HVAC systems for gyms are crucial to ensuring that clients are comfortable and air is flowing properly. There is, perhaps, no space in which the effects of a faulty HVAC system are felt more immediately than in the gym environment. As clients continue to work and their body temperatures rise, they’re looking for a cool, dry and well-ventilated place to get healthy and improve themselves.
New Jersey is home to hundreds of gyms, and each one of them depends on superior air quality to keep their doors open. Data indicates that of the of 5,313 American gym members found that 63 percent of memberships go completely unused. The deeper stats are even more dismal. They reveal that 82 percent of gym members go to the gym less than 1 time per week. 22 percent completely stop going six months into their membership.
The fact is that it is hard enough to get people to start working out and continue to do so, and they’ll look for any excuse to discontinue their membership. Don’t let your HVAC system be at excuse. Your clients deserve a comfortable place to work out, and you deserve the opportunity boost enrollment and increase your fitness center’s bottom line.
Universal Mechanical Group has years of experience installing, maintaining and repairing HVAC systems in NJ gyms, and we’re ready to help you keep your space comfortable, safe and clean for your clients.
Health Risks of Malfunctioning Gym HVAC
The negatives of a broken or poorly maintained gym HVAC system go well beyond customers complaining to the front desk that they’re “too sweaty” or that it “stinks in there”. A gym’s HVAC system plays a key role in preventing the proliferation of harmful bacteria that can lead to mold and infection.
Let’s be frank, people sweat in gyms. There are multiple spaces within the building where moisture can accumulate, including the lockers, the showers and bathrooms and common areas where the exercise equipment is. A gym’s HVAC system is the primary means through which this moisture is alleviated and the area is kept dry, safe and clean.
The New York Times reports that there is currently no government agency that currently checks air quality in gyms and fitness centers, despite the profound health risks. This means that it’s up to you to ensure that your HVAC system is running at full performance and there is no build-up or debris circulating through the air.
According to a recent report that monitored air quality in gyms, data showed high levels of airborne dust, formaldehyde and carbon dioxide. The concentrations of these substances generally exceeded most accepted standards for indoor air quality. These conditions can lead to a variety of immediate and long-term health issues, including but not limited to respiratory illness and fungal infection.
Many people are legitimately scared of the gym environment, and prefer to work out outdoors, because of air quality concerns at their local fitness center.
How Can I Keep My Gym’s System Running Perfectly?
There are several key pieces to ensuring your HVAC is running smoothly. Deviation from these methods can quickly drive away customers, and lead to business-crippling gossip. To start with, take a look at your locker room and inspect the ventilation and airflow of the space. Are you noticing stagnant humidity, stale air or unpleasant temperatures? If so, it might by time to take a look at your facility’s HVAC system. The best way to keep your units running on all cylinders and increasing air quality is by first choosing the right system. You must then have your unit maintained at the proper intervals.
Upgrading Your Gym’s HVAC
There are multiple commercial HVAC system designs to choose from, including
- Single-Split Systems
- Multi-Split Systems
- Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) or Variable Refrigerant Volume (VRV) Systems
- Variable Air Volume (VAV) or Constant Air Volume (CAV) Systems
The type of commercial HVAC system you choose will depend on multiple factors, including but not limited to the size of your establishment, the climate in which it operates, environmental factors and more.
Whether you’re looking to upgrade to a more efficient system, planning an expansion or it’s just time to replace your unit, Universal Mechanical Group will help you make the right choice.
Repairing Your Gym’s System
When it comes time to repair your system, time is a critical factor. Any lapse in action can lead to compounded problems in your system, as well as a mass exodus of clients. They have the right to expect a clean and comfortable workout environment, and sooner or later they will exercise that right.
Having said that, it can be difficult to tell exactly when your gym’s HVAC system needs to be repaired. Some of the primary indicators of an issue can include:
- Uneven Air Flow or Distribution Coming from Vents or Returns
- Air Not Blowing Hot or Cold as It Should
- Odd Odors Coming from your Vents or System
- Strange Noises Like Banging and Clanging
- Choked Out Noises or Sputtering of the Motor
- Clicking On or Off with No Action After
When you experience these or any other odd events related to your HVAC system, it’s best to call an experienced professional certified technician. Failure to properly maintain your HVAC system can cut years off your system’s life and force you to consider expensive replacement and repair before it’s time.
Maintaining Your Gym’s HVAC
In much the same way that your clients work on maintaining their bodies, your HVAC system also needs regular maintenance and upkeep (though not as often, certainly). While each gym’s HVAC system is different, and varies based on factors like size, model, output requirements and more, there are several common maintenance issues of gym owners need to be mindful.
Some of the more common gym and general commercial HVAC systems include, but are not limited to:
Airflow issues are most commonly caused by the leaks in duct work and other cracks in hoses. These issues can also be caused by obstructions in the air filter and other blocks of returns or vents. An experienced and qualified HVAC technician can help you address and trouble shoot these issues to keep your space well ventilated. Obstructions in airflow can put undue strain on your system’s blower, causing to burn out before its time.
Problems at the thermostat can often cause an HVAC system to not work at all. If this is the case, what might seem at first like a major failure can be resolved relatively quickly.
Make sure the thermostat has fresh batteries. If the screen is blank, put in new batteries and see if that corrects the problem. If the screen remains blank, the problem might be in the thermostat itself, which means it will need to be replaced.
Thermostat placement can also be an issue. If a thermostat is mounted in a location where sunlight shines on it, for example, temperature readings will not be accurate and the HVAC system might not respond correctly.
Refrigerant is a liquid that is necessary for the cooling functions to occur. If refrigerant is lost through leaks or theft, your air conditioner will not cool properly.
System components will work harder than necessary to make up for the lack of cooling, which leads to additional wear and early failure. Our HVAC professionals will add more coolant, a process called recharging, which will usually restore the system’s cooling capacity.
Dirty and Spent Air Filters
Dirty or clogged air filters can cause significant performance issues with your commercial HVAC equipment. The main purpose of filters is to remove particulates and other material from the air moving through the system, and therefore from the air inside your facility. Over time, however, the accumulated material in the filters begins to impede airflow.
If air cannot move through the filters, the system can’t get the amount of airflow it needs to work correctly. Dirty air filters present another of the most common commercial HVAC problems, but the issue can be corrected quickly and easily by putting in a new filter.
No Sweat with UMG Service
Universal Mechanical Group is committed to helping gyms and fitness centers all over the New Jersey, including Union County, Bergen County and the rest of the state. We have helped countless fitness clients in Alpine, NJ; East Rutherford, NJ; Edgewater, NJ; Englewood, NJ; Franklin lakes, NJ; Glen Rock, NJ; Mahwah, NJ; Maywood, NJ; Palisades Park, NJ; Paramus, NJ or you own a larger fine-dining establishment or bar and grill in cities like Ridgewood, NJ; Rutherford, NJ; Saddle Brook, NJ; Saddle River, NJ; Ho Ho Kus, NJ; Demarest, NJ; Woodcliff Lakes, NJ and throughout the state keep their clients safe, healthy and comfortable. Call us today at (973) 866-5445 to see what we can do for you. We look forward to hearing from you.