The Importance of Commercial HVAC Maintenance

As a business owner, you have so many items on your to-do list that you may be tempted to skip routine maintenance of HVAC equipment that is currently working just fine. However, commercial HVAC tends to be more complex than residential, so it’s even more vital that it be serviced on a regular basis to ensure it keeps running smoothly. Don’t risk costly repairs or an uncomfortable environment for your staff or customers. Plus, well-maintained systems are more efficient, which keeps energy bills low.

What tasks can your maintenance staff perform?

If your building has maintenance professionals on staff, there are a variety of small tasks that they will likely feel comfortable performing. This preventative maintenance will go a long way in keeping your equipment running well.

  • Clean the outdoor unit: The exterior of your system should be clean and free of anything that might obstruct the airflow. Remove leaves, sticks, and other materials that are in or around the vents. Make sure shrubs and other plants don’t grow too close to the unit.
  • Check filters: An HVAC system’s air filters need to be clean in order to keep indoor air clean. Plus, the system needs adequate airflow for it to work as it should. Check filters monthly and change as needed.
  • Clean coils: The evaporator and condenser coils are responsible for heat transfer, so make sure they’re clean and unblocked.
  • Check for blockages: Vents should be unblocked by furniture or other items can ensure good airflow.

 

What tasks should a licensed HVAC professional perform?

Most maintenance should be tackled by a professional. A qualified expert will understand how to maintain and repair a system, as well as perform any calibrations that might be needed to ensure maximum performance. They will likely include the following tasks:

  • Calibrating controls: Adjustments to the thermostat and other components may be needed to ensure proper system operation.
  • Check moving parts: Test for operation and lubricate to improve performance and lessen wear.
  • Test refrigerant: Make sure refrigerant is at the recommended levels and check the system for leaks.
  • Check electrical connections: Connections should be checked for proper operation, including cleaning and tightening.
  • Inspect drain lines: Make sure no blockages, such as organic growth, are in the drain system so water can flow unobstructed.
  • Inspect ductwork: Check for sealed and tight-fitting ductwork, as well as proper insulation.

 

How should you prepare for a maintenance visit?

It can be helpful to collect some basic information prior to your maintenance visit. First, find out how well the system has been performing. Your contractor will want to know about any humidity or temperature issues, as well as poor performance or abnormal/variable utility bills. Next, figure out how many hours per day and per week the system operates, and what your usage needs and occupancy levels are. Lastly, make sure to note any prior maintenance issues or system failures, or if you have specific concerns about something like air quality.

Questions for a contractor

If you’re working with a new contractor or are trying to find a new one, you may have questions. Whether you already know what you want to ask or have no idea where to start, here are a few basic questions to get you started:

#1: How long does a maintenance visit last? This can give you a rough idea on the thoroughness of a potential vendor’s exam.

#2: Will you review maintenance concerns and problems? Top service providers will want to take the time to explain what they did, what it means, and what may need to be done in the future. Some providers may even be willing to take videos of actions and problem areas if you’re unable to be on-site during their visit.

#3: How can the system’s performance be improved? If your system’s performance isn’t up to par, you’ll want recommendations for actions you can take to improve the situation.
 

Comfort Heating and Cooling has been providing the Portland and Vancouver areas with high quality, trusted commercial HVAC installation and maintenance for over 13 years. Contact us today to schedule service.

 

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April 7, 2020