Servicing HVAC Equipment
One of the highest costs in a building is the actual cost of the HVAC equipment and the energy used to run this equipment. Owners spend significant capital when the install equipment on new construction or they replace existing equipment on a building. Often times when we do startups on this new equipment we hear people say that they don’t need to do maintenance on the equipment because it is covered under warranty. We then have to educate the owner that the manufacturer has a clause in the warranty that the warranty is voided if the equipment is not properly maintained. Some of the major components in an HVAC unit like the compressor could have a warranty of up to 5 years and the heat exchanger warranty could be longer than that. Properly maintaining the equipment will avoid potentially voiding your warranty.
Now let’s talk about what is involved in maintaining this costly HVAC equipment. When we meet with a potential new customer we often like to ask what they think is involved in maintenance. Often times the response we get is changing the filters and belts. While these are important parts of maintaining the equipment they are probably the items that take the least amount of time. An important part of a good maintenance program is checking the operation of the unit to make sure it is performing per the design specifications.
The system operation check will include the following:
- Observation of the sequence of operations
- Measuring the system parameters
- Comparing the readings to the design requirements
- Measuring the amperage and voltage on electrical components and comparing to specifications
- Checking both the heating and cooling modes of operation
- Testing the limit and safety controls
During the preventative maintenance the technician will also looking at the following items:
- Visually inspect the outside of the unit and listen for odd sounds like bad fan motor bearings or compressor noises.
- Inspect the evaporator coil and duct. Replace filter with a new pleated filter that will catch fine particles.
- Check belts for wear and inspect the sheave for grooves and wear. Replace belts when worn and at least annually.
- Check electrical connections and tighten any loose wires. Loose wires can short out expensive components and significantly increase repair expenses.
- Inspect condenser coil, straighten fins and clean the coil annually.
- Check refrigeration pressure reading
- Check temperature readings across the coil
- Check duct pressure
The old adage an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure applies to maintaining your HVAC equipment. Often times there are low cost items that are failing and if not repaired before failure, they could lead to significantly higher repair costs or worse yet, damage to critical building systems or goods. As we discussed earlier, properly maintaining this expensive equipment is required by the manufacturer’s warranty. A good preventative maintenance program will keep your equipment running at peak performance, extend the life of your equipment and reduce the long term equipment costs and energy consumption
Please contact us so we can partner with you to keep your systems running at peak efficiency