BMI Mechanical Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning
BMI Mechanical Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning
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business people shaking hands
▸ June 26, 2021

With preventative HVAC maintenance provided by a commercial HVAC company, your business can gain freedom from a variety of recurring issues and daily frustrations. It can even save you time and money, as well as limiting waste along the way. 

But what issues specifically can you liberate yourself from? Let’s take a look at 4 different issues you can avoid when you work with a quality HVAC partner.

Uncomfortable indoor temperatures that are hard to avoid

As temperatures drastically increase, businesses everywhere will struggle with how to maintain comfortable indoor environments.  

How do you keep your equipment running consistently when it’s forced to run much harder for much longer hours?

With a preventative maintenance solution, this particular issue is no longer a cause for concern. This is because HVAC companies that offer such a solution provide summer HVAC maintenance that specifically addresses heat-related hurdles. 

Reliable HVAC professionals prep your equipment, so that it has what it takes to successfully work through hotter months. This equipment prep may include replacing air filters and double-checking insulation, as well as taking an in-depth look at temperature-reliant areas (such as server rooms and data centers).

Temperature-related complaints that never stop

When your HVAC equipment can’t keep up and causes your building to run too hot as a result, you can almost guarantee that you’ll start to receive an influx of occupant complaints. 

In fact, IFMA says disagreements over indoor temperature rank #1 and #2 on the list of top office complaints. Unfortunately, this specific type of complaint can lead to noticeable decreases in productivity, which can ultimately affect your bottom line.

When you work with a commercial HVAC company, they can guide you through concerns such as building automation, seasonal shutdowns, and more. All of this together can help you maintain indoor temperature in a way that’s most conducive to your unique environment.

Multiple service calls that happen at the worst times

If you overwork your HVAC system in the summer, you can expect two things. 

First, if issues aren’t taken care of quickly (and correctly), one small problem can (and most likely will) lead to multiple big problems. 

Second, you won’t be the only company experiencing one (or multiple issues) at the same time. 

What does all of this mean? 

You’ll suddenly need help, and you won’t be able to get it. You’ll have multiple service calls out at one time, but you’ll be behind a number of other businesses who also need help.

However, when you work with a commercial HVAC company on a preventive maintenance plan, they’ll do everything they can to make sure your equipment remains operational at all times. On top of this, if an issue does pop up, you’ll be a top priority — not just another service call.

Unexpected breakdowns that lead to unexpected expenses

As we briefly mentioned earlier, there are certain facets of your HVAC system that your HVAC partner will want to pay close attention to before summer rolls around. If you don’t have a partner, then you’ll suffer from unexpected breakdowns that lead to unexpected expenses. The most common summer HVAC issues can include everything from clogged drains and refrigerant leaks to dirty motors and missing panels. 

The majority of summer-related concerns start off rather innocently (ex. clogged drains), but they can lead to full-on breakdowns and service interruptions. That’s why spring cleaning and summer prep are important for the health of your HVAC, and that’s why an HVAC partner is important for your business as a whole.

More freedom starts with BMI Mechanical

If you’re ready to liberate yourself from recurring HVAC issues and frustrations, we’d love to help. At BMI Mechanical, we have decades of experience providing preventative HVAC services to businesses throughout California. 

Give us a call or fill out our online form to learn more.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

equipment replacement and repairs plan
▸ November 3, 2020

For the average business, end-of-year signifies end-of-year planning for investments and repairs. However, it’s not always cut-and-dry whether or not these investments are worth it in the long run. 

Should you bite the bullet and invest in new equipment or should you simply repair what you have and keep moving forward? To help you answer this question, we’ve outlined a series of circumstances that might require equipment replacement, as well as a series of questions to ask yourself concerning replacement vs repair.

5 situations that justify replacement

When evaluating your current system and equipment, here are some particular circumstances that should prompt you to more heavily consider replacement:

Breakdowns

If your equipment is regularly breaking down and causing problems for your staff, then it’s likely time to consider a full replacement of one or more components. You may also want to consider replacement if you’ve seen an upward trend in the cost of repairs over the last few years. This is a good indicator that your equipment is headed towards more costly and longer-lasting breakdowns.

Consumption

If your equipment is old and consuming massive or unnecessary amounts of energy, replacement might be the right choice. New and more modern equipment can have a positive impact on energy waste and cost.

Insufficiency

If your equipment is not operating at a sufficient level, why continue to put up with it? Whether it’s not cooling or heating properly or whether it’s unable to properly ventilate indoor spaces, these insufficiencies aren’t just inconvenient and uncomfortable — they can cost money, lead to downtime, and create vulnerabilities. Replacing insufficient equipment can save you money, keep your guests and employees more comfortable, and create safer, healthier spaces.

Related Content: 3 HVAC technologies that improve indoor ventilation

Changes

If you’ve made any recent changes to your business or facility (from structural changes to the building to increasing the number of employees or guests in your building at any given point), then replacement might be necessary. With new changes, come new demands. It’s important to determine if your pre-existing equipment can keep up with those changes. If it can’t, then it’s time to consider replacement.

Luck

If you happen to be lucky enough to have the “use it or lose it” capital funds in Q4, then use them. Invest in your equipment, so you can operate more smoothly in the coming year. This is more important than ever given the COVID-19 pandemic. Take this opportunity to invest in equipment that promotes proper indoor ventilation and reduces the spread of harmful particles.

Related Content: COVID-19 Reopening Guidelines & Tips For 2021

Replace vs Repair: How to make the decision

The following series of questions can help you make a logical decision when it comes to replacing or repairing aging or failing equipment.

What’s the history of your equipment?

As we mentioned earlier, equipment that regularly breaks down is a surefire sign that things need to be replaced. But more specifically, if you’ve noticed increasing costs or a significant increase in service calls over the last three years, it’s time to speak with your service contractor about replacement. Your service contractor should be able to help you determine where this upward trend is coming from and assist you in narrowing down potential replacement options.

Is your equipment wasting energy?

Back in the day, energy efficiency wasn’t top priority when considering building needs and goals. Now, however, people are coming to the realization that energy efficiency equates to a reduction in electricity costs. In fact, more modern equipment can save you as much as 50% on energy bills. To determine whether or not your equipment is saving or wasting energy, your service contractor can complete a benchmarking tool (such as the Building Energy Scorecard from BMI) to identify vulnerabilities and savings opportunities.

What is the cost of not replacing your equipment?

Your service contractor should have the ability to help you clearly define the financial impact of not replacing certain system components. With a financial analysis, you can determine if the continued annual cost of repairs will be greater than that of replacement. These costs should include energy, service, labor, revenue, and productivity costs.

The first steps to take when replacing your equipment

At BMI Mechanical, we have decades of experience helping companies make the decision between repairing and replacing aging or failing equipment. When we work with our clients, we recommend developing a 3- and 5-year plan that helps prioritize equipment replacement. 

This plan is coupled with a multi-year budget that makes the financial cost of replacement much easier to manage. At BMI, we also offer flexible billing options and short-term and long-term financing options. Don’t forget to ask your service provider if any similar financing options are available, since this can greatly lift up cash flow restrictions and enable better decision making.

If necessary, your service contractor should also be able to provide a financial analysis that determines the ROI of your investments, further aiding you in your ability to make a logical decision as to repairing or replacing equipment. 

Have more questions regarding replacement vs repair of your equipment. Fill out our online contact form or review our additional resources.

preventative maintenance worker hvac
▸ November 3, 2020

As we head into 2021, business owners and managers are looking inward. The end of year is a prime opportunity to plan investments and evaluate current preventative maintenance programs and strategies. But when evaluating these programs, what exactly should you be scrutinizing and how do you know whether or not to make changes?

Let’s take a look at what constitutes a preventative maintenance program and identify what questions you should be asking yourself as you close out the year.

Related Content: COVID-19 Reopening Guidelines & Tips For 2021

What is preventative maintenance?

Many organizations tend to use preventative maintenance as a “catch-all” phrase; however, the ultimate goal of preventative building maintenance is to achieve operational efficiency. 

“Operational Efficiency represents the life-cycle, cost-effective mix of preventive, predictive, and reliability-centered maintenance technologies, coupled with equipment calibration, tracking, and computerized maintenance management capabilities all targeting reliability, safety, occupant comfort, and system efficiency.” —O&M Best Practices Guide

As you can imagine, all preventative maintenance programs are unique (or, at least, they should be unique). Each organization has different needs and goals, which is then coupled with their unique set of tools, equipment, and solutions. While there are standards for preventative maintenance, these standards should merely be used as a foundation with which to launch your own preventative maintenance program.

Although preventative maintenance will look different to everyone, the following is a list of general questions you should be seeking answers for when selecting a service partner for your preventative maintenance needs:

  • How often is service provided?
  • What preventative maintenance tasks are provided?
  • What coverage/protection/warranty is provided for equipment components?
  • What tests are conducted and how often?
  • When are inspections completed and how often?
  • What services are not included (ex. cleaning, replacement, lubricating, etc.)?

The answers to these questions should hopefully lead you to a relationship with a service provider that is mutually beneficial. in other words, you don’t want to end up with a service provider who is rewarded when your systems fail or components break. You’re looking for a relationship that keeps your systems at optimal performance and saves you from hidden costs associated with services “not covered” in your preventative maintenance program.

What are the benefits of preventative maintenance?

The benefits of strategic and customized preventative maintenance are far-reaching. They can have a positive and lasting impact on your organization, and here’s why:

  1. You can save energy: With a comprehensive preventive maintenance solution that provides basic and routine tasks such as coil cleaning and air filter replacement, you can reduce energy waste by up to 25%.
  2. You can extend the life or your equipment: Equipment replacement can be costly to an organization, but with preventative maintenance, you can add up to 10 years to your system and lower the annual cost of equipment replacement by up to 40%.
  3. You can reduce downtime: When you keep your system functioning at optimal performance for extended periods of time, you can maintain critical processes, minimize downtime, and improve productivity, revenue, and reliability.
  4. You can improve comfortability: A customized preventative maintenance program can also be customized to enhance the experience of your guests and employees. Simply speaking, this customization can improve indoor air quality and create a safer, cleaner, and more comfortable indoor environment. Ultimately, this can lead to improved morale and retention.
  5. You can stabilize your budget: When you reduce your need for unexpected equipment repairs and replacement and reduce energy waste, what you’re really doing is stabilizing your budget. You no longer have to worry about hidden or unexpected costs, and you can now effectively budget for building maintenance. 
  6. You can lower costs: Not only can you budget better with a preventative maintenance program, but you can save better, too. Reduce your annual spend on repairs, replacement, and energy, and redirect those funds to other areas of your business.

Even with all the benefits of preventative maintenance, many organizations are still tempted to either lower or completely eliminate preventative maintenance spend from their budget. However, this would be a mistake, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. More than ever, it’s important to have a system that stays fully functional and protects your employees and guests from harmful particles. The only way to do this is with a designated partner and program for preventative maintenance in place.

Related Content: 3 HVAC Technologies That Can Reduce The Spread Of COVID-19

Questions to ask when evaluating your preventative maintenance program

What systems are protected? What systems aren’t protected?

When evaluating current or potential preventative maintenance programs, it’s critical to determine which areas are and are not protected or provided for by your service contractor. For example, the HVAC unit itself is obvious — but what about server rooms, building controls, and air distribution systems below the roofline? To have a preventative maintenance program that truly provides all the intended benefits, all connected systems and programs must be provided for. Have your contractor outline all areas covered by the preventative maintenance program.

What is the service interval?

For a preventative maintenance program to be beneficial for your company, preventative maintenance actually needs to be provided. While it may seem obvious, it’s a rather simple matter to overlook during contract review. How often are preventative maintenance services provided and what is the rationale behind it? Are you receiving any preventative services that are customized to your system or do they seem to be generic services that everyone receives? It’s important to review frequency and needs relevant to your business. For example, due to smoke and ash in California, air filters will likely need to be replaced more often. Is this something your provider considers? It’s simple things like these that are often overlooked, and unfortunately, this can have a drastic impact on your system.

How much are you spending?

Reducing cost and stabilizing your budget are both core benefits of a preventative maintenance program. But just because you’re on a preventative maintenance contract, doesn’t mean you should switch to autopilot. It’s important to keep track of your annual spending and to confirm that you’re not spending too much on service calls and repairs. As a rule of thumb, if you’re spending twice as much on service calls and repairs as you are on maintenance, then your program is deficient, and it should be reworked as soon as possible.

How is the conflict of interest removed?

We mentioned earlier that you don’t want to be partnered with a service provider who is continuously rewarded monetarily when components fail or require service. If it’s not obvious how this conflict of risk is mitigated, then you might need to scrutinize this area the most when evaluating your service contract. How is your service provider guaranteeing quality of service and what is the incentive for them to do so? Typically, service providers offer preventative maintenance at a recurring monthly cost. They want your system to remain efficient and they want to eliminate potential issues before they become problems. By doing so, they can minimize service calls and reduce the time spent working on your system. It’s a win-win for both parties. But for this to be truly beneficial for you, you need to understand where their services begin and end and what exactly constitutes problems and services outside your service contract. 

What is the quality of service you are receiving?

To help you analyze any services you’re currently receiving or services you’re considering receiving, here are a few questions you should answer:

  • Consistent Technician: Do you receive assistance from the same technician(s) every month or do you receive assistance from a different person every time? Oftentimes, it’s more beneficial to have one or two technicians that are fully dedicated to your account, as opposed to a revolving door of technicians.
  • Response Time: How quickly are service calls responded to and what’s the average length of time it takes to resolve issues? Is there a trend? Have things gotten worse or better over time?
  • Professional Recommendations: Are you receiving any proactive equipment and/or service recommendations? If so, are you receiving a variety of mid-range and long-term options?
  • Financial Analyses: Has your contractor ever completed a full financial analysis on your HVAC system? If not, is there one planned or is there a logical reason behind not performing one?

Related Content: Preventative maintenance case studies from real companies

Have more questions about preventative maintenance?

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 service contract that provides all the intended benefits of preventative maintenance. If you need help understanding the ins and outs of your service contract, send us a message today or check out our additional resources.

Factoid

51% of energy is used by HVAC Linc

For nearly 19 years BMI has supplied services to Laurelglen Bible Church under an annual maintenance contract. Our experience with BMI has always been exceptional. Your staff is professional and always available to meet our needs in a timely manner. The maintenance contract has taken ‘the risk out’ of servicing and repairing our HVAC units. John F. Penrose Senior Administrator Laurelglen Bible Church

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