HVAC – Interview with Robert Adcock

We’re kicking off a special interview series, and joining us is our own Robert Adcock, HVAC Division Manager.

Robert handles HVAC for residential, commercial, and industrial clients and his crew is well-equipped to service and help maintain your system.

Question: What is one thing that you wish more clients knew about HVAC?
Robert Adcock: I’d say preventative maintenance. It’s important for people to know what needs to be done and how often.

Q: So what are some maintenance tips you’d recommend to people with a standard heating and air unit?
RA: Cleaning off the condenser coils once a year can prevent the unit from freezing over or shutting down. Always remember to turn off the power. Remove the cover and rinse the condenser coils with a garden hose. Never use a pressure washer because it can damage the unit.

Adding a tablespoon of bleach to the condensate drain line once a year will prevent algae build up which can break seals and cause leaks.

Remember to change the filter monthly. Make it easy to remember by always changing your filters on the day you receive your utility bill every month.

Q: What makes quality air balance testing so important?
RA: Customer comfort is one reason. If you’ve ever been to a restaurant or other store where you felt a blast of air either cold or hot from outside blow through every time someone opened a door, that was a result of negative air pressure; a negative building. Another thing you might have noticed is a door feeling stuck or locked when you tried to open it. That’s negative air pressure and a sign that the building might need work.

If a building has more air coming in than going out it is considered negative. Negative buildings pull in unconditioned air from outside causing ventilation problems and costing more in utility spending.

Balanced correctly, a building should be 10-15% positive for optimum comfort and utility efficiency.

Q: What other issues are caused by negative air pressure?
RA: It causes poor combustion in gas appliances which can cause sooting, carbon monoxide leakage, and improper functioning. If a restaurant is negative it can cause the grill to cook food unevenly. A draft in a negative building could pull the flame from a gas appliance like a water heater and cause a fire.

Q. How much can air balancing effect utility costs?
RA: From 5 to 25 percent depending on how negative the building is. A building that is 5-10% negative will probably increase utility cost by about 5%. A building that is 75% negative could cost 25% more.

Q: Do you have any closing advice as relates to HVAC air balance testing?
RA: For commercial buildings, the owner or property manager can do a basic check by turning on all the exhaust fans and then standing in the open doorway or near the drive-through window. If more air is coming in than going out the building is probably negative.

If you find out that you need work done, be sure to research your contractor. There are a lot of guys who will offer a discounted service and then not do the work correctly. Be sure that your contractor is certified in their field and has an excellent service record. Read reviews. Making sure that you get it right the first time saves time and money and protects yourself and your family.

Thanks, Robert.

Remember, Lloyd’s Electric Service, Inc. is proud to service all your HVAC needs whether residential, commercial, or industrial. No project is too small or large for Robert’s expert HVAC team.

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