Don’t Forget About Your Building’s Rooftop Unit
In many commercial settings, the building’s HVAC equipment is mounted on the roof. This keeps the equipment hidden from view of customers and prevents it from being an obstacle on the ground. However, it also creates a situation in which it can be easy to forget about seasonal preventive maintenance because the equipment is out of sight. This fall, make sure you don’t forget your rooftop unit maintenance. Forgetting about HVAC system maintenance could come back to haunt you next season.
The Importance of Rooftop Unit Maintenance
Whether your HVAC equipment is on the roof, outside on the ground, or in your building’s basement, it needs regular preventive maintenance. Seasonal maintenance ensures that the system works properly, at its highest level of efficiency, with the best possible performance. Neglecting your HVAC equipment by failing to perform regular maintenance can lead to multiple problems, such as:
- More frequent malfunctions and breakdowns: Without regular maintenance, heating and cooling systems are more likely to malfunction and, in many cases, break down. When this happens, you will have no choice but to spend the money to have the system fixed, even if it requires an emergency service call. With regular maintenance, small problems that could become major issues later can be identified and fixed early.
- Loss of efficiency: Without regular maintenance, the efficiency of your heating and cooling equipment will quickly degrade. This means that it will take more energy—fuel and electricity—to produce the same amount of indoor conditioning. This will waste energy and drive your monthly costs up unnecessarily.
- Poor heating and cooling performance: Lack of maintenance will cause the performance of the system to suffer. This could result in problems such as ineffective heating or cooling, hot or cold spots within the building, or an inability to heat or cool the indoor spaces to the occupants’ preferences.
- Potential catastrophic breakdowns: In the worse cases, a neglected furnace, air conditioner, or heat pump could break down so severely that the only option is to replace it. In a commercial context, this could mean the expenditure of thousands of dollars that were not planned for in the budget.
Tasks for Rooftop Unit Maintenance
Commercial rooftop unit maintenance should be performed by a qualified and knowledgeable HVAC professional.
- Inspect the system thoroughly: Your HVAC technician should give the rooftop unit a thorough visual inspection, looking for obvious signs of damage, loose or missing parts, clogged vents, or other issues that could lead to decreased performance. Ductwork connections should be checked to make sure they are tight and that the seams between duct sections are properly sealed.
- Make sure the unit is level: The rooftop unit should be level to ensure proper performance and circulation of refrigerant. Add shims or other boosters to level out the unit.
- Check the condition of the rooftop: Any damage or problems on the rooftop around the unit should be noted and addressed by a roofing professional. In some cases, it may be a good idea to seal and paint the area around the rooftop unit with a light-colored coating to help direct heat away from the equipment.
- Change air filters: The air filters in the unit should be changed during every maintenance visit. Dirty filters can cause HVAC system malfunctions and breakdowns. Clean filters also help prevent dust, pollen, and other particulates from getting into your indoor spaces.
- Clean the coils: The condenser and evaporator coils should be inspected and cleaned to ensure proper heat transfer.
- Clean and lubricate moving parts: Moving parts, including belts, pulleys, and bearings, should be cleaned and lubricated to ensure freedom of movement. Worn or damaged belts should be replaced with new ones.
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 on rooftop unit maintenance, or to view projects we’ve worked on, visit our website!