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Commercial Ventilation: The Overlooked Part of HVAC

07.31.20

You feel it when there's a problem with the 'H' (heat) and the 'AC' (air conditioning). But how often do you think about the regularly forgotten part of HVAC: Ventilation? Commercial ventilation plays a crucial part in keeping indoor spaces comfortable and providing good air quality.

Building Ventilation

Protect the people in your building from harmful air contaminants like mold spores and VOC's with a well-maintained ventilation system. Proper building ventilation also results in lower energy costs.

Air Quality

Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOC's, are harmful airborne chemicals, produced by carpeting, paint, copier and printer toner, cleaning products, and many other common office supplies. Your building's HVAC filter will not trap these chemicals. Remove them through the building's ventilation system, or open windows, which isn't always practical because many of today's buildings are built to be airtight.

Humidity Levels

Commercial ventilation systems also regulate your indoor humidity levels. Maintaining proper humidity levels is important not only for the comfort of the people in the building, but for the building itself. Without proper airflow, moisture from the humidity accumulates and leads to mold growth. Mold irritates lungs, and also destroys wood, drywall, carpeting, and many other surfaces in your building.

Lower Energy Costs

Proper humidity levels also result in lower energy costs. High indoor humidity in the summer means running your air conditioner at a lower temperature to compensate. Conversely, humidity levels that are too low will leave you chilly in the winter. Dial in your humidity levels and save on heating and cooling bills.

Common Restaurant Ventilation Problems

Ventilation in a restaurant is crucial. Exhaust hoods regulate the grease, smoke, and steam created in the kitchen, which in turn regulates the comfort and safety of your employees and customers. No one thinks twice when your building's ventilation system works well. But when they fail- your staff and customers definitely notice.

Dirty Exhaust Fan

When your exhaust fan stops working properly, your kitchen will have an excess of smoke and exhaust. The most likely cause of kitchen exhaust fan issues is excess grease buildup on the fan and filter. Regular cleaning of the hood and filters goes a long way in preventing future issues.

Slow Exhaust Fan

If the exhaust fan is clean but you still have a smoky kitchen, take a look at the speed of your fan. It's possible that it simply isn't strong enough to adequately suck up the smoke and steam produced. One possible fix is to increase the speed of the fan by increasing power to the fan motor. If this doesn't fix the problem, or if your fan can't handle any additional power, then it is time to replace your fan motor.

Excessive Heat and Humidity

When your kitchen ventilation isn't working properly, it can affect the temperature in the rest of the restaurant. It's especially noticeable during hot summer months and can cause the air conditioning system to work overtime.

Your kitchen ventilation system delivers fresh air to the kitchen through a make-up air duct, via its own intake fan. When not working properly, too much air is removed through the exhaust and not enough air is replaced through the make-up air duct. This imbalance affects the entire building. This results not only in rising building temperatures, but also high humidity. High humidity levels can lead to moisture and mold issues.

Ventilation = The VIP of HVAC

Now that you know what an important part of the HVAC acronym ventilation is, we trust you will give it the preventative maintenance it deserves. Call today to schedule maintenance, cleaning, or replacement for your commercial ventilation system.