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MARCH MAINTENANCE: CARING FOR YOUR FACILITY’S HVAC SYSTEM

As temperatures creep up, now is the ideal time to take steps to ensure your facility’s HVAC system runs reliably and efficiently through the summer. Much like a car, HVAC systems require regular maintenance. Scheduled tune-ups can dramatically reduce energy consumption and help you avoid costly repairs.

Here are a few easy ways to keep your facility’s HVAC system in tip-top shape as we head into warmer weather.

 

Call in the Professionals

Hire a commercial HVAC technician for biannual maintenance (in the spring and in the fall). As part of the service, they will inspect and clean several components. Outside, the technician will check the compressor, coil, cabinet, drain pans, fan motor and blades, control box, and wiring among the items on the checklist. Indoors, they will look at several components, including the blower assembly, belts, combustion blower, flue system, air filters, and duct system.

 

Get Your (HVAC) Ducts in a Row

If your facility uses a ducted system, then it will inevitably build-up debris or contaminants over time. Dust, hair, mold, and other airborne allergens can infiltrate a duct system due to poor indoor air quality and subpar air filtration. Once this buildup is met with humidity or a water leak, mold is a foregone conclusion.

Investing in regular duct cleanings will not only preserve your facility’s indoor air quality, but also improve airflow, maximize the efficiency of your system, and reduce the risk of fires. While professional duct cleanings are not necessary every single year, it is not something you should turn a blind eye toward for too long.

 

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

Although regular check-ups with a professional HVAC technician are recommended, your existing maintenance team can also do a great deal to keep things in working order.  HVAC system outages can be costly and can potentially render a workspace untenable halt work if conditions inside become too hot or cold for workers.

  1. Clear the air (filters)

Just like at home, commercial air filters must be kept free of debris to work efficiently, reducing energy consumption by up to 15%. Inspect your filters at least once a month and change them every three to six months. During heavy usage months, changing filters more often will help save money and keep things running smoothly.

  1. Keep the exterior units squeaky clean

Throughout the year, the maintenance staff should make sure the exterior units are kept clean and free of leaves, brush, and dirt. Ensure that vegetation and other potential obstructions are kept away from the units (allowing plenty of space around the unit for air to circulate).

  1. Check the thermostats, stat!

Once a month, check thermostats to make sure they’re programmed for optimal temperatures both when people are in the building and when they’re not. In most businesses, nights and weekends are a prime time to save on energy consumption by not running HVAC systems as frequently or at the same settings as normal occupancy times of the week.

  1. Don’t be a blockhead

Maintain proper airflow for a happy HVAC system. Do this by inspecting supply and return vents regularly to make sure nothing blocks them, such as boxes, furniture, or other obstructions. Also, check the vents for dirt and debris that can quickly accumulate, and vacuum or dust them as needed.

  1. Get bold with mold

Check the drain tubes and pans for mold or bacteria growth and eliminate it at the first sign. A simple bleach solution typically does the trick. Or bring in an HVAC professional to ensure the safest removal and to make sure it hasn’t spread.

  1. Keep drips from being disastrous

Inspect all HVAC pipes and tubes for leaks or signs of corrosion on a quarterly basis. Monitoring factors that could compromise the integrity of your pipes can save you the hassle of repairing and replacing burst pipes in the future.

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