The Southeast U.S. Facility Manager’s Guide to Annual Commercial HVAC Maintenance
When you invest in a valuable asset, it’s only reasonable to consider how you’re going to keep it operating for as long as possible. Our cars, homes, and even our phones and tablets, come with specific maintenance requirements and schedules that can accomplish this goal. Whether we actually follow through on those suggestions is another matter.
It’s not surprising, then, to realize that the commercial HVAC systems that keep your commercial building warm in the winter and cool in the summer need routine maintenance to ensure their optimal performance year after year. Beyond maintaining the system’s basic functionality, routine planned HVAC maintenance also keeps the system is running as efficiently as possible, reducing monthly operating expenses. And, any system components that may be susceptible to standard wear and tear can be identified, repaired or replaced long before they cause a major failure.
Below, you’ll find a simple list of the top preventive maintenance services that your commercial HVAC system will need this year. It’s tailored to the far southeastern United States, where Engineered Cooling Services customers live and work, but the principles can really be applied anywhere.
In the spring, before the peak of the cooling season, it’s best to perform a thorough inspection and evaluation of all cooling components. This should ensure the cooling system is up to the task of handling the hottest and most humid days of the coming summer.
After the short heating season, it’s also a good idea to clean and inspect shared system components, like vents, ductwork, fans, and electronics. Components specific to the cooling system should also get special attention:
- Make sure the condenser unit and evaporator coils are clean and free of debris.
- Straighten any bent coils.
- Check the drain lines for blockages or leaks
- Clean or replace drain lines as needed
- Check the level of refrigerant and, if low, locate and repair any leaks before refilling
During the peak of the cooling season, a less intensive inspection and series of evaluations can give you peace of mind, verifying the components tested the previous quarter are holding up as expected. It also gives technicians the opportunity to determine if the system’s energy efficiency settings are still appropriate, and to make any needed adjustments based on actual usage.
Much like the spring maintenance, the goal of services in the fall is to get all the components of the building’s heating system cleaned and functioning properly in time for the upcoming heating season.
Some actions that will likely be required include:
- Thoroughly inspecting all heating components
- Replacing any worn or damaged parts
- Testing electrical controls and components
- Cleaning of both outside and inside units to remove debris, dust buildup, and any other issues that could hinder efficient performance
- Replacing air filters
- Adjusting supply registers
- Calibrating thermostats
As you did in the summer, you’ll want to handle a lower key inspection and to confirm that the components inspected in the fall are holding up as expected. This also allows an opportunity to ensure all heating components are performing efficiently at the peak of the heating season, and to make any necessary control adjustments to optimize them.
Some items to keep in mind during this period include:
- Checking for potential energy leaks — poorly insulated or sealed doors, windows, or ventwork — that could be impacting heating performance and efficiency
- Making sure vents and ductwork are remaining clean and free of debris
- Adjusting thermostats to compensate as outside temperatures fluctuate
If this brief rundown of necessary planned maintenance services is surprising to you, it could mean your commercial HVAC system hasn’t received the routine maintenance it really needs to function its best. It’s a valuable asset, worth far more than your car or your smartphone. Why not contact us today to have a qualified technician evaluate your system and discuss options for a planned maintenance program that will protect your building’s valuable HVAC system this year?