By taking better care of your commercial HVAC system during the summer months, you'll ensure a season's worth of excellent performance and indoor comfort. HVAC maintenance on your air conditioner or heat pump will also ensure your ongoing energy costs remain as low as possible during months when you use your HVAC system more frequently. Here are some HVAC maintenance tips you can apply this year, and every year, to keep your commercial cooling equipment running well.
- Schedule a professional maintenance appointment. If you didn't have preventive maintenance performed on your commercial HVAC system in the spring, call your local trusted HVAC services provider as early as possible. It's not too late to have maintenance performed, even at the height of summer. Preventive maintenance allows an expert in HVAC systems to inspect your cooling equipment and make adjustments and minor repairs that will keep the system working properly. Your HVAC pro will perform tasks such as checking electrical connections, adjusting controls, lubricating moving parts, and tightening loose components.
- Change air filters. In most cases, air filters should be checked at least once a month to see if they're dirty and clogged. If they are, they must be replaced. If your commercial environment contains a large amount of airborne particulates, such as dust, pollen, fibers, or other material, you may need to check filters every two weeks. Take filters out and hold them up to a strong light source, such as the sun or a bare light bulb. If you can't see the light through the filter, it is dirty enough to change.
- Clear the area around the outdoor unit. Cooling systems need airflow to operate properly, and if there is too much vegetation, dirt, or other material surrounding the outdoor unit, that airflow can be restricted. Trim away tree limbs, bushes, hedges, and other vegetation to create some open space around the unit, on all sides and above. Cut grass and ensure that clippings do not get inside the unit or clog the vent openings.
- Clean indoor and outdoor units. Both indoor and outdoor units should be cleaned as part of summer HVAC maintenance. Dust, dirt, and other accumulations of material should be removed from inside the units. Components, areas around electrical connections, and moving parts should also be cleaned of material that could cause problems. Outdoor units should be cleaned of any dirt, mud, grass, leaves, sticks, or other material that has gotten caught in the vents or that has slipped inside the unit's cabinet.
- Check and clear condensate drain. Air conditioners produce a certain amount of moisture as part of the dehumidifying they offer. Make sure the condensate drain that removes this moisture is clear of any blockages and that the water the A/C produces can flow away easily.
- Inspect the ductwork. The ductwork is the network of pipes that carries cooled air from your HVAC system to the indoor areas of your commercial space. Damage to the ducts can produce air leaks that allow cooled air to escape unused. Inspect the ducts to make sure they are clean inside and out. If there are accumulations of material inside the ducts, call your HVAC professional and ask about duct cleaning. Make sure that all duct sections fit together tightly and that connections are sealed with mastic, metal tape, or other appropriate material designed specifically for use on ducts.
- Install a programmable thermostat. If you haven't already installed a programmable thermostat to control your HVAC system, consider doing so as part of this year's HVAC maintenance. Programmable thermostats give you excellent control over your HVAC equipment's operation and can save you significant amounts of money on your monthly cooling bills.