Troubleshooting HVAC Issues in New and Old Buildings

HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) issues are common across buildings new and old. Even where new buildings are designed with high-level performance credentials in mind, such as BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ and LEED Platinum, this does not mean they are free from problems. More often than not, these highly accredited buildings come with significant heating, cooling, and control issues that only become apparent when they are finally handed over to the client and are fully operational. Older buildings often face the same problems – though for different reasons.

Understanding why these problems arise and how best to approach them is essential for ensuring your building is running at an optimal level. In many cases, the best approach is to partner with an energy expert who can guide you in the right direction.

What issues are faced by new and old buildings?

As mentioned, new buildings are prone to a significant amount of HVAC issues. Clients often mistakenly believe that because a building is boasted as being energy efficient and well-optimised that they don’t have to do any work after taking it over. Often, they’ll find when they finally move into the building, that the BMS hasn’t been optimally commissioned, the heating and cooling systems aren’t working together effectively or there are issues with the air supplies.

Old buildings are prone to the same common HVAC issues. However, they normally arise from different circumstances – such as systems failing after many years of use, or poor maintenance practices. Often, businesses fail to monitor that key systems are functioning properly, and this ends up significantly impacting the building’s energy performance and functionality. As a result, any efforts to improve conditions end up being an uphill struggle.

The consequences of the above issues are numerous. They lead to excessive running costs, key equipment failure and downtime, and poor working conditions for the building occupants, which can leave everyone frustrated. Then, if the company attempts to address these issues without the necessary expertise, they’re only likely to cause more trouble for themselves. Most companies don’t have the time needed to address HVAC issues properly themselves – in situations like these, the value of getting a fresh set of eyes to look into the problems can’t be overstated.

What are the main benefits of HVAC troubleshooting in the smart building and energy technology industry?

Modern smart buildings often have a lot of untapped potential for efficiency; but without the right commissioning and calibration, they’ll never be able to perform to the level to which they were designed. The main benefit of involving an outside advisor in the process is that it simplifies things. Chasing up HVAC issues with the building manager can easily lead to long, drawn-out conversations, where the blame is passed between the different parties involved in the construction and maintenance. It’s an issue that becomes even more complicated for large, multi-site organisations.

Partnering with a company that has the capacity to assist across multiple buildings will allow you to reach the level of optimisation you desire in a quick manner, supplying solutions that you can apply across the whole of your company.

What steps should businesses take?

When new buildings are in a process of transition from the developer to the occupant, we recommend involving a third party that specialises in energy performance and optimisation. Including a company that can carry out the necessary testing and commissioning – while maintaining an impartial, outside perspective – will help ensure a smooth transition can be secured, without any vested interest. Similarly, with older buildings, an expert can use their know-how to pragmatically rectify legacy issues and ensure the site is performing an optimal level.

ETS has the expertise to guide companies through these processes and ensure any HVAC issues are swiftly and effectively resolved.

Questions about energy management technology?

If you have any questions regarding the energy needs of your business, our expert team at ETS are always here to help. You can contact us by calling 0117 205 0542, emailing us at or you can submit a contact form.

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