Faults can snowball – how to stay cosy and comfortable this winter

Faults can snowball – how to stay cosy and comfortable this winter

Thursday, November 15, 2018 | Air Conditioning

Whether or not we have a white Christmas, you can guarantee temperatures will gradually drop and the heating will be on daily. In a public or commercial building like an office, hospital, shop or school, comfort, health and safety is paramount. That includes keeping premises warm and ventilated and booking a service undertaken by a qualified engineer.

Servicing AC is not just a summer thing!
It’s a common misconception that air conditioning, heating and ventilation systems only need servicing in the run up to summer. Air conditioning works just as hard in the cooler months (even more so after a hot summer), warming up rooms to an optimum temperature and keeping the indoor air as fresh as possible. Every year at Adcock we see calls to our branches increase in winter – particularly during a deep freeze – and whilst we do our best to attend callouts as quickly as possible, the best preparation you can do is to book a service in advance.

A service will check all the important parts of your system (like the motor fan, lubricants, electrical parts, thermostat, pipes, refrigerants, pumps and valves) and fix faults or order any replacements in good time. This means you’ll be less likely to encounter a problem that could escalate into an emergency breakdown, and your system will be able to cope when the heating is ramped up. Our engineers are highly trained to spot potential problems and explain them without the jargon, so you can make a judgment on the risk they pose to your system and occupants. Perhaps it’s time for a strip down or deep clean – not only will you assure the comfort of occupants, you’ll also ensure you’ll have an energy efficient system that is not struggling to perform.

Keep productivity high
In winter, the job of an air conditioning system is to heat buildings to an optimum temperature. Too cold, and people will be unable to work properly. Too hot, and you risk them slumping into snooze mode. If your heating fails completely, you may have to source costly alternative heating, encounter related issues in the building or even remain closed – highly detrimental to business. In cooler months, windows are opened less, but this doesn’t mean pollution stays out. Indoor air becomes too humid and stale and creates a haven for fungi, mold and winter bugs thriving in the warm environment. Ventilation is therefore essential to circulate air and bring in fresh air. Systems can only do this effectively if filters and ducts are checked periodically and kept free from debris.

Failing to plan is planning to fail
You could just cross your fingers and hope for the best, but we definitely don’t advise this. Winter weather fluctuates and is unpredictable. Even if your AC won’t be used for months, simply switching it off to hibernate doesn’t mean it will be in tip-top condition when you switch it back on again in spring, especially when outdoor units are subject to the elements – falling leaves, rain, hail etc.

Planned preventive maintenance is the best option in our opinion. With a maintenance contract in place, you would have a much lower risk of a mechanical failure plus privileged access to our swift-response 24-hour call-out service, should you need it. Your subsequent servicing will also be scheduled so you’ll be ready for that heatwave, even if it hits in April!

If you’ve been meaning to get your AC, heating or ventilation serviced, now is the ideal time. To find out more or book a service, please contact us (http://www.adcock.co.uk/contact) and we will put you in touch with your local Adcock engineer. Don’t put it off.

10 Top Tips for winter

  • Ensure outdoor units are clear from fallen leaves - only if safe to do so! Consider getting a cover that won’t obstruct air vents
  • Maintaining clean filters ensures peak operation
  • On cold mornings, set your timer schedule to heat up your working area gradually. Start at 18 degrees Celsius and increase up to 22 degrees maximum, to try and avoid outdoor units icing up
  • Remember that during low, ambient temperatures the air conditioning unit will regularly defrost and will not blow out warm air for 20-30 minutes. Keep callouts to a minimum by giving the system a chance to defrost!
  • If it has snowed, carefully check that condensing units are clear of snow before turning on air conditioning, if safe to do so
  • If possible, use the night set back feature to maintain 16 degrees Celsius overnight to keep some temperature within the work area
  • Ensure parts like vents or fans aren’t obstructed or overheating
  • Unless it’s an emergency, try switching off your system for 10 seconds and turning it back on again to see if that resets the fault
  • Although it’s hard to keep everyone happy, a sensible office temperature is about 22 degrees Celsius, not 30 degrees!
  • Keep Adcock’s email handy: enquiries@adcock.co.uk

As with all machinery, never risk your own health and safety. Call the experts if in doubt. We will always try to help you over the phone if we can.

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