When you think of your heating system, what comes to mind? Probably your boiler or your heat pump – the main part of the system that does all the heavy lifting. Don’t worry – most people think the same thing! But a commercial HVAC system is about so much more than the primary system. It’s a network of components, each with its own role, that connect together to provide you with heating, cooling and hot water. But all too often facilities managers will focus on maintaining that main system, and forget that the ancillaries need some attention too.
More Than Just a Gas Safety Check
All commercial properties are required to have a gas safety check done every year by law, by a registered gas safe engineer. This is something that all facilities managers know about, as not doing it could put them at huge risk for fines as well as putting the health and safety of their customers and tenants at risk. But a gas safety check will often only look at your primary heating system – so your boiler or your heat pump – to make sure it’s working correctly. They will not always check the accessories and ancillary systems connected to your heating system to make sure they’re being maintained. But this is a big oversight, as these ancillaries can hugely impact the performance and safety of your HVAC system. So while getting your gas safety check is a legal requirement, getting your ancillaries checked and maintained is also critical.
The Role of Ancillaries
Whether you have a heat pump or a boiler, it’s important to remember that your heating system is just that – a system. And your actual boiler is just one part of that system. Without all of the other elements that connect to it, it’s essentially useless. The exact ancillaries you have will depend on your heating system, but some of the more common ones include:
- Blowdown vessels
- Water softeners
- Condensate tanks, trays & pumps
- Hotwell tanks
- Tubing & piping
- Peristaltic pumps
- Fixtures and fittings
This list is by no means exclusive, and if you’re not sure what your HVAC system ancillaries are we strongly encourage you to find out. Your heating system is a complex thing, and you need to understand each element in order to maintain good system health. By learning how to take care of your HVAC ancillaries you can save yourself a lot of money on repairs and keep your system working at maximum efficiency.
Our Top Care Tips
So how do you take proper care of your ancillaries? Well, we recommend hiring a professional to help you with this, but a few things you can do regularly yourself include:
- Keep clear. In a commercial space, your heating system should be housed in a plant room and away from other equipment. Most HVAC systems will need a well-ventilated space in order to work well, so make sure you’re keeping the space around them clear. This includes space around all ancillaries, which should be placed so that they connect properly without causing any hazards to employees or the system itself.
- Check your water quality. Believe it or not the quality of your water does have an impact on the effectiveness of your HVAC system, and how you treat it. For example, if you’re in a hard water area then you are at risk for build-ups of limescale in pipes, as well as deposits of minerals like calcium and magnesium, which turn into solid particles and build up inside your heating system, trapping heat or cooling and preventing it from being released. This might mean you need ancillaries like a water treatment unit, which will need maintenance and care of its own.
- Dirt and debris can easily build up on and in your heating system, and this can cause a lot of problems. So schedule some time for your cleaning crew to clean the equipment and ancillaries and the space around it to prevent this. If you have a boiler, invest in a powerflush service at least once a year to make sure your system is clean and radiators throughout the building are running at maximum efficiency.
- Invest in maintenance. Regular maintenance is the key to keeping any industrial HVAC system running smoothly. Hire an expert maintenance company and set up a regular preventative maintenance schedule so that you can catch any faults before they cause problems and make sure your system and its ancillaries are all in good working order.
At Bonus Eventus Maintenance Ltd, we specialise in the routine maintenance and care of commercial HVAC systems. We don’t just look at your main system, but every element attached to it to make sure everything is operational and in good health. If we spot something that’s wrong – a component that’s degrading or an element that needs cleaning – we will handle that too, so you can be confident that your HVAC system is being regularly checked and is in full working order. If you would like to know more, just get in touch with the team today.