Many have heard of the job title “commercial electrician” but may have questions about what they actually do, when their expertise is required and why they are so critical in the commercial construction industry.
First, the obvious: Commercial electricians design, install and maintain the electrical systems in commercial buildings. These roles are licensed and require in-depth training and education.
More specifically, these licensed technicians oversee the electrical infrastructure for buildings and facilities zoned specifically for commercial use. Whether it’s a manufacturing plant, a hospital, a major sports venue, or a Class A office building, these structures require more complex and advanced electrical systems, equipment and technology to meet their usage and safety demands.
It takes specialized professionals who understand how these systems work inside and out to not only ensure their own personal safety and the safety of their team but the safety of the facility long-term for the tenants and people who will eventually occupy the structures they work on. This is because improper installation and maintenance can lead to serious safety issues. It is also why a commercial electrician needs specialized training and certifications to execute their work in contrast to residential electricians. But what specifically do commercial electricians do? The following are a few critical insights into why their jobs are so important.
Energy Efficiency Upgrades
In a residential setting, pinpointing opportunities for improving energy efficiency is more straightforward. Typically, it’s as simple as swapping out old appliances, hardware or wiring for their more current versions. In a commercial setting, it’s far more complex.
It also isn’t always as simple as installing a new HVAC system or another similar piece of equipment. With global energy costs on the rise, one of the most effective ways a business can save money and invest in its future is by discovering ways to reduce the electrical consumption of its buildings.
Energy efficiency upgrades can save business owners thousands of dollars (or more) annually and in order to determine where to focus on first, commercial facility owners can begin by having a professional energy efficiency study conducted.
This study is one of the most common requests we receive at Hawkeye Electric. From identifying equipment that might be hemorrhaging electricity to determining the best investments to cut electrical consumption, these kinds of studies and upgrades can prove invaluable to a business owner.
While it may not always be financially feasible to perform every recommended upgrade immediately, with the energy efficiency study completed, a business will now have a strategic blueprint to better prioritize its list of opportunities for the future.
Working Directly With Commercial Construction Companies
When it comes to commercial construction, the contractors in charge need to bring in the heavy hitters for all utilities at play. From gas lines to water works, the work at hand is far more in-depth than anything found at a residential site.
The best way to make sure everything is installed correctly the first time is for a commercial construction company to bring in a commercial electrician on day one. This way, the electrical setup can be properly integrated into the construction.
It should never be an afterthought, as the kind of power flowing through a commercial electrical system is beyond what others, like residential builds, rely on. And every commercial construction project is different. A manufacturing plant that produces automotive equipment won’t have the same kind of electrical needs as a medical manufacturing facility. Each setup is specific and requires commercial electricians on hand.
Probably the most important task any commercial property owner can have done is preventative maintenance. And yet far too many businesses fail to invest in annual inspections performed by qualified commercial electrical contractors. While it is an up-front cost, in the end, it almost always ends up costing more when there’s a sudden electrical problem. Not only does this sudden problem cost more money to repair (or replace), oftentimes it ends up reducing productivity and the loss of income for the business. And all of this can be avoided with annual preventative maintenance.
The preventative maintenance performed by our staff at Hawkeye Electric can vary widely depending on the type of facility, however, the goal is always the same: to ensure everything is up and running safely, identify potential future issues within the electrical system, and offer insights and suggestions to the property owner.
One of the ways electricians at Hawkeye Electric perform these inspections is with the help of infrared thermal scanning. This is a process where a Hawkeye technician will use a scanning gun to make an infrared image of electrical equipment that clearly shows locations of heat gain caused by loose wiring or other problems. Left untreated, problems of this sort can eventually lead to catastrophic electrical equipment failure causing potential harm for employees and significant repair costs and downtime for the Owner.
Small and medium-size commercial facilities comprise the largest segment of the overall commercial real estate sector. Many of these properties are older and still contain obsolete fluorescent lighting which uses substantially more power than LED lighting.
This kind of lighting uses excessive electricity and creates a less-ideal office environment in comparison to more modern and better-quality options. Upgrading to complete LED-lighting systems will ensure reduced costs and maintenance for building owners.
Other times, it may prove necessary to completely redo the wiring for these connections before LED lighting can be used. Because LED bulbs don’t demand as much energy, certain setups may send too much power to these bulbs, causing them to burst or pose a fire danger. Our team can help assess whether or not it is necessary to replace the wiring system or simply the bulbs by themselves.
These LED upgrades can not only be performed on the interior of a commercial space but on the exterior as well. LED lights for parking structures and warehouses provide a brighter, cleaner light, which in turn also adds another element of safety to commercial environments.
Lighting can prove to be a major expense for any business. However, thanks to the lifespan of LEDs, largely due to their reduced energy consumption, this is one efficient option for saving money on future energy bills.
When it Comes to Commercial Electricians, Know Who To Call
If you own and operate a commercial facility it is essential to work with a specialized, dependable and experienced team of commercial electricians like Hawkeye Electric. As touched on, there is a substantial difference between commercial electricians and residential electricians. From the training, education, certifications, knowledge, and so much more, working with professionals within the sector is a critical investment for businesses of all sizes.
Whether you are looking for routine maintenance and assessments, seeking improvements in energy efficiency, or are considering upgrades to your existing electrical system and want to know all of the options available to you, give us a call here at Hawkeye Electric today—we would love to be the team to get the job done.