BMI Mechanical Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning
BMI Mechanical Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning
Categories
Archives
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.

spring flowers hvac checklist

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.

Condenser Coil

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.

Evaporator Coil

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.

Fans

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:

  1. 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).
  2. 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.)
  3. 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.

portrait of a disgusted girl pinching her nose you hvac smells
▸ February 26, 2021

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.

Related Material: Your guide to preventative HVAC maintenance and optimization

My AC smells like rotten egg

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.

Related Material: Tips on how to reduce the spread of COVID-19 indoors

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.

Fill out our online contact form if you have questions or if you need help with proactive HVAC maintenance.

black and white hvac system on building
▸ January 27, 2021

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. 

Give us a call or fill out our online form today.

Additional Resources

bmi mechanical building and truck and trailer
▸ January 27, 2021

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.

thermostat bmi mechanical technology
▸ January 4, 2021

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.

Keep Reading: 3 HVAC Technologies That Can Reduce The Spread Of COVID-19

Smart HVAC Technology

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. 

Keep Reading: How to optimize your HVAC systems for future success

Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF)

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. 

Keep Reading: Your guide to seasonal HVAC planning and coordination

Ready to upgrade your HVAC system?

At BMI Mechanical, we have decades of experience helping companies upgrade their commercial HVAC systems. Whether you need help deciding between equipment repair and equipment replacement, you’re looking for a new preventative maintenance program, or you’re simply ready to modernize your HVAC equipment, we can help.
Give us a call or fill out our online form. We’d love to talk about your HVAC technology and solutions.

Refrigerant Phaseout bmi mechianical
▸ December 29, 2020

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.

Additional HVAC resources:

Cooling tower cleaning bmi mechanical
▸ December 2, 2020

Over the winter months and holiday season, many manufacturing facilities and industrial plants will likely consider a temporary shutdown for some of their mechanical systems. At the same time, it’s a perfect opportunity to deep clean and sanitize, coordinate deferred repairs, and schedule proactive replacement of aging components. 

While these tasks can expand to include everything from production equipment and plumbing to roofing and other critical facility needs, it’s important not to overlook your HVAC system.

To help you manage and better prepare for an upcoming seasonal HVAC shutdown, we’ve created a simple list of tasks to check out. View the list below or download the PDF to get started.

Chillers & Boilers

Unchecked Icon Perform a full OEM annual
*Depending on the type of equipment, this could possibly involve some disassembly, interior cleaning, chemical treatment, gasket replacement, and more. It’s important to work with someone who understands these components and how to work with them. 

Unchecked Icon Eddy current testing
*This task can help you collect year-over-year data for performance and allow you to better estimate chiller lifespan. 

Cooling Towers & Evaporative Condensers

Unchecked Icon Drain and clean (silica scale and biological growth)
*If growth is significant, you should re-evaluate your water treatment program or consider reverse osmosis.

Unchecked Icon Complete a planned replacement of media
*If the media is being damaged, it can be a sign of poor PM and/or water treatment. Consider making changes if necessary.

Panel AC Units

Unchecked Icon Complete a full cleaning
*It is recommended to remove the unit from the line and wash it outdoors.

Unchecked Icon Replace any units that have been problematic
*It is recommended to repair and keep the originals as back-ups.

Need help planning your next seasonal HVAC shutdown?

Even though this list seems short and sweet, many of the items listed require someone with experience in HVAC systems. If you need assistance with a seasonal HVAC shutdown, please give us a call or contact us online today. At BMI Mechanical, we have decades of experience helping maintenance and production facilities coordinate seasonal HVAC shutdowns, and we’d love to help you, too.

Download the PDF version of this checklist, print it out, and manually cross off items as you go through our seasonal HVAC shutdown checklist.

DOWNLOAD CHECKLIST

Additional Resources from BMI Mechanical:

Factoid

The median service life of a package air conditioner is 15 years. ASHRAE

When the service professionals at BMI Mechanical focus on what they do best, we are able to focus on what we do best. For over 6 years Patterson Logistics Services has trusted the folks at BMI to keep our building temperatures within the desired range. In today’s business world we need to partner with companies like BMI whose tradition is built on honesty and integrity. BMI, thank you for taking care of business! Cesar Lopez PLSI Western Distribution Center Manager Patterson Logistics Services

1-800-698-4264