When you’re in charge of a commercial building, you should have a commercial HVAC preventative maintenance program in place. Why? Using preventative maintenance can reduce your energy costs by anywhere from 5 to 40%. These savings occur because you catch and fix small problems before they turn into large ones. So how do you implement a preventative maintenance program for HVAC? Whether you have a traditional heating and cooling system or a heat pump, you can follow these steps:
Create an HVAC Preventative Maintenance Plan
Before you begin doing anything, you should have a plan in place. Develop an HVAC preventative maintenance checklist that includes aspects of your HVAC system you can check each month and assign these tasks to specific employees. For example, you can direct one employee to check the air filters each month and change them out at least once a season, if not once a month, to improve and maintain your building’s indoor air quality. Performing that task yourself or assigning it to an employee will reduce the number of tasks an HVAC technician needs to perform during an inspection or maintenance visit.
If you do not own the building you operate in, you should speak with your facility manager about enacting a maintenance plan. It will help your facility stay clean and healthy, and it will reduce the maintenance problems the manager has to deal with in the long run.
Schedule Regular Maintenance Visits
Routine maintenance visits and inspections should become part of your maintenance plan. You can enter into a preventative maintenance contract with an HVAC service company, like Air Comfort Corporation. Before you sign the contract, work with the company to figure out how often these visits should occur. Is an annual visit enough to maintain your HVAC equipment, or will it require more frequent visits? Once you have determined this, you should negotiate what maintenance tasks the contract will cover.
Here are some tasks that regular maintenance visits often include:
- Cleaning and changing air filters
- Adjusting or replacing fan belts
- Cleaning and adding algaecide to drain pans
- Blowing out drain lines
- Checking evaporator coils for cleanliness
- Taking temperature splits across the coil
- Inspecting fan and motor bearings during operation
- Inspecting pulleys and aligning them when necessary
- Checking refrigerant pressures
- Checking condenser coils for corrosion and cleanliness
- Checking the overall condition of the equipment
When a technician inspects your heating and air conditioning regularly, they can make sure every piece of your equipment is inspected and cleaned. This will prevent the condenser coils from corroding, stop the pulleys from becoming misaligned, and keep algae from building up in the drain pan. When all these parts are in good working order, you will have lower energy bills.
The Importance of HVAC Preventative Maintenance
Putting a preventative maintenance plan in place means you and your HVAC service company aim to keep your furnace and air conditioner from working too hard. When your HVAC system’s components wear down, the whole system has to work harder to run well. When the system has to work harder, more stress is put on the worn-down components, as well as all the other components. This leads to eventual breakdowns and HVAC emergencies.
The greatest benefit of HVAC preventative maintenance is that you can prevent your HVAC system from reaching its breaking point. By checking the system regularly, you and an HVAC technician can see where the system is wearing down, and repair or replace those at-risk components before the system develops major problems. When you repair small HVAC problems before they become big ones, you can increase your system’s lifespan and maximize its energy efficiency.
Preventative Maintenance for Your Chicago Commercial Building
At Air Comfort Corporation, we understand the benefits of preventative maintenance for HVAC systems and want to help you take advantage of them. We can go beyond just replacing HVAC components. In fact, we perform commercial building audits to see if you are getting the most out of your HVAC system. We have been providing our services to businesses since 1935, and we do our best to offer the most up-to-date maintenance and retrofitting services. Contact us today to set up a consultation if you are interested in any of our services.