Preventative maintenance is the key to keeping your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) unit in good condition. Spring is known as one of the best times of the year to take care of maintenance needs; however, this should all be done before the beginning of every season. Since we’re the closest to spring, here are some commercial HVAC tips for spring that you can follow.
The first step to cross off your spring HVAC maintenance checklist is to evaluate your system. Trying to spring forward with an air conditioner or heat pump that doesn’t do its job is not only unwise, but it could also cost you extra money in lost efficiency. In general, commercial cooling systems can be expected to last for 10 to 15 years before they become candidates for replacement.
Age, however, is not the defining criteria for HVAC system replacement. If your cooling equipment has been given regular preventive maintenance and it’s in decent condition, it’s likely it can survive another few seasons.
As we emerge from the cold winter and crawl toward warmer weather, it’s important to remember your a/c unit has been in hibernation all season long. It’s uncertain how your unit has been affected from a prolonged lack of use. It would be a good idea to have a professional come out to check the refrigerant levels, blower systems, electrical connections, and more.
Before putting your cooling system into full-time operation, make sure it has been properly cleaned. The professionals should clean internal components like blower fans and cabinets. You can clean supply vents and return registers. The pros can do the same for the outside pieces of the unit by removing any accumulation of dirt, mud, grass, leaves, insect or animal nests, sticks, and other debris. Wash down the outside of the cabinet with plain water and leave the chemical cleaning to a professional.
Check the air filters and change them if they are dirty. If they haven’t been changed since the end of last year’s cooling season, it’s recommended to replace them with new filters. Remember that dirty, clogged filters restrict airflow, which ultimately lowers efficiency and could potentially cause malfunctions or damage.
Turn the system on and let it run for a few minutes to test its operation. This should be timed to occur on a day when outdoor temperatures are relatively mild or unseasonably warm. Put the equipment through a standard cycle and make sure it still produces cool air. This doesn’t mean you are going to be good for the season but it does indicate no catastrophic failures have occurred since last time it ran.
If your system is malfunctioning or broken, repairs are needed before you spring forward. Contact your local trusted HVAC service provider for repairs or for a consultation about system replacement.
There are some maintenance tasks you can do yourself and others that are better suited for a professional. As the weather changes, you’re going to want an expert to check on electrical connections, the condensate drain system, exhaust outlets, fuel lines, burners, and more. This can help ensure your unit is operating optimally before switching over to the heater.
While maintenance is the last item on this list, it may well be the most important thing you can do for your HVAC system. Regular maintenance ensures consistent unit performance at the highest possible efficiency. If you need preventive maintenance, call on Service Unlimited. We can fix small problems, make necessary adjustments, inspect the ductwork, and locate areas where potential problems may occur during cooling season.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about HVAC equipment, design and upgrade options, and climate control systems in institutional, commercial, and industrial settings. Contact us today for more information on what you should do to spring forward with a well-maintained HVAC system.