Whether you have a dedicated facilities staff or utilize licensed HVAC service contractors, preventative maintenance is a key element in keeping HVAC equipment online and operating at its peak efficiency. The importance and value of preventive maintenance to your HVAC system cannot be overstated. Improperly maintained equipment can impact the health and safety of building occupants, reduce the life span of your equipment, and result in excessive downtime impacting your operations.
Here are five common maintenance tips that will keep your equipment running smoothly:
- Change your filters on a schedule.
- A clogged filter contributes to unhealthy air by allowing more dust, debris, and other particles to be recirculated into your space.
- A clogged filter results in increased energy use as the pressure drop across your unit increases.
- A clogged filter will lead to service issues; as airflow through the unit decreases, you will see degraded cooling & heating performance, you may freeze refrigerant coils, and you may ultimately see premature failure of your unit.
- Make sure belts are in good shape and aligned/ tensioned properly.
- A misaligned or improperly tensioned belt will deteriorate pre-maturely. You may find cracks, pieces broken off, or squealing sounds when the unit starts.
- Improper tension may also cause the pulleys to wear prematurely or over amperage of the fan motor which then could lead to fan motor failure.
- Keep your coils clean.
- A dirty outdoor condenser coil will diminish your operating efficiency. Also, depending upon how dirty your coil is, your unit could potentially trip on a high pressure safety which stops cooling operation.
- Just like the outdoor coil, your indoor evaporator coil will not operate properly when dirty. This limits the unit’s ability to cool the space effectively which leads to longer run times and a higher electric bill.
- Clean coils allows the heat transfer process to move from your space to the outdoors efficiently. A built up layer of dirt and debris on the coils slows the process down and can bring it to a complete stop.
- Clean your condensate drain pan, pumps, and drain line.
- A dirty drain pan, drain line, or condensate pump will lead to water leaking into areas that will cause damage to your system and your space. The drain pan or condensate pump will overfill which spills out into the surrounding area.
- Conditions inside your unit in the hot and humid seasons are the perfect breeding grounds for algae and mold. Proper upkeep through the use of various products will help prevent these buildups that can clog up your drain line.
- Make sure electrical connections are tight.
- Loose electrical connections can lead to false alarms on your system. This would lead to labor hour dollars being spent on the time it takes for your technician to track down the issue.
- Loose electrical connections can also lead to costly damage to components in your system. If a connection becomes loose and touches where it is not supposed to then costly damage will occur.
These common and easily preventable items result in thousands of dollars of losses every year, from equipment downtime to outright failure. To keep your HVAC system running smoothly, follow a routine maintenance schedule. By taking a proactive approach with regular service checkups throughout the year, you are maximizing your equipment functionality, efficiency, and longevity.
A regular preventive maintenance schedule enable you to schedule service when it is convenient for you and for your technicians to identify other issues before they become major problems. Avoid costly service calls in the middle of the night. Finding and repairing minor problems before they become major ones helps to keep you within your budget. Resolving a problem during regular business hours versus an emergency late night repair is budget savings for you.