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
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:
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.”
But what exactly does that all mean, and how does BMI actually put this into practice? Let’s take a few moments to cover 6 ways we embody what it means to be a Linc Service Contractor.
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:
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 email@example.com for more information regarding this benefit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As we head into warmer months and prepare for a little spring cleaning, don’t forget to add your HVAC system to the list. Even if you currently have an HVAC contractor providing preventative maintenance services, you’ll want to double check that thorough cleaning is being completed with your maintenance service on a regular or seasonal basis.
Keep in mind, just because you have a contract that says “preventative maintenance services” on it doesn’t mean those particular services provided are actually preventing anything. (Learn more about how to choose the best HVAC company for your needs.)
To help you make the most out of your HVAC equipment this season, check out our Spring HVAC Maintenance Checklist for Cleaning below.
Spring HVAC Maintenance Checklist for Cleaning
Even though we’re referring to this list as a form of “spring cleaning,” the components on this checklist will likely need to be inspected and cleaned more than once a year. We’ve kicked things off with four of the most important components your HVAC contractor or maintenance employees should be cleaning on a regular basis. Take a look below, and as always, reach out to us if you have any questions.
The condenser coil looks like metal fins, and it’s wrapped around the exterior of your unit. It is used to transfer heat out of the AC system. When you want to clean the coils, you should not use a hose. This will only make your situation worse by pushing the dirt and debris deeper into the coils. Instead, it is best to wash the coils from the inside-out with special cleansers and pressurized air or water.
It’s also important to remember that a good percentage of the condenser coil is inside the AC cabinet. If you don’t clean this portion of the condenser coil, too, then you’ll likely consume more energy than necessary and overwork your unit.
At BMI, we consider this maintenance to be imperative to the overall efficiency of your HVAC unit. Because of this, we work it into our preventative maintenance services. Confirm that the person handling your HVAC system is not only cleaning your condenser coil — but cleaning it in the proper way.
The evaporator coil also looks like metal fins, and it is located inside your air handler behind the air filters. Once the air is filtered but before the air leaves the unit, it moves across the evaporator coil and the heat is removed.
Keeping this part of your HVAC unit clean should be a priority. This area is dark and moist, and because of this, it can become highly susceptible to a build-up of dirt, debris, and biological growth. Since air is typically not filtered after leaving the evaporator coil, it is essential that you keep this area clear of all that debris. Confirm with the individual responsible for your HVAC maintenance that they are cleaning your evaporator coil on a regular basis.
Electrical Panel in the AC Unit
The electrical panel is located outside of your rooftop unit, and it is a critical component of your machine. It is extremely important to keep your panel clean, so you can avoid arcing and electrical shorts.
To clean the electrical panel, we use compressed air and soft brushes to gently remove dust and debris.
Warning:Do not attempt to clean the electrical panel without qualified worker certification and the proper personal protective equipment.
Both the supply fans and the condenser fans also require cleaning on a regular basis. The individual blades need to be wiped down since build-up can throw a fan out of alignment. When this happens, you’re on a one-way road headed towards a breakdown.
Confirm with your HVAC partner that the supply fans and condenser fans are part of their HVAC maintenance checklist.
Why an HVAC maintenance checklist is good for business
Running through an HVAC maintenance checklist on a regular basis may seem like a hassle, but in all actuality, it’s good for business. Here’s why:
Save More Energy: When you keep your air filters and coils clean, you can reduce your unit’s energy consumption by up to 25% (via ASHRAE).
Lower Repair Costs: As we mentioned earlier, failing to clean any of the above components can (and likely will) result in unnecessary breakdowns. Regular maintenance will result in fewer repairs and the expenses that come with them. A good rule of thumb to remember is that reactive maintenance, on average, equates to $3 to $4 in repairs for every $1 spent on a maintenance program. Preventative maintenance is simply a wise investment. (At BMI, our customers spend even less than the average — $0.70 in repairs for every $1 invested in our maintenance services.)
Get Cleaner Air: Generally speaking, a cleaner HVAC unit means cleaner air. If you have dirt, grime, and other forms of build-up on your unit’s components, then how can you expect to have clean, filtered air? When you keep your unit clean with preventative maintenance, what you’re really doing is ensuring that your guests and employees have a safe, healthy, and comfortable environment.
Ready to take the next step with preventative HVAC maintenance?
Then it’s time to give BMI a call. 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, and save energy. Take a look at our preventative maintenance services or fill out our online contact form to learn more.
If your AC smells bad, you’re likely wondering, “How do I get rid of the smell in my air conditioner?” However, before you can answer this question, you first need to understand what’s causing the smell in the first place.
In many cases, you can figure out what’s causing the smell by determining what type of smell you’re experiencing. The type of smell could indicate a quick fix or a serious problem.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common AC smells, what they could mean, and what your next steps should be.
My AC smells moldy
If you’re experiencing a moldy air conditioner smell, don’t panic. This is an extremely common issue to experience, and you likely aren’t in any danger. A moldy AC smell might smell similar to something that is left wet for an extended period of time (like a wet bathing suit or towel).
Typically, this means that you have some type of water leakage that’s resulting in a build-up of fungus or mildew. This could happen in a variety of areas, including your drip pan, filter, and ducting. In this situation, you should contact an HVAC contractor to identify the problem area and correct the issue. Unwanted moisture or water in your HVAC unit can lead to more serious (and more expensive) complications. And not to mention, you don’t want to be breathing in all that mildewy air.
If your AC smells like rotten eggs, you may actually have a dead rodent stuck in there. It’s important to remove any dead rodents as soon as possible for a handful of reasons. First and foremost, it’s a horrible smell. Secondly, it can have a negative and damaging effect on the internal components of your AC unit. If you don’t feel comfortable removing the animal and cleaning the impacted areas, then an HVAC contractor is definitely an option.
However, if the smell is more skunk-like, this may indicate a gas leak. This is a serious issue that should be handled immediately. You’ll want to get in contact with an HVAC contractor and have them correct this issue on your behalf. While you wait for assistance, you should not remain in the building. You may also want to open windows and doors, and steer clear of matches, appliances, candles, and other similar items.
Some people have difficulty differentiating the smell of rotten eggs from a skunk-like odor. If this is you, don’t hesitate to contact a professional. Better be safe, than sorry.
My AC smells like fire
There are a few reasons your AC might smell like smoke or fire. In any case, your first step should be to turn off your AC and contact an HVAC contractor immediately. When your air conditioner smells like fire, this could mean that the electrical components are literally burning inside your HVAC unit. It could also indicate that built-up dust or debris is also burning within your unit.
My AC smells like car exhaust
If you’re smelling something similar to exhaust fumes from a car, then this could mean that you have a refrigerant leak. This can cause a number of problems for your HVAC unit and for your living or working space. Not only can it overwork your unit, but it can also be a sign that those chemicals are finding their way into your breathing air. This is another situation where you’ll want to have your unit inspected by a professional as soon as possible.
Need help figuring out why your air conditioner smells bad?
At BMI, we help businesses all over California keep their HVAC units working (and smelling) as they should. If your AC smells bad, we can help you inspect, diagnose, and correct the issue at hand. It’s important to remember, however, that the majority of common AC smells can indicate a serious issue that should be corrected as soon as possible. Don’t attempt to fix the issue if you are not familiar with HVAC units, and no matter what, do not postpone handling the issue.
If you want to lower HVAC repair costs, then you’re not alone. Companies throughout California struggle to maintain their HVAC costs and end up spending significantly more than they originally planned. However, this goes above and beyond budgeting. This struggle can lead to downtown, less comfortability, and energy waste — which ultimately, results in more lost revenue.
The good news, though, is that it’s not exactly hard to lower HVAC repair costs and related HVAC expenses. It all starts with a custom monthly agreement and an experienced HVAC contractor.
Let’s take a look at 3 simple ways to lower HVAC repair costs for your company.
Consider a fixed-rate monthly service agreement
At BMI Mechanical, our clients have the option to be part of the Guaranteed Lifetime Protection (GLP) program. With this program, we provide proactive maintenance, repairs, and partial-to-full replacements at a fixed monthly rate. A fixed-rate monthly service agreement like our GLP gives companies the opportunity to avoid miscellaneous fees and costs. As a result, they can budget more effectively and lower operating costs.
Many HVAC contractors offer similar fixed-rate agreements for companies. Just make sure you look at the fine details and do a cost analysis before signing anything.
Keep in mind, our clients do need to be pre-qualified for this particular program. Equipment has to be in good operating condition and can’t be too close to its end-of-life. If your company does not qualify for GLP, we offer additional levels of coverage that can also help lower your HVAC expenses.
Work with an HVAC contractor that analyzes the whole pie
While a fixed-rate service agreement can help lower HVAC repair costs significantly, it’s not quite that simple. To really have an HVAC agreement that works for you, it’s important to take into consideration the 8 different areas that are directly impacted by HVAC equipment — Capital (Avoidance), Productivity, Administration, Parts/Materials, Major Repairs, Contracted Services, In-House Staff, and Energy.
So, while monthly price is obviously important, this will do nothing if some parts of your pie are not analyzed. In other words, if you’re not spending enough in contracted services, this will show up in other facets of your business — whether it’s in how much energy you’re spending, how comfortable your staff is, or even how long your equipment is lasting. This is why we mentioned earlier that it’s important to make sure you and your chosen HVAC contractor thoroughly analyze your business operations and the suggested service agreement. If not, you could end up spending more money than expected later down the line.
Make sure you evaluate your service agreement
If you do hop onto a fixed-rate service agreement, it’s crucial that you don’t fix-it-and-forget-it. If you or your HVAC contractor fail to analyze ongoing cost vs investment, then you won’t know if you legitimately were able to lower HVAC costs.
At BMI Mechanical, our customers eventually get to a level where they’re spending less than $0.70 for every $1 they invest in our maintenance programs. For our GLP clients, this can get as low as $0.00. When you break it all down, it can equate to over 20% in savings (which ultimately means the program is self-funded).
However, we still meet daily with companies outside our maintenance programs that have repair ratios of $2 to $3 for every $1 they spend in maintenance. These companies have less time to focus on operations and even despite the high cost of HVAC maintenance, still struggle with HVAC issues and downtime on a regular basis. If this sounds like your company, then you need to work with an HVAC contractor that can conduct a cost analysis and help you lower HVAC costs.
Want to learn more about lowering your HVAC costs?
If you’re ready to dig deeper into lowering your HVAC costs, then it’s time to talk to BMI Mechanical. We have decades of experience helping companies in Ventura, Fresno, Bakersfield, and beyond manage their HVAC systems and lower costs.
If you find yourself on Google searching for “the best HVAC company,” maybe you should shift your search to “HVAC company that puts customers first”; because, really, shouldn’t they be the same thing? With decades of combined experience working as an HVAC contractor for companies throughout California, we’ve developed a method of service that works for our customers, not against them. You could say… that we have your best interests at heart.
Let’s take a few moments to cover how BMI Mechanical differs from other commercial HVAC companies and why our business model makes more sense than the traditional approach.
We’ve eliminated the “conflict of interest”
Traditional contractor relationships often start with a low-price service agreement, then follow with a litany of service calls and unplanned repairs. This reactive approach is a standard practice in the HVAC industry. You’ll know you’re in this kind of relationship if your annual service & repair costs are more than 1.5 or 2 times the cost of your maintenance agreement. It’s an inherent conflict of interest: the contractor does better when your equipment fails.
But at BMI, we do things a little differently to eliminate this conflict of interest. Ours is a proactive business model, where we do better when you do better. With a fixed-rate monthly service agreement, we aren’t incentivized by breakdowns or premature failures. We want your HVAC system to run as smoothly as possible, so we can limit the number of service calls our HVAC technicians receive. To make this possible, we believe in finding long-term solutions for issues, and anticipating those needs before they impact your business.
Fun Fact: On average, BMI maintenance customers spend less than $0.70 on repairs and service calls for every $1 invested in our maintenance programs; compared to the reactive model, where customers average $2-3 in repairs for every $1 invested in their maintenance programs.
We believe proactive care is key
In order to minimize breakdowns and inconsistencies with your HVAC system, BMI’s solutions are centered on regular proactive maintenance. Providing our technicians with the right plan of action and resources to perform quality work benefits our customers with lower repair costs and less equipment downtime.
BMI technicians visit our clients on a regular basis to test, inspect and perform critical proactive maintenance tasks to make sure everything is working as intended. If we notice any conditions that could cause issues, we address them. If we are aware of any pending updates or manufacturer-suggested maintenance, we get to work. It is our number one priority to keep your HVAC system working and your customers and employees comfortable.
Fun Fact: BMI’s proactive approach is so reliable, they guarantee it! Guaranteed Maintenance programs offer all-inclusive coverage for a fixed monthly fee!
We customize our monthly service agreements
It’s no secret that different types of buildings (as well as different climates and environments) require different things out of their HVAC systems. We wouldn’t be able to do our job very well if we didn’t acknowledge these differences in our service agreements.
This being said, rather than delivering a one-size-fits-all service agreement to our customers, we customize each and every solution based on individual circumstances. We even go so far as to consider seasonal changes, age of equipment, and OEM recommendations. This further enables us to be the best HVAC company we can be and promote comfortability and energy- and cost-efficiency in the process.
Fun Fact: BMI’s average maintenance customer has been with us for over 8 years, and 23% of our customers have been with us for more than 15 years!
Get started with the best HVAC company in California
Our goal is to create a healthy, long-term relationship with each and every one of our customers. Our methodology of service allows this to happen time and time again. But not only does our methodology build trust… it also helps our customers reduce cost, downtown, and necessary operating issues.
If you want to learn more about how our service methodology makes us the best HVAC company in California, contact us today.
HVAC technology and what it can mean for your business will be more important than ever in the coming years. But what exactly does this mean in 2021?
Let’s take a quick look at some of the top trends for commercial HVAC systems in 2021 and break down what benefits they can provide for your business.
Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization
As businesses seek out new ways to control the spread of COVID-19 in their buildings, needlepoint bipolar ionization (NPBI) will become more and more mainstream. NPBI cleans and disinfects the air with electrically-charged ions. These ions neutralize odors, kill pathogens, and reduce unwanted particles. When it comes to COVID-19, in particular, NPBI can reduce the spread by 99.4% in 30 minutes. However, going beyond COVID-19, NPBI can reduce the spread of airborne viruses in general and in the process, create a healthier and cleaner environment for employees and guests.
Homes are getting smarter and smarter, so why can’t businesses get smarter, too? When it comes to HVAC manufacturers, this is exactly what they have in mind… a smarter commercial HVAC system. In 2021 and beyond, you can expect to see companies investing in Wi-Fi enabled devices and equipment that’s integrated into their commercial HVAC system. With features such as real-time temperature adjustments, scheduling, and automation, smart HVAC technology will provide more control, cost-efficiency, and energy savings.
While some people don’t consider indoor heating and cooling to be a very exciting topic, we certainly do. And if you’ve ever worked in an extremely cold or uncomfortably stuffy office environment, then you can at least appreciate updates in HVAC technology — especially when they concern individual temperature zones. With Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF), commercial buildings can now benefit from a multi-split type air conditioner. This gives building managers the opportunity to provide heating and cooling simultaneously in different rooms or floors of a building. Ultimately, this results in greater comfort and efficiency and saves you in energy and maintenance costs.
There are a million and one things you’re required to keep up with as a business owner, including regulatory updates for HVAC refrigerants — in particular, the current phaseout of R-22 refrigerant. Regulatory updates such as this one should be taken care of swiftly. Failure to do so in a timely manner could result in unwanted fines and penalties.
This being said, let’s take a quick look at the most important facets of this current regulatory update for HVAC refrigerants.
What’s the deal with R-22?
Since the beginning of 2020, R-22 refrigerant has no longer been produced in the United States, and since 2010, no new HVAC equipment requiring R-22 has been produced either.
It is currently illegal to import or produce R-22 refrigerant in the United States. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t use R-22. If you have a pre-existing HVAC system that requires R-22, you can still use this product. But over time, you can expect R-22 to become more expensive and much more difficult to find.
R-22 has been banned by the EPA due to ozone-depleting substances found within it. The installation of R-22 AC or heat pumps has also been banned.
If you currently have a system that requires R-22, it might be time to consider upgrading or retrofitting your equipment.
What to consider with pre-existing R-22 equipment
R-22 Supply: As we previously mentioned, the price of R-22 will likely spike. However, supply is fine at the moment, and we have yet to see any noteworthy increases in price. This doesn’t mean it’s not coming, though. You can almost guarantee that it is coming. Keep in mind, you should not attempt to stockpile R-22. This material can only be purchased and handled by certified technicians.
R-22 Replacement vs Retrofit: If you’re considering changing up your current R-22-dependent equipment, you’ll need to decide whether or not to upgrade your entire system or to retrofit specific components. To learn more about how to make this decision, check out these 3 questions to ask yourself.
Retrofit pros and cons: There are a handful of R-22 systems that can be converted to an acceptable refrigerant. This can result in a slight drop in cooling capacity; however, it will equate to better overall energy efficiency (and plus, you won’t be on the EPA’s radar anymore). If you need help planning and implementing a new solution, we specialize in HVAC installation and design projects. We’d love to chat.
R-22 Requirements: If you do decide to carry on with R-22, there are certain requirements you must adhere to. For starters, you’ll need to maintain detailed records (required for 50 pounds or more of refrigerant per HVAC system — typically multi-story commercial buildings or large industrial plants). These records must be kept for at least three years. If you need help maintaining your records, an HVAC service provider can help you make sense of everything. You can learn more about these requirements by reading the Section 608 Regulatory Changes from National Refrigerants, INC.
Need help updating or replacing your R-22 system?
At BMI Mechanical, we have decades of experience helping companies across California update, maintain, and modernize their HVAC systems. If you need help replacing or retrofitting your current R-22-dependent system, we can help. Give us a call or send us a message online.