Commercial HVAC can be an intimidating installation. There are several mechanical, electrical and electronic components, most of which are consistently functioning throughout the workday. Repairing or replacing such parts can be a tedious process and expensive too. Timely and effective preventive maintenance can avert many of the common issues. Preventive maintenance ensures the efficiency is not impaired in any way, which saves money by reducing operating costs. Here is a comprehensive checklist for preventive maintenance of commercial HVAC.
DIY vs. Professional Preventive Maintenance
Before we delve into the nitty-gritty of preventive maintenance, it is necessary to segregate the two approaches and they both have their share of merits. DIY is obviously more affordable but also challenging. Not everyone has the technical acumen to inspect commercial HVAC. If you or someone in your company does have the expertise, then you can dismiss the importance of professional preventive maintenance. Otherwise, you must hire a technician. It is better to have an annual maintenance contract. This shall cover preventive maintenance, repairs and also most types of replacements. A few replacements may be excluded from standard contracts. You can get these included with specific add-ons in the agreement.
Annual maintenance contracts should always be personalized. The customization should depend on the type of commercial HVAC you have, its size and location, the usage and other features. Commercial HVAC comes with various types of technologies. Their capacity varies extensively. The age, condition and performance of the commercial HVAC equipment should also influence the terms of the annual maintenance contract. You can get free inspection and quotes so all you have to do is compare customized annual maintenance contracts to choose the best.
Preventive Maintenance Checklist for Spring / Summer
Commercial HVAC, like residential installations, are supposed to cool the indoors during spring and summer. It should warm the indoors during fall and winter. Ventilation is a perennial function. The preventive maintenance cannot be identical when the primary function is not the same. Hence, the seasonal approaches vary considerably.
Before or during spring and summer, preventive maintenance is primarily about replacing the filters in the cooling system, checking the status of the pulleys and belts, cleaning the evaporator and condenser coils, checking the quantum of refrigerant and assessing if there is any leak or loss, clearing the pans and drain lines, inspecting the electrical components and connections, the functioning of blower motor and fan, lubrication of bearings and motors among parts, testing the thermostat ; all controls and assessing the quality and strength of air flow.
Preventive Maintenance Checklist for Fall / Winter
Before or during fall and winter, the filters in the heating system may have to be replaced, or cleaned. The pulleys and belts may need to be cleaned, or replaced. The pans and drain lines should be checked and cleared. The electrical connections should be tested for efficiency and reliability. The blower motor and fan may have to be adjusted due to the change in the primary functioning of the commercial HVAC. Preventive maintenance before or during fall and winter includes inspecting the ignition and burner, lubricating the motors and bearings, testing the thermostat and assessing the heat exchanger.
Facts about Preventive Maintenance of Commercial HVAC
A thorough preventive maintenance may take a few hours. It rarely takes a whole day, unless there is something wrong. A sprawling property with multiple floors can take as long as a day to ascertain if the system is working perfectly throughout the building. The commercial HVAC installation or the equipment is only a part of the entire apparatus. The ducts and vents, regulators and many other components in the entire distribution system are an integral part of the whole setup.
Preventive maintenance is not about repairs or replacements. It is primarily about servicing the equipment and ensuring all parts of the system are working fine. Should there be an issue or several problems, preventive maintenance should include proactive repair and preemptive replacement. For instance, the performance may be a tad poor, there could be mild issues pertaining to humidity or temperature, the air flow may not be sufficient or there has been a spike in the energy consumption for no apparent reason. Such issues call for a more thorough yet specific inspection and preventive maintenance, often calling for appropriate repair or replacement of parts.
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