Commercial HVAC Maintenance Can Keep Work Going Without Surprise Repairs
In your commercial or retail establishment, unexpected failures or breakdowns of your HVAC equipment can cause significant problems and disruptions in your daily operations. Your heating and cooling equipment are all mechanical systems, and like any mechanical system, they will eventually malfunction. Commercial HVAC maintenance is the best way to keep your furnace, heat pump, air conditioner or boiler working efficiently, reliably and effectively whenever you need it.
Potential problems from lack of maintenance
- Equipment malfunctions and breakdowns: HVAC systems that are poorly maintained simply won’t work right, or in some cases might not work at all. Dirty filters, failed components and other problems can cause the system to cease. Depending on the weather, that could be a crisis for you, your employees and your customers.
- Costly, aggravating interruptions in operations: If a heating or cooling system breaks down, your customers and employees will, at the least, be uncomfortable in your facility. In the midst of temperature extremes, a non-working HVAC system can be a danger to health and safety.
- Expensive repairs: The repair bill for fixing a broken-down HVAC system can be costly. It’s even worse if the repair is unexpected and could have been prevented by some minor repairs and maintenance.
- Potential need for complete replacement: In serious cases, a poorly maintained HVAC system can fail catastrophically, which requires complete system replacement. Standard repairs can be expensive enough; a complete system replacement can cost you thousands.
When should commercial HVAC maintenance be performed?
In general, preventive maintenance should be performed on your HVAC equipment at least annually. The best time is usually a month or so before the change in the seasons, which means you should have cooling systems inspected and maintained in the fall and heating systems checked and fixed in the spring.
If you use your heating or cooling equipment heavily because of local climate, it’s a good idea to have preventive maintenance performed more frequently, perhaps every six months or at the beginning and in the middle of the long heating or cooling season.
Planned maintenance agreements
A planned maintenance agreement, also known as a service contract, is a very convenient way to ensure commercial HVAC maintenance is performed when needed. It establishes a business relationship between you and your HVAC provider, who will track, schedule and perform maintenance according to the terms of the contract. With a planned maintenance agreement, you won’t have to keep track of when maintenance is needed; your HVAC professional will contact you for an appointment when service is due.
Elements of preventive maintenance
Your HVAC technician’s goal will be to find and fix small problems before they can become larger issues later. The technician will also make adjustments and corrections that will improve HVAC system performance and efficiency. Some common maintenance tasks include:
- Checking system controls for proper operation
- Calibrating thermostats and other controls
- Cleaning and tightening electrical connections
- Lubricating fans, motors and moving parts
- Inspecting ductwork for leaks or loose connections
- Checking and adjusting blower motor belts
- Checking and recharging refrigerant levels
- Checking fuel lines and power sources
- Inspecting heat exchangers for cracks or damage
- Checking overall system operation and safety
- Testing for carbon monoxide leaks
Benefits of regular preventive maintenance
Preventive maintenance not only helps you avoid surprise repair and replacement expenses, it also reduces energy consumption and overall problems with your HVAC system. Regular commercial HVAC maintenance will:
- Reduce energy consumption by 25 to 30 percent
- Reduce unexpected breakdowns by 70 to 75 percent
- Reduce system downtime by 30 to 35 percent
- Reduce equipment repair and maintenance costs by as much as 20 percent
Sobieski Inc. can help out with all of your commercial HVAC maintenance needs. Our goal is to help educate our customers about Plumbing, HVACR, Fire Protection and Alarm Systems in Mechanical, Commercial and Residential settings. For more information about commercial HVAC maintenance and to view projects we’ve worked on, visit our website!
Image Credit: Nina Matthews Photography