Fall Rooftop Unit Maintenance Tips for Your Building
Many commercial HVAC systems are packaged rooftop units that are installed out of sight on the roof. If your HVAC system is a rooftop type, it’s even more important to make rooftop unit maintenance is performed at the right time.
Why Pay Special Attention to Rooftop Unit Maintenance?
Rooftop units are installed on the roof of your building to save space on the ground and to keep the equipment out of sight of your customers. Since these systems are usually installed where they are not frequently seen by anyone, even your employees or maintenance staff, it’s easy to miss some of the sounds and signs that indicate attention to the unit is necessary. If you ignore or even simply overlook your rooftop HVAC unit, you’ll run the same risks that occur when any heating or cooling system is neglected.
- The equipment will lose efficiency, which means it will cost more to heat and cool your indoor spaces.
- The system will lose effectiveness, which means it will not provide temperature control for your needs or will produce inconsistent levels of heating and cooling.
- The equipment will be more likely to break down or have significant malfunctions that will require a service call from an HVAC expert. In extreme cases, neglect of maintenance can cause the system to fail so badly that complete replacement is the only option.
What Should Rooftop Unit Maintenance Include?
Rooftop unit maintenance should include the same complement of inspections, adjustments, and checks that are performed on other types of HVAC equipment. A few tasks you may be able to do yourself, such as changing air filters, but most preventive maintenance should be done by an expert HVAC technician. Some of the more important elements of rooftop unit maintenance include:
- Changing air filters: Air filters perform the function of cleaning the air circulating through the HVAC system and into your indoor spaces. When these filters get dirty or clogged, airflow is restricted and breakdowns are more likely to occur. Ideally, filters should be checked monthly and changed when they get dirty. At the very least, filters should be changed during fall and spring maintenance inspections.
- Inspecting, cleaning, and lubricating moving parts: All moving parts on the system should be carefully checked for proper function. They should be cleaned and lubricated to make sure they continue to move properly with the least amount of friction and wear. Check components such as blower fans, motors, and bearings.
- Cleaning cabinet and coils: Give the entire unit and its cabinet an overall cleaning and remove any accumulations of dirt, vegetation, bird nests, or any other objects that could block airflow and interfere with function. Clean the indoor and outdoor coils to ensure proper function and heat transfer.
- Testing and checking electrical system: Make sure all electrical connections are clean and tight. Test electrical factors such as voltage and amperage. Inspect wiring for damage, fraying of insulation, loose connections, or other problems that could interfere with the electrical system or potentially cause short circuits or fires.
- Checking and maintaining drains and condensate lines: Check drainage systems to make sure they are working correctly and that drains are clear and free from blockages. Clean the drain pan to prevent algae or mold. Consider adding an algaecide to inhibit algae growth.
- Checking belts, pulleys, and related parts: Belts should be tightened if necessary and damaged or worn belts should be replaced. Blower belts should be changed as part of preventive maintenance.
- Inspecting controls and verifying overall operation: Make sure the system starts, operates, and shuts off like it should. Calibrate thermostats for proper temperature control. Test controls and operational sequences and make adjustments as needed.
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!