This is the time of the year when HVAC technicians across the country receive late night phone calls, frantic messages, and a myriad of other forms of communication, as customers anxiously relay their stories of malfunctioning systems. Loss of heat is no laughing matter when temperatures have dipped below freezing. Of course, good HVAC technicians are quick to respond, but when they are fielding multiple emergency calls, or when they are stuck in the field, the property owner can face long hours with no heat. For commercial spaces, that can mean forced closing. For homeowners that can mean a great deal of discomfort and worry over potentially freezing pipes. There are, however, ways that you can prevent this fate at your own home or commercial building.
It’s not just loss of heat that can result in emergency calls and forced evacuations. Carbon monoxide entering the space as a result of gas leaks are another issue that people can face this time of the year. It is important to have detectors and sensors in place to alert to this sort of problem before it escalates and causes health problems for those exposed.
There are also flow sensors that can detect changes in air or water flow through pipes and ducts and send signals to controls that will shut down the system before a small issue becomes a much bigger problem. This can give the property owner the opportunity to address the issue because a full system failure occurs, and can prevent the need for an emergency HVAC tech.
Sensors and controls can also be used to ramp up and slow down an HVAC system, so on warmer days, the system isn’t overtaxing itself. This can prolong the lifespan of the system and also prevent those emergency situations.
As a final note, for some properties, it may be worth investing in a backup generator. Sensors and controls can be used to automatically switch over to the backup generator if the regular power supply is lost, so heat is maintained in the space.