Managing commercial buildings can be financially demanding. If you can reduce your energy bills, you will save more money for other purposes such as generating new sources of income or business expansion.
One of the major causes of high energy consumption in commercial properties is the HVAC system. Although there are numerous ways to conserve energy consumption in commercial buildings, HVAC system maintenance is the most affordable and cost-effective way to reduce energy bills, boost performance, minimize cost, and lengthen the system’s lifespan.
Poor maintenance of your HVAC system will make you spend more money on energy bills and repairs. In this article, we will provide you with a maintenance checklist for the commercial HVAC system. Following this checklist will help you prolong the lifespan of your system, keep it in top shape, and consume less energy.
Commercial HVAC maintenance checklist
Below are the things you should do for the proper maintenance of your commercial HVAC system:
1. Program the thermostats
It is essential to perform this at the beginning of cooling and heating seasons. At this time, the temperatures may not require you to use the system continuously. Sometimes, it may not be necessary to run the system frequently, or you may want to switch from one HVAC system to the other. That is the appropriate opportunity to inspect the programming on the property’s thermostats.
Doing this will ensure that you utilize the best setting for energy savings. You can program it through the building’s automation system manually. It is valuable to confirm that the settings are still appropriate after setting the cooling and heating previously.
2. Inspect and change the air filters
Air filters are essential components of the HVAC system. They ensure that there is adequate airflow through the HVAC system. If there is a restriction of airflow in your commercial HVAC system, the performance will be poor, and the HVAC will consume more energy. That will increase energy bills.
However, as Crown Inc. says, clean air filters in your commercial HVAC system can cause a 15% reduction in energy consumption. Your HVAC maintenance staff should do the following:
- Inspect the air filters for debris every 3 to 4 weeks.
- Clean the filters to prevent clogging.
- Depending on the manufacturer’s recommendation or state of the air filter, replace the filters every one to three months. If there is heavy use of the HVAC system, air filter replacement may be more frequent than three months. If your commercial property engages in manufacturing processes that make the environment dirty or dusty, you will require constant inspection and replacement of the air filters.
3. Periodic checks on the HVAC system
Periodic system checks are necessary on a monthly or need basis. During the inspection, your maintenance staff will check the following:
- Check the drain lines and drip pan and ensure that the drip pan and drain lines are working appropriately. If you notice clogs or obstructions, remove them. That is because clogs in the drain lines will make moisture back up into the property. Moisture will provide a suitable environment for the growth of mold and mildew or damage to the system.
- Assess the thermostat. Faulty thermostats will overwork your HVAC system, leading to more energy consumption and bills. Your maintenance staff will check the thermostat and repair or replace faulty ones.
4. Seasonal maintenance
Seasonal maintenance is crucial during the fall for heating systems and spring for cooling systems. We advise that you hire the services of a commercial HVAC technician for this purpose. Each season comes with a specific HVAC system requirement.
Bi-annual recalibration of the HVAC system in anticipation of temperature changes is beneficial. Apart from the seasonal changes, you can also recalibrate your HVAC system when you notice changes in the shift pattern, use, or occupation of certain areas in the building.
It is also an opportunity for your HVAC technician to correct existing issues and prevent future breakdowns. The technician will do the following:
- Clean and clear the evaporator coil, drip pan, and condensate lines.
- Check and tighten the control box, wiring, and connections.
- Inspect the duct system.
- Check for leaks, dirty refrigerant lines, disconnected pipes, and rusts.
- Lubricate and replace the belts.
- Inspect and clean the coil and cabinet.
- Unclog and clean drain pans and condensate lines.
- Inspect the compressor.
- Check the refrigerant level and recharge accordingly.
- Clean combustion blower housing and ignition system.
- Test the safety controls.
- Inspect the flue system for wear and dislocation.
- Check the heat exchanger.
- Inspect and lubricate the fan motor and blades.
Bottom line: The Commercial HVAC Maintenance Checklist You Should Be Following
Different businesses have varying HVAC system requirements. Depending on the nature of your commercial property, you can obtain a customized HVAC maintenance plan from a specialist. Doing so will help you get the best performance from your system.