Running a commercial operation requires site management to balance a number of technical factors to maintain the right temperature and conditions inside the facilities. Especially when it comes to maintenance and making adjustments to settings, knowing the exact operating parameters of each HVAC drive and generator is critical. The nameplate of each HVAC unit contains all the basic data including specs for the compressor, fan motor, and wiring design. These details must be provided on the plate by the manufacturer and properly maintained by the unit owner over the lifetime of the equipment.
HVAC units, especially in a commercial environment, can be exposed to a number of challenging conditions over their lifetime and are often operated nearly continuously. Ensuring that this equipment is properly tagged with appropriate nameplates can save a great deal of cost and time over the long run. Here are four important benefits that durable nameplates can bring to your operation and ensure that your equipment can be accessed and maintained in through the harshest of conditions.
Ability to Withstand Extreme Temperatures
The effects of extreme temperature on HVAC system efficiency are well documented and they can often operate even in very harsh conditions. In the case of heat pumps, the efficiency of the system will degrade as temperatures drop below 2°F with steep drop-offs as you approach and exceed -13°F. Factors such as the insulation of the building can impact how well the unit can maintain the target temperature but there is no question that, being outside, the colder temperatures wear on the units over time.
When this equipment needs to be serviced during or after extreme conditions, durable nameplates allow you to confirm critical information on the unit. Look for nameplates that far exceed the range of temperatures expected for your equipment with no loss or image degradation.
HVAC drives and generators take a beating in a commercial environment and often times, due to space constraints, are located on the flat roofs of buildings and subject to constant sunlight during the summer and potential snow cover in the winter. Even if units are placed in more ideal positions, such as a cooler and more shaded area, it’s impossible to prevent exposure to environmental conditions entirely. With shade, there can be a greater risk for moisture build-up, rust, or even fungus.
Maintaining good airflow around an HVAC unit is most important to keep the unit from overheating. Another benefit of utilizing durable nameplates on these units is that they are rated to withstand all of these conditions without image loss and reduced readability. It can be hard to determine the exact level and breadth of environmental conditions that your commercial generators will endure, so opt for durable nameplates that can withstand the harshest conditions.
Despite the potentially harsh conditions that HVAC drives and generators endure in the outdoor environment, many units can last for a very long time. The typical life expectancy of an HVAC system is 10-20 years, but it can vary depending on the level of maintenance performed such as filter changes, cleaning, and tune-ups. Most units are recommended to be changed out every 20 years. Durable nameplates offer the equipment owners confidence that they will last as long as the hardware as they are rated for use up to and beyond 20 years.
Maintaining a commercial environment often requires the use of chemicals and solvents. From ice removal to insecticides around perimeter areas and potential exposure to acids or cleaners in warehouse environments, there are numerous possibilities. Not to mention the effects of salt spray for any HVAC installations near the ocean. With HVAC drives and generators located on roofs, outside on the building grounds, or in basement areas, there is potential exposure to a number of these hazards. Using a nameplate that has been rated for use in a wide variety of conditions ensures that you don’t need to worry about degradation in all of these instances and more.
Preventive maintenance (PM) is a cost-saving solution that reduces equipment downtime due to unexpected breakdowns and extends the usable lifespan of costly HVAC equipment. Keeping track of components and equipment is a challenge without durable nameplates and equipment tags, but managing a preventive maintenance program is next to impossible without efficient equipment tracking solutions. Durable equipment nameplates can be customized with barcodes that technicians can scan to document PM activities, creating an accurate audit trail and providing historical data that can be used to estimate the anticipated lifespan of equipment and make more informed decisions when it comes to repairing or replacing HVAC components.
In addition, companies that implement PM programs often realize lower operating costs by keeping HVAC equipment well-tuned and operating at maximum efficiency. Durable equipment nameplates may also contain data that techs can easily compare to actual operating data, such as the input voltage, to gauge whether the equipment is operating as expected.
Tagging your equipment is a critical component of asset management and it’s important to take into consideration the wide variety of conditions that HVAC systems, in particular, could face. Any of your equipment that has potential exposure to the external environment, chemicals, or other harsh conditions should be tagged with nameplates that can withstand. MPC’s Metalphoto® photosensitive anodized aluminum has been the material of choice for durable nameplates, equipment tags, and labels for use in harsh heavy equipment operating environments for more than 50 years. You can view more information about the benefits, product specs, and performance characteristics on our website.