Mechanical Services Blog

No one wants to experience boiler failure during the first cold snap of the year. Taking a few proactive steps to prepare your boiler can help ensure that your commercial building will stay warm throughout the winter months.

  1. Do a test turn-on – Turn your boiler on before the cold weather hits to assess if your boiler is ready for winter. If something is wrong with your boiler, it is better to know about it early on so you can fix it before the temperatures drop.
  2. Remove objects in the area – Make sure that flammable objects are not near your boiler equipment. Clear the area near your boiler’s floor space to help ensure the air intakes are not blocked.
  3. Bleed out the radiator – If your radiator is colder at the top than at the bottom, it may need to be bled out to release air that is trapped in the system. If this is not done, it can waste energy and money and place a strain on your system.
  4. Insulate pipes – Make sure your pipes are insulated to avoid freezes when temperatures drop below zero. If your pipes freeze, it can cause your boiler to shut off.
  5. Check your boiler pressure – Make sure that the pressure of your boiler is within normal range.
  6. Check for leaks, cracks, soot accumulation, obstructions and blockages –Inspect your boiler for any warning signs or signs of damage. Leaks, cracks and obstructions can cause failure of your boiler.
  7. Make sure carbon monoxide detectors are working – You will want to have working carbon monoxide detectors if your boiler starts to leak carbon monoxide. Having a working alarm will give you peace of mind as you start up your boiler for the winter.
  8. Get a service checkup – It is extremely important to have your boiler serviced by a professional who can inspect, repair and clean your boiler to get it ready for the winter season.

Contact MMC for Commercial Boiler Service

The team at Metropolitan Mechanical Contractors can service your boiler to prepare it for the winter ahead. Getting your boiler serviced will give you peace of mind that your building will remain warm and comfortable even as the temperatures outside turn colder. Our experience technicians will provide boiler tune-ups to maximize efficiency and prevent costly equipment failures.

With office locations in Eden Prairie, Minneapolis and Rochester, MN as well as Fargo, ND, the team at MMC is ready to help you with all your heating and boiler service needs. Don’t wait until the first cold day of the year for service, schedule a service appointment with us today!

Do you have a trusted contractor that you have partnered with to take care of the HVAC systems in your commercial building? If not, you should consider partnering with a local HVAC service provider who you can trust to oversee the maintenance of your commercial heating and air conditioning systems. Some benefits of partnering with an HVAC contractor include:

  1. Energy Efficiency – Commercial heating and cooling specialists will be able to work with you to help keep your systems running at optimal performance levels and provide tune-ups to ensure that your equipment is running as efficiently as possible. The more efficient your equipment is, the more you will save on utility bills.
  2. Long Term Cost Savings – Working with an HVAC contractor who offers a preventative maintenance plan can save you costly equipment repairs and replacements down the road. Maintenance can prevent the need for expensive repairs and increase the lifespan of your equipment.
  3. Healthier Indoor Air – Having clean indoor air is crucial to keeping your employees healthy. A commercial HVAC contractor can provide you with technology such as bi-polar ionization and UV lighting to help destroy harmful pathogens in the air. Getting regular air filter changes can also help ensure your indoor air is healthy and clean.
  4. More Comfortable Environment – When your heating and cooling systems are working properly, it will provide a more comfortable environment for employees and other people inside your building. Working with a heating and cooling contractor will help keep your equipment running smoothly and prevent breakdowns so you can have peace of mind that your building environment will be comfortable.
  5. Regular Check-Ups from Technicians Who Know your Building – Partnering with an HVAC contractor will allow you to have conveniently schedule preventative maintenance service calls as often as needed. When you partner with a company, you will receive service from technicians who know your building and your equipment.
  6. Around the Clock Service – Some HVAC contractors offer 24-hour emergency service. Partnering with a company that offers around the clock service will give you peace of mind that if your systems were to break down, you have someone to call for service, no matter the time of day.
  7. Certified Professionals – Partnering with a reputable HVAC company will allow you to have HVAC services performed by certified and trained technicians who are knowledgeable about commercial heating and cooling systems.

Partner with MMC for your Commercial HVAC Needs

Metropolitan Mechanical Contractors is an HVAC company who can take care of all your commercial heating and cooling system needs. We offer flexible and convenient preventative maintenance plans that will keep your systems running at optimal performance levels and help to prevent costly repairs. You can trust our trained technicians to provide high quality service, every time. We serve customers in the Twin Cities Metro area as well as in Fargo, ND. MMC offers 24-hour emergency service so you have peace of mind that you’ll have someone to turn to if your HVAC equipment needs emergency repairs. Interested in learning more about the services we provide? Contact MMC today!

 

Fire smoke dampers are critical parts of passive fire protection systems that protect a building and its occupants from the spread of smoke and flames throughout the building’s HVAC system. In order for fire smoke dampers to be effective, they need to be functioning and maintained to NFPA standards.

Is your fire smoke damper up to code?

These are the requirements fire smoke dampers must meet on inspection, according to the NFPA*:

  • One year after construction, fire smoke dampers in your building must be inspected and tested.
  • Periodic damper testing is required based on building type.
  • Acceptance testing of fire smoke dampers must be performed by a qualified professional with knowledge and understanding of the operating components.
  • Damper inspection includes verification that all equipment is installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and that proper access is available.
  • Testing of actuated dampers requires the removal of the electric power or pneumatic air pressure from the actuator and ensuring that the damper closes properly.
  • Testing of non-actuated dampers requires the removal of the fusible link and ensuring that the damper closes.

*These guidelines may be impacted by local requirements, insurance requirements facility requirements.

Are your occupants and facility protected?

We’ve put together a list of the top 10 overlooked fire smoke damper issues. Click here to see the complete list.

Make sure your fire smoke damper is functioning properly

Contact us today at 952-941-7010 to have your fire smoke damper inspected to ensure your building and its occupants are protected. Metropolitan Mechanical Contractors provide mechanical system services to customers in Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. We are available 24/7 for emergency services or offer flexible maintenance and service agreements to keep your systems operating at peak performance.

Fire smoke dampers are critical parts of passive fire protection systems that protect a building and its occupants. In order for fire smoke dampers to be effective, they need to be functioning properly. We’ve put together a list of the top 10 overlooked fire smoke damper issues.

  1. Inadequate access. Damper inspections involve having to operate the damper manually to prove the damper is actually functional. In order to do this, the damper must be accessible. The most common issue we see is that the access door is either installed too small, too far away, or no door is installed at all.
  2. Access on wrong side of damper. Spring loaded fire dampers have a locking mechanism that is only accessible from a specific side of damper. Fire/Smoke dampers have linkages and fusible links/resettable links that are only accessed from a specific side of the damper. The damper manufacturer has labels indicating which side to install the access door but is often still put in on the wrong side.
  3. Retaining angle not properly installed. This issue applies to fire dampers and combination fire smoke dampers. There are several different installation methods approved by the damper manufacturer in regards to retaining angle. These installation methods apply specifically to the manufacturer and model type. Common issues are insufficient number of fasteners used, improper use of single sided retaining angle installation method and no retaining angle installed.
  4. Incorrect opening location on the wall. This applies to fire dampers and combination fire smoke dampers. The centerline of the damper’s blades has to be installed within the plane of the rated barrier (wall). The damper manufacturer usually has a sticker on the sleeve indicating the proper location for it to be installed in the wall. When proper location in the wall is not achieved, this can cause an issue with the installation of the retaining angle. The fasteners used to attach the retaining angle to the damper sleeve usually end up penetrating the damper track and interfere with the operation of the damper blades and/or linkages. Every damper manufacturer has specifications as to how the damper opening in the wall is to be sized and constructed in direct relationship to the size and type of damper. This information must be provided by the HVAC contractor to the framing contractor.
  5. Items obstructing access. Various type of pipes, conduits, wire trays, wires and ducts obstructing proper access to damper. These could have been installed during construction or after occupancy.
  6. Improper selection of damper type. Common issue is using a standard damper type installed in a wall with a flush mount grille on one side. Doing this puts the centerline of the damper outside the plane of the wall and causes the retaining angle fasteners to penetrate the damper track. In this case the proper selection would be an “out of the wall” damper model that can be ordered with tabs to attach the grille.
  7. Smoke damper location to wall. Needs to be installed within 24” of the wall. Does not need to be installed within plane of wall but for new construction would be best practice.
  8. Field variations to the manufacturer’s approved installation methods. Variations are not acceptable except for in special circumstances. The AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction) must be provided an explanation of why the special circumstance exists, details of the variation and how this will not affect the functionality of the damper. Upon AHJ approval of the variation, documentation of the approval needs to be available for future inspections and provided with the final documents to the building owner for future reference. Without it, any variance to the installation is considered a deficiency.
  9. Improper Commissioning of Life Safety Dampers. Improper commissioning (also known as acceptance testing) is another common issue. Commissioning is usually completed by the HVAC installation crew, Fire alarm contractor and AHJ towards the end of the project before occupancy begins. At this point of the project, the AHJ is paying most attention to the fire alarm activation “functional testing” of the dampers and not necessarily verifying proper installation. The mechanical “operational testing” portion of the acceptance testing is usually provided by the HVAC contractor and any installation/operational issues should be flagged and remedied at that time.
  10. Electrical wiring not properly installed. A common electrical wiring issue is when the resettable reusable link (RRL) found on a combination fire/smoke damper is not properly field wired. This renders the fire protection function of the device useless. Another common issue is improper installation of the cover plate for the RRL which can also render the device useless.

Contact Metropolitan Mechanical Contractors to learn more!

 

 

 

 

 

We care for your building so you can focus on caring for your patients.

Check out our booklet about our services for Healthcare facilities.

Checking the pulse of your building.

The mechanical room is the heart of a building. The performance of the mechanical systems and the comfort of the environment have a direct impact on patient outcomes. Without proper working HVAC and plumbing, your facility is left susceptible to airborne diseases, contamination and “fever.” We’re passionate about building healthy facilities that support your patients and staff.

  • EXPERTISE & EXPERIENCE – We have the experience and the expertise to execute healthcare projects to the highest standard.
  • PATIENT-FOCUS – Our crews have gone through extensive training on the patient experience and infection control. Patient health, comfort and safety is our priority.
  • DISRUPTION AVOIDANCE – We work closely with facilities to establish temporary procedures that help minimize the disruption to daily activities.

We build health

We install mechanical systems specifically designed to serve sensitive equipment and spaces. Medical gas systems, custom air handling units for operating room air, water treatment systems, and chilled water systems to cool MRI machines – you name it, we’ve built it.

Our healthcare team has over 50 years of experience designing, building, and maintaining healthcare facilities. We are passionate about patient experience and we are proud to be a part of building these facilities.

We know HEALTHCARE

Healthcare facilities are unique. You have patients recovering and their comfort and health is of the utmost importance. Factors like quiet drilling, and infection control are essential. We’re sensitive to the needs of the occupants.

Healthcare projects are some of our favorite to work on because they align with our core values. At MMC, we value community, excellence, and integrity.

OUR EXPERIENCE

We have had the honor of working on some of the biggest hospitals and most prominent healthcare facilities in the Midwest.

Hospitals aren’t like other buildings – They operate 24/7. We work with you to coordinate construction and equipment replacements to minimize down time. In the last five years alone, we have successfully completed projects in over 140 different healthcare facilities.

We’ve been fortunate enough to work with the top healthcare facility clients in the Midwest. We have had over 1 Million MEDICAL FACILITY LABOR HOURS IN THE LAST 5 YEARS.

Our talented healthcare field foremen have considerable experience building and renovating healthcare facilities.

WE TAKE CARE OF YOUR FACILITY, SO YOU CAN TAKE CARE OF YOUR PATIENTS.

Our team has experience designing, building, repairing and replacing mechanical systems in healthcare facilities. We have the capabilities and experience to partner with you on all of your facility’s needs – from initial design to project management, controls, all the way to service and maintenance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OUR TEAM IN FACTS AND NUMBERS

  • WE HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE. – We have extensive experience working around and with sensitive healthcare machines and equipment.
  • WE CARE ABOUT YOUR PATIENTS. – Our team has healthcare specific facility training on how to interact with active patient populations.
  • WE KNOW FACILITIES. –  We understand the complexity of operating within patient-centered environments.

OUR CERTIFICATIONS

  • ASHE HEALTHCARE CERTIFICATE (ASHE HCC)
  • CERTIFIED HEALTHCARE CONSTRUCTOR (CHC)
  • INFECTION CONTROL & RISK ASSESSMENT (ICRA)

OUR HEALTHCARE TEAM IN NUMBERS

  • 10 experienced project managers
  • 50 years of building healthcare facilities
  • 20+ foremen specializing in healthcare
  • 38 medical gas certified technicians

Contact MMC

If you are interested in learning more about MMC’s Healthcare Division, contact us today. Our experienced and qualified healthcare team is ready to help you with your next project. Call us today at 952-941-7010 to learn more!

Air Quality Solutions Diagnosed, Prescribed and Monitored by MMC

For the spaces we LEARN, WORK, HEAL, EXERCISE, DINE, AND LIVE IN!

healthy building guid

Visit our interactive book about healthy buildings.

WHY A HEALTHY BUILDING?

While the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic has brought heightened awareness to our personal health, the ability to combat harmful particles and contaminants, including Covid-19, starts with the spaces we occupy every day. The health of our buildings can play a significant part in how we are achieving personal health or falling short. From the spaces we interact in to the air we breathe, being proactive and intelligent with our Healthy Building Solutions is not only key to bringing our lives back to normal, but a future that entails a healthier life for us all.

HOW DO YOU SUPPORT A HEALTHY BUILDING?

  • DIAGNOSE – Like people, buildings have different needs for optimum health. The initial phase is connecting with MMC to determine current building health and goals for optimum health specific to that building.
  • PRESCRIBE – Based on the initial consultations, the right solution or mix of solutions will be presented and implemented in achieving the building’s health goals.
  • MONITOR – Through particle monitoring, data collection and ongoing preventive maintenance and care, the Healthy Building Solution can evolve and grow to ensure the health of the building is being achieved.

Potential Prescribed Solutions:

UV LIGHTING

uv-lightingMost often, spread of novel coronavirus from person-to-person is believed to happen among close contacts (about 6 ft or 2m). Person-to-person spread is thought to occur mainly via respiratory droplet nuclei produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, like how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread. These droplet nuclei can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. If these droplets are hearty enough to survive a period of time in the air, they can be spread in a building by the air handling system.

Viruses that are airborne can be safeguarded against with high doses of UVC in the Air stream. For the most effective microbial control, Steril-Aire UV germicidal Emitters are installed on the supply side of the system, downstream from the cooling coil and above the drain pan. This location provides more effective biofilm and microbial control than in-duct UVC installations.

BENEFIT OF UVC LIGHT:

  • Reduces HVAC energy costs by restoring heat transfer and net cooling capacity.
  • Continuous Coil Cleaning high output UVC specifically designed for cold air applications that will keep coils clean and save energy.
  • Uses germicidal UVC irradiation proven as an effective inactivation method for mold, bacteria and viruses.
  • Improves Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).
  • Produces no ozone or other secondary contaminants.
  • UVC light Kits are fast, easy installation specifically designed for easy and cost-effective installation with one electrical connection; no additional framing required. Pre-wired from the factory, significantly reducing installation time and HVAC downtime.
  • Continuous Coil Cleaning saves HVAC energy and provides cleaner air to the occupied space.

NEGATIVE PRESSURE EQUIPMENT

negative pressure equipmentMany facilities are being proactive and having our team install negative pressure equipment to combat particles and sub-micron contaminants, including Covid-19 and other viruses to keep their patients and staff safe.

Our team can modify patient rooms to be equipped with negative pressure units. In the example shown below, the room is negative minus 3.6 this is with the unit running at 25 percent of capacity.

Our team installed the unit to create air flow to go from the back of the dentist or hygienist across the patient’s lap and to the unit.*

*The image depicts a flex connection which was changed out to hard pipe later as they need to wipe down the unit on a regular basis.

MERV 13 FILTER CHANGES

merv 13 filters mmcFilters are an exceptional means to trap particulates and sub-micron contaminants. The smaller the contaminant’s diameter, the denser the filter media must be to capture. MERV 13 filters capture airborne viruses and bacteria from coughs and sneezes. While there’s no guarantee a strong air filter will protect your facility and its occupants from the coronavirus, they are one step that can be taken to reduce risk. In addition, clean air helps keep your immune system strong.

EVAPORATOR COIL CLEANING

coil-cleaningRight now, is a great time to have coil cleaning done. Coil cleaning removes any dirt and debris that may build up between the coils along with removing any bacterial or microbials that may be floating in the air stream.

 

 

BI -POLAR IONIZATION | HEALTHIER INDOOR AIR

bipolar ionizationBi-polar ionization creates cold plasma discharge that consists of positive ions (H+) and negative ions (O2–) from water vapor in the air. These ions have the property of clustering around micro-particles and gases, and thus, they surround harmful substances such as airborne mold, viruses, bacteria, volatile organic compounds, and allergens. At that point, a chemical reaction occurs on the cell membrane surface and they are transformed into OH radicals, a powerfully active but unstable material, which robs the harmful substance of a hydrogen atom (H). As a result,they are inactivated by severing the protein on the cell membrane, opening holes. The OH radicals instantly bond with the removed hydrogen (H), forming water vapor (H2O), and return to the air.

FAST FACTS

  • Bi-polar ionization (cold plasma), replicates the same positive and negative ions found abundantly in nature (forests, mountains, ocean shorelines, etc.(. The bi-polar plasma process will artificially create the ions found in these desirable locations and supply them into the building, enhancing the indoor air quality. The ions turn into OH radicals only on the surface of harmful substances to inactivate them, so they are completely harmless to the human body and pets.
  • Bi-polar ionization will effectively eliminate bacteria, viruses, mold and volatile organic compounds by working directly on the air contained in the entire zone and duct.
  • The plasma process consumes a minuscule amount of electricity, less than a 5 watt light bulb, in most applications.

HEPA FILTRATION DEVICES

hepa filtrationHigh-efficiency particulate air (HEPA), also known as high-efficiency particulate absorbing and high efficiency particulate arrestance, is an efficiency standard of air filter.

Common standards require that a HEPA air filter must remove—from the air that passes through—at least 99.95% (European Standard) or 99.97% of particles whose diameter is equal to 0.3um with the filtration efficiency increasing for particle diameters both less than and greater than 0.3 μm.

HEPA filters are used in applications that require contamination control, such as the manufacturing of disk drives, medical devices, semiconductors, nuclear, food and pharmaceutical products, as well as in hospitals, homes and vehicles.

BENEFITS OF HEPA FILTRATION:

  • HEPA air purifiers are great for facilities with carpet, which can trap allergens.
  • HEPA helps reduce allergy and asthma triggers.
  • Sealed HEPA filters on vacuums mean that large amounts of particulates won’t recirculate back into the return air flow.
  • HEPA is effective at removing micro-particles from the air.

HANDS-FREE FAUCETS & FLUSH VALVES | A HEALTHIER ENVIRONMENT

hands freeMinimizing infections starts with the restrooms as they tend to collect viruses and bacteria more than any other part of a commercial building. Employees and visitors often spread germs when flushing the toilet and washing their hands.

A hands-free bathroom provides a healthier environment by removing several common touch points. Without knobs and levers, it’s harder to pass germs in the bathroom. With less chances to transfer illness, a business can benefit from a reduction in employee absenteeism.

INCREASED EFFICIENCY

Auto flush toilets, hands-free faucets and other smart alternatives also increase the efficiency of a bathroom. They reduce waste, because they are programmed to provide the right amount of water at the appropriate time.

For example, when you start a hands free faucet, it delivers water for a short time rather than remaining on for as long as the visitor chooses. As a result, faucets and toilets save resources. These more efficient types of fixtures can help building owners cut costs on water bills over time.

WATER SYSTEM FLUSHES | THE RISK OF STAGNANT WATER

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many buildings have experienced long periods of little to no water usage due to reduced usage levels or being shutdown entirely. Stagnant or standing water in plumbing systems increases the risk for growth and spread of Legionella and other bio-film-associated bacteria. It’s important to ensure that your facility’s water system is safe to use after a prolonged shutdown to minimize the risk of Legionnaire’s disease and other diseases associated with water.

THE SOLUTION: WATER SYSTEM FLUSHES

Completing a water system flush is the best way to make sure the water in your facility’s plumbing system is safe to use. The steps for conducting a water system flush are as follows:

  • Flush hot and cold water through all points of use (e.g. showers, sink faucets). Flushing may need to occur in segments depending on facility size and water pressure. The purpose of building flushing is to replace all the stagnant water in the system with fresh water.
  • Flush until the hot water reaches its maximum temperature.
  • Care should be taken to minimize splashing and aerosol generation during flushing.
  • Any devices using water, such as ice machines, may require additional cleaning steps in addition to flushing. Follow the manufacturers’ instructions for these devices.

Our Service Techs can conduct the water system flush for your facility and can do an inspection to make sure your system is up and running properly and efficiently after periods of shutdown or reduced usage.

METHODS FOR MONITORING | PARTICLE AND ION MONITORING

ION MONITORING

Customers are trusting MMC to create Healthy Buildings for them by deploying Bi-Polar Ionization systems in buildings. Bi-Polar Ionization is a great asset for continuous disinfection of occupied spaces by addressing airborne and surface-dwelling pathogens and contaminants. Many customers have asked “How do I know if I am getting the right Ion density in the spaces” and “How can I tell if this is working or not? MMC puts customers at ease by deploying Ion monitoring. With our duct mount and wall mount solutions, we can continuously monitor ion density in an occupied space to assure customers the investment in their Bi-Polar Ionization system is yielding proper results. Ion monitoring is a great supplement and must have for customers who deploy these continuous disinfectant solutions yet cannot rely on the unreliable readings provided by handheld meters. By applying our practices of AI and predictive analytics to Ion Monitoring, MMC can bring customers actionable and tactical data from these Edge IoT devices to make the right decisions about their buildings.

PARTICLE MONITORING

Indoor air quality monitoring has been on the market for over a decade; however, most of these sensors specifically target Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and Carbon Dioxide (CO2). MMC is bringing customers a new level of information to make informed decisions by deploying PM2.5 and PM1 particle monitoring. Now MMC is giving building owners and occupants the most comprehensive data regarding indoor air quality. By continuously monitoring the concentration of airborne particles and molecules down to 1 micron in size, MMC can provide historical and live trend data for airborne contaminants.

Applying Edge Analytics to particle monitoring, MMC is providing real, meaningful data to customers to create Healthy Buildings.

CONTACT MMC

Contact our team to learn more about keeping your building healthy! We partner with schools, hospitals, data centers, industrial facilities, laboratories, office building, performing arts, retail sports centers and more. Call 952-941-7010 for more information.

Prioritizing indoor air quality is especially important for building owners and homeowners. Poor IAQ can cause health issues such as diseases, asthma, headaches, fatigue and irritation of eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. There are many factors that can affect IAQ. Some things that you should do to improve air quality in your home or building include:

  1. Improve ventilation – Proper ventilation is one of the most important ways to improve IAQ. Your HVAC system will heat, cool, and move air around the building. It is important that your building is the getting the correct amount of ventilation based on the number of people and the equipment in the building.
  2. Indoor air quality monitoring – Air quality monitors can keep track of the various pollutants in your building. If your monitor shows that your IAQ is poor, then you may need to figure out what is causing the problem so you can fix it.
  3. Control pollutant sources – Controlling sources of pollutants improves IAQ. Human activities and machine operation can create pollution. Whenever possible, do what you can to remove pollutants or seal pollutants away from human traffic.
  4. Use the right air filters – Make sure that your building’s air filters have the proper MERV rating to reduce pollution.
  5. Clean and vacuum regularly – If you do not clean and vacuum regularly, mold, dust, allergens, and contaminants can build up. Clean your building with eco-friendly products that do not release harsh chemicals.
  6. Use air cleaners – Air cleaning devices such as dehumidifiers and air purifiers can help keep your IAQ at the proper levels.
  7. Do not block air vents/grills – Air vents and grills help to circulate air through your building. Make sure that your vents are not blocked by furniture.
  8. Control moisture levels – High humidity and moisture levels can lead to the growth of molds and other pollutants.
  9. Bipolar Ionization – Bi-polar ionization is a technology that can deactivate harmful substances in the air such as mold, viruses, bacteria, and allergens.
  10. UV Lighting – UV lighting in your HVAC systems can prevent the spread of airborne viruses and improve IAQ.
  11. HVAC Maintenance – Regular maintenance of your HVAC systems will ensure that all your equipment is working properly. Properly working HVAC systems will give your building the fresh air you need and prevent the spread of pollutants.

MMC Provides Indoor Air Quality Services

At Metropolitan Mechanical Contractors, we offer services that can help improve IAQ. Our team can provide HVAC maintenance, UV lighting, bi-polar ionization and more. We can create an HVAC service plan that fits the needs of your application. MMC can provide ventilation upgrades and filter changes. We serve customers throughout the Midwest. Contact us today to learn more.

Now more than ever, it’s important to keep our buildings “healthy”.  For many of us, the places we work, shop, dine, exercise, and learn in make up a large percentage of our time spent indoors. COVID-19 challenged that norm, and we have spent significantly less time in these public spaces in the last year. Your heating and cooling systems play a larger role in the health of your building than you may think. Without a functional HVAC system, your building and the people inside it will suffer. Building owners and facility managers have been presented with several changes and challenges in how they should be approaching building health and maintenance of mechanical systems.

CHALLENGE #1: UNOCCUPIED BUILDINGS

The first major obstacle with heating and cooling right now is the simple fact that a large number of buildings have been sitting empty or largely unoccupied for almost an entire year.  A building that has been sitting empty for a long time needs to be “warmed up” like an old car that has been in your grandparents’ garage. Buildings that are expected to go from zero to hero overnight often experience a high number of unplanned outages, costly failures and even some dangerous life-threating environments in the first few months after being brought back to life.

THE SOLUTION: Re-commissioning mechanical systems

These risks can be minimized or eliminated with a focused effort around re-commissioning mechanical systems when they come out of statis. The re-commissioning process does not need to be overly intrusive, but should include a thoughtful and thorough start-up and test run by an experienced heating and cooling professional that understands what the data they gather from each unit means to the health of the building. During this process, most major risks can be identified and itemized so that facility leaders can prioritize spend to continue to ensure their clients have a safe and comfortable space when they return to the office. Much like doctor recommended physical therapy after a surgery, this process teaches our buildings to function again under the direct supervision of experienced heating and cooling professionals.

CHALLENGE # 2: BUILDING SYSTEMS BEING USED DIFFERENTLY

The second hurdle we now face as we slowly return to public spaces is the role heating and cooling systems play on other building systems. Modern buildings are living things, each system in a building has been designed with the proper function of the other sometimes nonrelated systems in mind. This symbiotic relationship when working properly is why modern buildings, on the surface can feel self-sustaining and problem free. If a building has one system that is not functioning properly, it can throw off the function and performance of other buildings systems.  For example, just recently we responded to a call for one of our customers that had a major water leak. This leak went undetected for some time and was responsible for the loss of a substantial amount of property. In this case the building had never seen this issue before because design conditions of the building’s heating and cooling systems were working properly with design intentions from the building’s capacity system. As winter progresses, we can expect to see more surprise situations like this that are caused not by the failure of the heating and cooling system, but by the effects that utilizing our buildings differently may uncover.

THE SOLUTION: HVAC Preventative Maintenance Plan

Working with your HVAC maintenance provider to ensure all your building’s systems are running correctly can help prevent expensive emergencies like frozen pipes or mold growth. An experienced HVAC technician will be able to look at how all of the systems should interact per design and prescribe a plan to prevent issues and protect the facility.

CHALLENGE #3: Making People Feel Safe inside their buildings

The third, and potentially largest challenge that facility managers will face in the coming year is the fear that people may have about being inside their buildings again. Now more than ever, people want to feel safe in the spaces where they work, dine, heal, learn, and live.

THE SOLUTION: Improving Indoor Air Quality

We have seen quick adoption of some great technology that if implemented correctly can give peace of mind to occupants, patients, and employees. HVAC contractors have solutions for improving and monitoring air quality. By working with an experience HVAC technician, you will get a solution based on your facility’s specific needs. A custom heating and cooling maintenance plan will help ensure that you are providing the safest and most comfortable environment possible inside the buildings we work, learn, heal, dine, exercise, and live in.

MMC: Your Trusted Heating & Cooling Contractor

At MMC, we will provide HVAC services that will help you deal with the challenges you may face throughout this upcoming year. Our team can provide preventative maintenance plans that take into account how your building’s systems are being used to keep them functioning the way they should be. If your unoccupied building is going to be opened back up, we can re-commission your heating and cooling system so your building can open without an issue. MMC also can provide HVAC technology that improves indoor air quality to make people feel safe about entering your building. To learn more about how MMC can keep your building healthy, contact us today.

Minimize Damage with Preventative Maintenance Services

Our Service division was recently called to a customer’s office building after someone discovered severe water damage. Upon inspection, our team discovered that a pipe on the 5th floor of the office building had burst and leaked water all the way to the 1st floor resulting in over $100K in damage. The water had been running for at least two days before anyone discovered it.

water leak office buildingwater leak unoccupied building

THE CAUSE

Because of the pandemic, this office, like many others has been largely unoccupied with employees working from home. As a result, the water in the pipe hadn’t been flowing for almost a year. As the temperatures decreased, the stagnant water froze and broke the pipe. With no one to monitor the facility, the water was able to do damage for multiple days.

THE SOLUTION

This costly damage could have been minimized or avoided altogether with daily walk throughs and ongoing preventative HVAC maintenance. Partnering with an experienced service contractor who can monitor and maintain your building’s systems will protect your facility and ensure your HVAC system will be ready to go when employees return to the office. All faucets and fixtures should be used at least weekly, toilets should be flushed once a week. Daily walk throughs to check all systems is the best way to reduce your risk of damage and system failure.

HVAC & Mechanical System Maintenance

If your building is currently unoccupied, you should make sure that your building’s systems are still being taken care of. Your heating, cooling and plumbing systems need regular check-ups to keep your systems functional and prevent expensive repairs and building damage. At MMC, our Service Division can create a preventative maintenance plan that is customized to your needs. In addition, we offer 24-7 emergency service to customers in the Twin Cities, St. Cloud, MN and Fargo, ND. Contact MMC to learn more about our mechanical services.

Do you know the different types of heating and cooling systems that are available for your property? If you have a commercial property, you will want to find the best heating and cooling system to keep your building’s environment comfortable.

Single Split Systems

Single split heating and cooling systems are a popular, affordable system for smaller commercial buildings. A single split system typically includes an air conditioner, furnaces, and an evaporator coil. This system heats individual rooms and is controlled with a thermostat and a control panel.

Pros

  • Cheaper than a central system
  • Functionality of unit does not depend on other units

Cons

  • Can take up a lot of space because each indoor unit requires an outdoor unit

Multi Split Systems

Multi split HVAC systems are similar to single split systems except nine indoor units can be connected to one outdoor unit. This system is typically used in restaurants, shops and offices.

Pros

  • Requires fewer outdoor units than a single split system

Cons

  • Higher cost of installation and time needed to install than a single split system

VRF Systems

Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) systems work well in medium to large mixed-use, retail, office, and hotel buildings. VRF systems use either heat pumps or heat recovery systems. Heat pumps provide either heating or cooling to open floor plan spaces while heat recovery systems can provide simultaneous heating and cooling for buildings with multiple rooms.

Pros

  • Easy installation – VRF systems are easy to install because they weight less than traditional chillers and can be installed in pieces.
  • Discreet design – VRF systems are quiet and easy to conceal.
  • Energy usage – This type of system is helps to minimize energy consumption.
  • Comfort – VRF systems allow for temperature controls by zone and are flexible.

Cons

  • More expensive to install than other systems

Installation and Maintenance of Heating & Cooling Systems

At Metropolitan Mechanical Contractors, we provide heating and cooling systems for commercial facilities. We design, build, and install HVAC systems. MMC can also provide maintenance for your heating and cooling systems. We will make sure your systems are functional and efficient with our preventative maintenance plans. If you are interested in learning more about heating and cooling systems from MMC, contact us today.

Healthy Buildings Guide

Air Quality Solutions Diagnosed Prescribed And Monitored By Mmc