Like any long-term investment, your commercial HVAC system requires proper care and maintenance, lest it become a drain on your time, money and patience.
Check out these tips to help you stay ahead of the game by taking care of issues before they become problems.
1. Buildings editor Janelle Penny recommends that you take advantage of the winter to carry out maintenance and upgrade your cooling system. According to Penny, scheduling your cooling maintenance during off-peak season means more technicians will be available to carry out repairs. Additionally, getting the cooling maintenance out of the way in the winter means reduced chances of having to deal with emergency maintenance during the summer months. The winter is also a great time to give the HVAC system a good scrubbing, which will help keep it working once we get to the warmer months.
2. Preventive maintenance goes a long way in preserving your system and saving you money. Studies show time and time again that routine maintenance can be a key driver of energy efficiency in any HVAC system. However, according to FacilitiesNet many organizations still take a reactionary approach to HVAC maintenance. Preventive maintenance not only keeps your system running efficiently and reliably longer, but can also help you maintain high IAQ. Study your maintenance history to find out what areas have been giving you problems, and build out a maintenance schedule based on common repairs.
3. If you feel like repairs are weighing heavily on your building management budget, consider that replacing an aging system may be the best option. Aside from major faults, regular repairs can add up and within a year or two you may have spent as much on repairs as you would have on a partial system overhaul. Energy Star offers a comprehensive guide to improving aged HVAC systems progressively with step-by-step modifications, allowing you to retrofit your existing system to make it more efficient.
4. Cleaning condenser coils regularly helps to prevent long term damage and loss. This simple step prevents the degradation of your cooling system and saves as much as 30% over 20 years, according to the Wisconsin Public Service. Taking a power washer to your rooftop unit will do wonders for it, and will keep your system from building up dirt that will have to be cleaned later.
5. Change your air filters on a regular basis, as recommended by the manufacturer. During the spring months, consider changing filters more often than usual. Because the function of filters is to catch dust and other particles passing through the air, you must be very mindful of the outdoor air quality and keep in mind that it can directly affect the condition of your filters. While there are minimum standards for filters, higher quality filters can save you on maintenance and replacement costs over the long run, as well as offer a higher level of indoor air quality. For more information, check out this EPA article on HVAC Systems and Indoor Air Quality.
With these tips handy, you should be able to keep your building’s HVAC system running properly year-round. Remember, preventive maintenance is much less expensive than repairs.
For a well balanced approach to maintaining a high performing HVAC system while enabling good IAQ, MERV 11 rated filters can be a smart choice. Just be sure to check the compatibility of your HVAC system before making any filter changes to ensure proper system performance.
Be sure to comment below on your own personal tips to prevent HVAC problems!