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Commercial HVAC

5 HVAC Maintenance Troubleshooting Tips that Could Save You Money

Last Updated on 

Last Updated on April 29, 2019


As a building owner or property manager, you know that an HVAC equipment failure can result in significant backlash from the people who rely on you to maintain a comfortable environment. With your reputation and bottom line at stake, it’s wise to monitor these systems closely for maintenance and repair needs. This quick checklist is designed to help you avoid costly repairs and shut-downs by staying on top of your equipment’s most critical components.

  1. The major mechanical components of your heating and refrigeration system need to be examined at regular intervals. Check the boilers, as the combustion air should be operating at a rate of one square inch free area for every 2,000 BTUs. The cooling tower should be free of any slime or algae, so you need to address fluid leaks or debris. If you see any mold growth, make sure your biocide treatment is working properly.
  2. Inspect your air handling unit as well, especially the outdoor air intake. You should check the area around the module to see if there are any sources of contaminants that can flow through to the interior of the building. Have a look at the fan, including the blade and motor condition. If you see areas of deterioration, replace these parts as necessary.
  3. Your HVAC preventative maintenance checklist should include checking your HVAC distribution system. It’s important that air flow throughout the building is unobstructed, from the supply air to the return ventilation. Review any drain pans to ensure there are no leaks or indication of mold growth. You’ll need to replace or clean air filters as well. It might be helpful to keep a maintenance calendar so you’ll know when new filters were installed and when they need to be replaced.
  4. Thermostat controls are also important to your HVAC preventative maintenance checklist. In summer and winter, adjust the set points to make sure you’re getting the best efficiency from your heating and air conditioning system. Make notes to indicate the location of each device, as well as the operations it controls. If you’re ever unavailable or off-site, the teams repairing your system will have easy access to this key information.
  5. Outdoor units are susceptible to debris from grime, dirt, tree branches, and bird feathers. Check the space around this HVAC equipment, as there should be about a two foot clearance around the intake area of both heat pumps and A/C units. You should check these outdoor components more frequently than other parts of your system, even as often as once a week. Also, make sure to do a walk through after heavy storms, as debris falling during heavy winds can get stuck near the air intake.

This checklist should help empower you to ask smart, relevant questions and hold your service provider accountable for what’s in your preventative maintenance agreement. Don’t have a maintenance agreement? Remember that while much of this troubleshooting can be done on your own, ultimately repairs and maintenance should only be done by your HVAC vendor as most manufacturer warranties won’t cover equipment that serviced by anyone other than a licensed HVAC technician.

To find out more about the value of a preventative maintenance agreement, download a free copy of our guide to understanding HVAC service agreements, HVAC Preventative Maintenance Contracts: How to Find the Right One for Your Infrastructure.


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