10 Safety Tips for Commercial Air Conditioners

22 Jun
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Summer is back, and it’s time to make sure you are ready to keep yourselves and customers cool indoors. Not sure where to start? Check out these 10 safety tips for commercial air conditioners:

  • Change Your Air Filters Regularly

Air filters are supposed to trap pollutants, allergens and other airborne contaminants. That means eventually they will become full and restrict airflow, causing a drop in air conditioner performance. Changing them out regularly not only ensures better air quality, but it also reduces the workload on your commercial HVAC system.

  • Maintain an Adequate, Safe Power Supply

Every commercial air conditioner installed must meet specific building codes and federal/state regulations for maintaining safety and proper function. Small business owners need to check their power supply periodically to verify that current and voltage outputs are up to code. Moreover, the AC power supply needs to be inspected to ensure the AC isn’t overloading the system and creating a potential safety hazard.

  • Get Your HVAC System Tuned Up

Before the hot weather sets in, schedule a tune-up with an HVAC professional. They can verify your refrigerant levels, check condenser drains to make sure they don’t cause an overflow and ensure everything is ready for the season. The last thing any business owner wants is for their air conditioning to break down in the middle of summer. Losing time and money while you wait in the heat for a technician to come out is plain bad for business.

  • Avoid Using Unsecured Extension Cords With Portable Commercial Units

Some warehouses and automotive repair shops use portable commercial AC units in the summer when their existing systems aren’t keeping conditions cool enough for work. Whether you are renting or using a system you own, use the integrated power cord if at all possible. If that’s not practical,  check that your extension cords are correctly rated, free of insulation damage shape and properly secured. 

Using an extension cord that isn’t rated for the job can create dangerous electrical safety hazards that can cause injury or loss of life.  If a cord has frayed insulation or appears to be wearing thin, it needs to be replaced immediately.  Above all, find a way to secure extension cords so they don’t create a hazardous work environment for your team.

  • Keep the Area Around Your Commercial Air Conditioner Clear

This is important whether you are using a temporary commercial air conditioner or you have one already installed. Don’t allow anything to be stacked on or around your HVAC unit, and the area around portable commercial units should be clear on all four sides. Improper ventilation or debris falling into the mechanism can lead to expensive damage and equipment failure. Check it at least weekly, too. You don’t want to work all week in a hot building only to discover that someone leaned cardboard or trash up against the unit.

  • Verify Your Commercial Air Conditioner has Been Professionally Inspected

If you’re moving into a new location, one of the first things you need to do is verify when the AC was last inspected and serviced. Regular inspection not only helps you keep your building up to code, but it also has the potential to save you from expensive, unexpected repairs. The sooner a problem is discovered, the sooner it can be fixed. Letting it go and failing to follow up on potential problems is the best way to have a system breakdown at the worst possible time.

  • Check The Anchoring and Mounting of Your Air Conditioning Unit

No matter where your AC unit is located, check out the mounting and anchoring of your commercial AC. An air conditioner needs to be properly balanced at installation to prevent issues from arising with the motor and other moving components in the system. It is especially important to check the anchoring and mounting after an earthquake, heavy storms, hurricanes, or tornadoes as well. You never know how these natural disasters will affect your building, and sometimes the damage to your AC goes unnoticed until it stops working.

  • Verify Your Air Conditioning Unit and Circulator Fans Have a Laboratory Testing Sticker

It is highly unlikely you would have any professionally installed hardware on the premises which is not certified by an independent laboratory. However, not every small business owner works with the most scrupulous contractors, and if you are not the original tenant you need to find out all you can about what AC hardware they installed, upgraded, or replaced. 

If they don’t have the information you need, check individual components for their UWS, IL or similar seals. An unrated component can void your insurance and result in extremely costly damage should there be an electrical issue and you have any untested/unrated parts installed on your HVAC system.

  • Verify Surge Protection

The power supply of most commercial buildings is fully surge protected, but as with all things HVAC-related it is better to trust and verify. Proper surge protection is essential to getting the most out of your commercial air conditioner, especially where safety is concerned

  • Clean All Ducts and Vents

At least once per year, get all your ducts and vents vacuumed out. The dust build-up alone can cause air quality and health issues for your team members. It’s in everyone’s best interest to keep them clean, both for health and safety reasons.

All in all, your commercial HVAC system needs routine maintenance at least once per year. Why not have the best in the business inspect your system for you? Contact us today for more information about keeping your commercial AC system up and running for years to come. 

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