HOW TO STAY ON TOP OF HVAC FACILITY MAINTENANCE
If you’re in the commercial real estate or commercial building management industry, then you know full well the implications that facility maintenance can have on your bottom line. If not properly maintained, HVAC systems can run inefficiently, or are at risk of full mechanical breakdown. No one likes writing cheques to HVAC companies, and following a proper commercial HVAC checklist can save a TON of money.
Below, we’ll lay out our checklist, and give you some reasons why each point is important.
STEP 1: PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE
The first order of business is to perform a little preventative maintenance. Depending on the climate, this maintenance will be done in the spring (for the cooling system) and in the fall (for the heating system).
You’re probably sensing a pattern here. Yes, the point of preventative maintenance is to stay AHEAD of any issues. Example: summer is hot, therefore the cooling systems should be checked and maintained BEFORE summer arrives.
PRO TIP: Hire an HVAC company that you trust to perform this maintenance, as you will be dealing with the mechanical intricacies of your systems.
OUTDOOR – WHAT TO INSPECT
- Inspect and clean the coil and cabinet
- Clear the drain pans and condensate lines of any obstructions or debris
- Inspect the compressor to ensure it’s fully operational
- Lubricate the blades and the fan motor
- All switches, wiring, and safety controls must be inspected along with the control box
- Ensure there is plenty of refrigerant, if not, top it up
INDOOR – WHAT TO CHECK
- Clean and inspect blower assembly
- Lubricate, or even replace belts
- Clean the combustion blower housing
- Inspect and clean the drip pan, condensate lines, and the evaporator coil
- Clean the burner assembly
- Ensure the ignition system is cleaned
- Test all safety controls
- Inspect the heat exchanger
- Check the flue system for any abnormalities, or wear
- Check and tighten control box, wiring
- Clean or better yet, replace the Air Filter
- Check the duct system
STEP 2: CHECK AND CHANGE YOUR AIR FILTERS
Commercial HVAC maintenance has a lot to do with increasing and maintaining the efficiency and safety of your systems. Regularly checking and changing air filters can be a simple, yet highly effective way to do this.
- CLEAN OR CHANGE AIR FILTERS EVERY MONTH
Air filters are a spot in your system that can collect a ton of debris. For this reason, it’s important to go ahead and remove that build-up every month. In fact, depending on your system itself, and the area in which your commercial building is located, it may be wise to clean filters every 2 weeks.
- SAVE 15% ON YOUR ENERGY BILL
The difference between proper commercial HVAC maintenance and poor maintenance, is about 15%. That means you could be throwing money away every single month because of something as simple as a blocked up air filter.
- AIR QUALITY IS IMPORTANT
A good building manager or owner takes care of their occupants. Dirty air filters can not only hurt your bottom line, but can also cause adverse health effects. It’s important that we remember our obligation to the tenants or occupants. Keeping air filters clean and fresh is truly beneficial for both parties.
STEP 3: PROGRAM THERMOSTATS
Programming thermostats is simply a great facility maintenance practice. Ensuring your thermostats are ready and programmed for the seasonal changeover is a great way to save money and time.
Regular checks of the programming ensure that your system is optimized for the season. Even if your building has a great automation system, manually check it to make sure it’s operating your HVAC system as it should.
CALL AN HVAC COMPANY IF YOU’RE NOT SURE
Sometimes it takes a trained professional to ensure that our HVAC systems are being properly maintained. If your bills are high, or your system doesn’t seem to be running efficiently—and you can’t figure out why—it might be time to call a pro.