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Two organizations have developed a standard that will help ensure a consistent minimal level of HVAC maintenance and inspection to preserve a system’s ability to achieve acceptable thermal comfort, energy efficiency, and indoor air quality in commercial buildings.
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) have released ANSI/ASHRAE/ACCA Standard 180-2008, Standard Practice for Inspection and Maintenance of Commercial Building HVAC Systems, the first standard to address inspection and maintenance of HVAC systems.
Inconsistencies exist within the building industry when it comes to inspection and maintenance of HVAC systems. Some facilities follow rigorous policies, while others employ a run-to-failure approach, according to Robert Baker, chair of the committee that wrote the standard.
“Consistent maintenance ensures that energy efficiency remains at design levels,” Baker says. “Where maintenance is neglected, energy costs rise significantly and equipment life drops dramatically. With HVAC&R systems responsible for about 60 percent of site electrical energy use, it’s imperative that we provide consistent maintenance and inspection to improve energy efficiency, along with thermal comfort and indoor air quality.”
Managers can obtain much of the information required to prepare the maintenance program from building commissioning documents, which provide a basis for identifying failures.
The cost of the standard is $31 – $25 for ASHRAE members. To order, contact ASHRAE at (800) 527-4723, or visit www.ashrae.org/bookstore.