Winter weather has certainly found its way to the metro area. With Winter Storm Janus barely behind us, single digit temperatures, and another few inches of snow on the way for the weekend, building owners and business and facilities managers need to be prepared for the changing (or, maybe charging) seasons, and the heating and air conditioning components should be high on the list of priorities. To keep your systems operating smoothly throughout the year, make sure to follow some tips from the experts on HVAC maintenance for winter.
- Your heating and air conditioning units may be running at optimal levels, but you won’t feel the benefit of the systems if you have clogged or dirty air filters. Large amounts of dust and debris can prevent clean air from coming into the interior space, resulting in the occupants inhaling particulates that can affect their breathing. In addition, the energy efficiency of your HVAC system is affected, as it’s forced to work harder to keep temperatures at an ideal level.
- Just as a chimney flue can become blocked with soot from your fireplace, your HVAC ventilation components can suffer from corrosion or debris clogs. Your HVAC inspection for winter should include the flue system to ensure that there are no dislocated sections or structural integrity issues. It may be necessary to readjust sections that have become disconnected or replace those that are damaged.
- If the ignition assembly is dirty or damaged, it won’t light the pilot light or main burner of your furnace. This results in zero heat output and a pretty chilly indoor temperature for the building’s occupants. Check your ignitition system before the next round of subzero temperatures so that you’re not left out in the cold when you turn up the heat. Clean the assembly or make adjustments as necessary. If it’s damaged, you may need to replace the ignition or contact a specialist to handle the task.
- HVAC maintenance for winter may include outside components as well, so it may be necessary to check the exterior systems of the building. Leaves can enter the cabinet, creating clogs that prevent the unit from operating efficiently. While you’re clearing these from the housing, check the coils for dust or signs of wear and tear.
- Outdoor HVAC systems include a fan assembly for keeping air flowing smoothly into the building’s interior. You know how the blades of indoor ceiling fans can gather dust over time, and the same is true outdoors. Therefore, you need to inspect the blades themselves, as well as the motor device that powers them. It’s critical to remove dust and dirt that has collected on the surfaces, and replace any fan belts that show signs of wear. Older models may also need an application of lubricant.
While some of these troubleshooting steps can be taken without the help of an industry professional, remember that repair and preventative maintenance should only be performed by a licensed HVAC technician, as many manufacturers warantees will not cover system damage otherwise.
To learn more about preventative maintenance and establishing a service contract with a leader in the industry, check out our white paper on HVAC Preventative Maintenance Contracts: How to Find the Right One for Your Infrastructure.