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HVAC Insider Smart Maintenance Saves Money

 With harsh winters and blistering hot summers, those living in New England  condominiums understand the importance of properly working heating,  ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.  

 That’s why it’s important for managers and residents to know who is responsible for what and  how to properly maintain these systems, which could be a single heating/cooling  system for the entire building or individual furnace or cooling systems in each  unit. After all, in residences such as large high-rise buildings or townhome  communities, a variety of HVAC technologies can be found. HVAC is the umbrella  term for the system that includes all the equipment used to ventilate, heat and  cool the building, move the air through the ductwork, and have that air  filtered and clean for the occupants.  

 “There’s no one-stop answer for how to maintain HVAC systems in New England condos,  because HVAC covers everything from a window shaker up to a larger chiller with  air hammers—so it really depends on what type of building you are looking at,” says Jeff Federspiel, property manager/facilities manager of Boston-based  Barkan Management Company. “Depending on what property you are at and the community you are in, the most  important thing is to understand the type of system you have.”  

 After all, condos can be small garden-style townhouses or large high-rise  buildings, so a variety of HVAC technologies can be found. In one small area on  the Boston waterfront, five condos within two miles of each other utilize five  different HVAC technologies—window air conditioning units, water source heat pump systems, a chiller system  with water cooling, a chiller with air cooling and a chiller that runs off  steam.  

 “Education of the board member, management company and the maintenance people is  vital,” Federspiel says. “If they understand the system parameters and what it’s supposed to provide, that’s half the battle.”  

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