The Dos and Don’ts of HVAC Maintenance
Like any other heavy-duty equipment, your HVAC units need to be well looked after to keep them in tip-top condition. Downtime isn’t just a hassle to deal with, it can mean a complete closure of your building until things are back up and running. Obviously, this would be a massive hit to your bottom line.
But how often should you schedule maintenance? What kind of maintenance can you perform yourself, and when do you need to bring in a professional team? And, of course, what can you do to stay productive when your usual HVAC units are shut down for maintenance or repair?
Why HVAC Maintenance Is Crucial
Maintaining your HVAC systems is key for a number of reasons. It not only protects your equipment and decreases potential outages and downtime, but it also keeps staff safe. Carrying out regular checks means you can catch any issues early and correct them before they get too bad.
This will keep processes ticking over as they should be while ensuring you don’t lose out on any revenue.
The Dos of HVAC Maintenance
If you want to dramatically reduce the risk of a shutdown, there are some tasks you can carry out yourself to kick off your HVAC maintenance:
- DO replace filters in your cooling equipment
- DO clean the air ducts every two years to avoid clogs
- DO clean the condenser, evaporator coils, drip pain, blower assembly, and ignition system
- DO inspect the fan, bearings, and belts
- DO lubricate all moving parts including motors
- DO clean and adjust the dampers every year
- DO check the refrigerant charge and resupply as needed
- DO test your thermostat, safety controls, fan, and blower motors to make sure they’re all working correctly
- DO inspect the electrical connections for any issues
As the weather starts to cool, you can run the same general checks, tests, and cleaning tasks again, but you can also:
- Replace the filters on the heating equipment
- Check your heat exchanger and burner assembly
- Run careful inspections for gas leaks
This is a great time to give your HVAC systems the once over and note down any strange noises, smells, or abnormalities. If they’re urgent, get them fixed as soon as possible. If not, simply track them and check up on them on your next maintenance inspection.
The key is to carry out HVAC maintenance regularly and consistently. This will ensure you stay on top of any minor issues and identify any potential major issues before they become a huge headache.
The Don’ts of HVAC Maintenance
Like with anything, there are some things you should avoid when it comes to carrying out HVAC maintenance:
- DON’T try and fix things that aren’t within your expertise
- DON’T ignore or put off any potential problems
- DON’T get slack with your maintenance schedule
- DON’T wait to get major issues fixed
- DON’T forget you can call up an HVAC specialist to look over your equipment
Once these smaller tasks have been carried out, you can schedule expert maintenance to look over your larger pieces of equipment and tackle complex problems.
Anything more complicated than the routine activities we’ve listed above should absolutely be left to an HVAC expert. Trying to do it on your own will get messy and expensive, while proper maintenance at sensible intervals will extend the life of your system.
Your exact requirements on this front will vary according to how you use your equipment and the frequency at which you use it. But, as a general rule, you’ll need in-depth professional maintenance on your cooling system just before the weather warms up and on your heating system just before it starts to get cold outside.
That means you need to carry out expert maintenance at least twice a year - every spring and every fall. This should include furnace maintenance, too.
Whatever you do, don’t put off this part of the process. Professional maintenance is vital. Fail to do it, and it will come back and bite you in the long run, creating a list of ensuing problems that could have been entirely preventable.
With a bit of planning and forward-thinking, you don’t have to miss out on any production time, either. That means no loss of revenue or a reduction in processes. You can bring in temporary HVAC equipment, including cooling, heating, and drying units to keep things running during your scheduled maintenance.
You can even switch over seamlessly, with no loss of uptime, until normal service is restored. When your HVAC maintenance is planned, or even runs into an emergency, these rental options can be a budget and schedule saver. They can help you avoid any damage to the interior of the building and other unnecessary problems.
Remember, preparation is key. Consult with your preferred contractors to find the right solution for you and your space to avoid downtime, costly breakdowns, and safety breaches.