online through our secure e-Service portal. Contact info@bmimechanical.com for more information regarding this benefit.

Fleet Management

We use cloud-based technology to more strategically manage our fleet of service vehicles. This allows us to maximize fuel efficiency, plan for proactive maintenance, and minimize our carbon footprint.

Refrigerant Management

The EPA regulates refrigerant use in conjunction with the Clean Air Act. To help our clients remain in compliance and better manage their use of refrigerant, we utilize a computerized system to track and report on usage. This allows us to assist our clients with environmental reporting mandates, while simultaneously encouraging greener operating practices.  

Learn More: What you need to know about the R-22 refrigerant phaseout

AMP Testing

At BMI, we don’t just keep track of EPA-regulated issues; we also track other components of your HVAC system that, if left unmanaged, can simply consume too much energy and cost more money than they should. One facet of this is AMP draw testing, which we conduct on a regular basis for our clients. This testing allows us to make sure your equipment draws are not exceeding the manufacturer’s RLA (rated load amps). Not only can excessive draws lead to excessive energy consumption and costs, but it can also indicate that there are underlying mechanical issues that could lead to catastrophic failure later down the line.

Keep Reading: Learn more about how to lower HVAC costs in your business

Green Proactive Maintenance

We offer proactive HVAC maintenance services for our clients, all of which are green-focused. These services include tasks associated with proper filtration and thorough cleaning — tasks that ultimately promote energy conservation and help extend the life of equipment. To learn more about our processes, take a look at our Spring HVAC Cleaning Checklist

Interested in learning more about Linc Service Contractors?

If your business is interested in partnering with a Linc Service Contractor, we’d love to talk. Together, we can discuss all the various benefits of working with an HVAC contractor that promotes and encourages sustainability and green practices in the workplace. 
Give us a call or send us a message online, and let’s start a conversation.

leaves out of focus shot of high rise building
▸ April 9, 2021

In 2021, a Green Building is more important than it ever has been, and with Earth Day approaching, there’s no better time than now to discuss how your building can go greener.

But what exactly is a “Green Building”? A Green Building can mean a variety of things. Generally speaking, however, it’s when the design, construction, and operation of a building is done so to:

  • improve sustainability
  • use fewer natural resources
  • save on maintenance costs
  • improve indoor air quality
  • improve comfort
  • create less environmental burden

To create a Green-er Building and to incorporate the above initiatives, we’ve laid out a few of the top green building trends you can expect to see in 2021 and beyond. 

The Home Office

With advanced digital technology and communication tools available to the masses, businesses now have the opportunity to decrease costs, energy consumption, and improve employee comfortability. That’s right, folks. We’re talking about the rise of the home office (something many of us have experienced first-hand during the COVID pandemic). The home office is a simple solution to the physical needs of a growing business — a solution that can greatly decrease or, in some cases, fully eliminate building expenses and energy consumption.

Keep Reading: HVAC Technology Trends in 2021

The Indoor Air Quality

Back in the day, most businesses wouldn’t have even given indoor air quality a second thought. But these days, it’s at the front of everyone’s mind. Eliminating or decreasing the presence of allergens, dust, bacteria, mold, VOCs, and other harmful particles from within a building is becoming increasingly more important every day (especially with the emergence of COVID-19). This being said, advanced HVAC technology such as needlepoint bipolar ionization has become a topic of discussion amongst building managers and their HVAC partners. 

The Digital System

Businesses everywhere are taking steps to switch over to a fully digital system. Not only can a digital system help automate HVAC equipment, but it can also help monitor and maintain your indoor environment. In other words, you can easily track and analyze building activities and conditions, while simultaneously working towards performance benchmarks. Saving money, reducing waste, and improving comfortability are just some of the many benefits a digital system can provide. 

The ECMs

ECM stands for Energy Conservation Measure, and businesses are starting to partner with licensed HVAC contractors to take a broader, more analytical approach to cutting back. ECMs can be a great place to start for any business wanting to achieve a greener building — mainly because it can be a low-cost or even no-cost approach to going greener. 

ECMs can include steps such as scheduling your HVAC activities strategically and repairing leaks around windows and doors. Other steps can include larger investments such as:

  • economizers (limits the use of the compressor by bringing in outside air)
  • building automation systems
  • variable refrigerant flow HVAC systems
  • lighting retrofits
  • roofing/window upgrades 

Quick Tip: At BMI, we’ve seen many buildings invest in economizers but fail to set them up properly. It’s important to check with a licensed HVAC contractor to make sure your economizer is running the right way, especially since they can result in 25% or more in energy savings.

The Proactive Maintenance

A proactive maintenance solution can obviously prevent breakdowns and keep your equipment running smoothly. But what most people don’t realize is that proactive maintenance solutions go far beyond those benefits. With thorough cleaning and electrical testing done on a regular basis, your HVAC partner can actually help make sure that your equipment is not using more electricity than it should be. This is incredibly important since poorly maintained systems can consume up to 30% more energy than they should be (resulting in more costs and energy waste). Proactive maintenance is a great way to achieve a greener building.

Keep Reading: Learn how to evaluate your preventative maintenance solution

Need help with your Green Building initiatives?

At BMI, we have decades of combined experience helping businesses everywhere create and maintain greener buildings. With an on-site facility assessment and thorough system evaluation and financial analysis, we can show you how to optimize your building and incorporate green building decisions that work for your bottom line and future goals.
Give us a call or fill out our online form to get started.

▸ March 29, 2021

Should I turn my AC off when I’m not home? What about when I’m on vacation? Should I turn off my air conditioner when I’m gone for a few days? Does turning my AC off even save me money? Or does it actually end up costing me more money in the long run?

Questions like these are extremely common. People from all walks of life are interested in knowing best-practices when it comes to their air conditioners. They want to understand how turning off their AC can impact things like energy conservation, cost-efficiency, and ideal living situations. 

While everyone has their own motivation for turning off their ACs when they leave the house, let’s quickly discuss what can save you money, keep your AC functional, and maintain a healthy living situation.

Turning AC off vs. leaving it on: What’s better?

If you want the quick and dirty version of this post, it’s usually better to keep your AC on when you leave the home or office. Yes, even if you go on a vacation for the weekend. We recommend turning the AC up a few degrees from your normal temperature (anywhere between 7 and 10 degrees).

However, this is only if you plan on being away for a few days. If you plan on being away for longer than a few days and your primary interest is to save money, then you may want to consider turning your AC off completely (just don’t forget about your furry friends).

Cons of turning off your air conditioner when you leave

There are a few things you will want to keep in mind if you do decide to turn your AC off when you leave your home or office. This primarily includes mold and bugs — two things that love humidity. 

When you turn your AC off, your space becomes more susceptible to humidity. This added humidity can lead to mold and bugs. This being said, if this is something you’re not interested in, then go back to our original advice: turn your AC up to a higher temperature when you leave. 

Other than bugs and mold, however, turning your AC off completely when you leave your house can certainly make your living situation uncomfortable when you return and could end up costing you more money in the long run. But this will definitely depend on your outdoor living environment (outdoor temperature vs. desired indoor temperature), as well as the type and size of your unit.

We typically say that a programmable thermostat (or manually decreasing/increasing the temperature) is the most beneficial option for promoting energy- and cost-efficiency, but it’s always best to consult with a licensed HVAC contractor to get advice that’s truly unique to your environment, your air conditioner, and your needs and wants.

Keep Reading: 2021 HVAC Technology Trends 

What’s the best temperature to keep your AC at?

The advice people usually give out is to remain within 15 degrees of the outside temperature, so you don’t work your AC too hard or consume too much energy. However, this is easier said than done. In most settings, 78 degrees is ideal. But what happens if you live in an extremely cold or extremely hot city? 15 degrees of 105 degrees would be 90 degrees, which isn’t exactly a relaxing indoor temperature. This would also mean that if you turned your AC up when you leave the house, you’d have a home sitting at 100 degrees (which seems a little high). Even if you turned your AC off completely when you leave for the day or for the weekend, your house would mostly likely be sitting around the same temperature.

In these more extreme circumstances, we once again recommend speaking with a licensed HVAC contractor. An HVAC company can give you more customized advice to keep your home comfortable when you’re gone (while also maintaining energy- and cost-efficiency). 

Need more advice on your home or office AC?

At BMI Mechanical, we have decades of combined experience working with businesses all over California and helping them remain comfortable in their own spaces. If you’d like to learn more about AC best practices, take a look at some of our additional resources. 

ventilation system pipes bmi mechanical
▸ March 23, 2021

What is needlepoint bipolar ionization and how can this innovative technology help your business with spring cleaning this year?

First and foremost, needlepoint bipolar ionization (NPBI) works wonders when it comes to the spread of COVID-19. Beyond COVID-19, however, NPBI can also neutralize indoor odors, kill pathogens, and reduce unwanted particles in the air.

To further explain the benefits of needlepoint bipolar ionization, let’s take a few moments to cover how this technology works and why your business should invest in NPBI in 2021.

What is needlepoint bipolar ionization?

NPBI is a technology designed to attack unwanted particles in the air. To do this, a device is installed into your pre-existing HVAC system. This device produces and distributes oxygen ions into the air. These ions then attach to particles, causing them to become larger in the process. Due to their larger size, they’ll now get caught in your filtration system.

In addition, NPBI actively kills microorganisms right from the air. The charged ions attach and damage cell walls, which kills or disables harmful pathogens such as mold, bacteria, and viruses (including COVID-19). 

Long story short, NPBI gives your existing HVAC system the ability to kill, capture, and eliminate harmful particles from your indoor air – something you standalone filter would not be able to do.

What can needlepoint bipolar ionization clean?

  • bacteria
  • smoke
  • pollen
  • dust
  • dander
  • pollutants
  • viruses
  • mold

Keep Reading: Your COVID-19 Reopening Guide

Facts you should know about NPBI technology

You can use your pre-existing HVAC system

As we mentioned earlier, a NPBI air purification device can be installed directly into your pre-existing HVAC device. This means you don’t have to worry about finding and installing a brand new HVAC system just to accommodate a NPBI device. 

Keep Reading: When to Install a New HVAC System

You can reuse your NPBI device

To top things off, a NBPI device can be removed and reinstalled into new HVAC units. So, let’s say you decide to upgrade your HVAC system or you move to a new building in the future — your NPBI device can be taken off your old unit and easily affixed onto your new unit.  

NPBI works similar to MERV 13 filters

MERV13 filters are high-efficiency filters that are recommended by ASHRAE and the CDC when it comes to COVID-19 protection. However, the majority of smaller package systems cannot handle MERV13 filters. NPBI is a great alternative since it gives you the same level of protection as MERV13 filters would provide — but can be accommodated by many different types of systems. 

NPBI also eliminates odors.

As an added benefit of NPBI technology, you can enjoy odor-free spaces. Needlepoint bipolar ionization devices can neutralize and remove indoor odors and leave your space smelling all-around fresher.

Keep Reading; 3 HVAC Technology Trends to Watch for in 2021

How to get started with needlepoint bipolar ionization

Results from the original needlepoint bipolar ionization manufacturer show that NPBI technology can reduce the virus that causes COVID-19 by 98.33% within 60 minutes (learn more about needlepoint bipolar ionization studies). Our customers, in particular, report experiencing fewer incidents of COVID-19 transmission and have significantly fewer complaints regarding seasonal allergies.

All in all, our customers consider NPBI to be a wise investment not just to halt the transmission of COVID-19 but to keep their employees and guests more comfortable and healthy in general.

If you’d like to learn more about NPBI and how your business can get started, give us a call or fill out our online contact form. We’d love to talk.

1-800-698-4264