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The Ultimate Commercial HVAC Preventative Maintenance Checklist

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Last Updated on October 6, 2020


commercial hvac preventative maintenance checklist

Take the guesswork out of getting commercial HVAC preventative maintenance

If you’re like many business owners and managers, you feel like a fish out of water when you’re faced with choosing a commercial HVAC preventative maintenance contract. When you’re not an expert on the subject, evaluating the merits of one contract or vendor versus another can be difficult and confusing.

Today, we’re going to take the mystery out the commercial HVAC preventative maintenance once and for all.

Here’s a primer to help you choose the right commercial HVAC maintenance contract and the right provider for your needs, including:

  • Commercial HVAC preventative maintenance checklist with tasks for each season
  • Questions to ask the contractor
  • Questions the contractor should ask you

Commercial HVAC preventative maintenance checklist

Here’s a general task list to use as a reference when comparing commercial HVAC preventative maintenance contracts. What does the contract you’re considering include? But before we get into the details, here’s an important thing to remember: your plan should be customized according to your needs.

Depending on the age and condition of your equipment, your location and usage, and the size and type of equipment you have, more tasks or different ones may be needed. For example, if you have a water-cooled system, you have a chiller and/or a cooling tower that requires maintenance. Or if you have a combined heat pump or VRF system that provides both cooling and heating, you have different components that require inspection and adjustment by an expert. Read this related article that explains the details of commercial HVAC maintenance contract language.

Spring & Summer Maintenance Tasks: AC Maintenance Checklist

  • Replace filters on cooling equipment
  • Check condition of belts and pulleys and replace as needed
  • Clean condenser and evaporator coils
  • Check refrigerant charge and inspect for leaks if charge is low
  • Clear drain lines and pans
  • Check electrical connections
  • Check operation of fan and blower motor and adjust if needed
  • Lubricate motors, bearings and other moving parts
  • Check operation of thermostats and other controls
  • Check for adequate air flow

Fall & Winter Maintenance Tasks: Heating Maintenance Checklist

  • Replace filters on heating equipment
  • Check condition of belts and pulleys and replace as needed
  • Clear drain lines and pans
  • Check electrical connections
  • Check operation of fan and blower motor and adjust if needed
  • Inspect ignition and burner assembly
  • Lubricate motors, bearings and other moving parts
  • Check operation of thermostats and other controls
  • Inspect heat exchanger

Related Article: Top 7 Causes of Air Conditioner Problems and How to Prevent Them.

Refrigeration Preventative Maintenance Contracts

Finding an HVAC service company you can trust

Now that you know what has to be done, the next step is finding the right provider. When you call an HVAC service company about a preventive maintenance contract, an inspector will visit you to take an inventory of your equipment and check its condition.

During that inspection, you can expect a qualified professional to ask for information about your system. If they don’t ask, that should be a red flag.

This is also your opportunity to ask questions that can help you determine if the vendor will really provide the quality service they promise.

Questions the contractor should ask you

1. How has the system been performing?

If you have been experiencing poor performance, temperature variance, and/or humidity issues, these are signs of system design issues that will need to be addressed.

2. Have you experienced any maintenance issues?

If the system has been failing frequently for some time, further investigation is needed to get to the root cause.

3. How many hours per day/week is the system operating?

How much the system runs affects how often you need service.

4. Tell me about the usage of the space and the occupancy levels.

To develop the right maintenance plan for you, the contractor needs to understand your business and how it affects the load on the system.

5. How high are your energy bills?

If your energy consumption is constantly increasing, or suddenly shoots up for no obvious reason, your HVAC system may be the cause. Your HVAC professional can monitor efficiency and make recommendations to improve it.

Questions to ask the contractor

1. What health and safety protocols do you follow?

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s essential that every service contractor working on your premises takes safety precautions to prevent transmission of the virus. At the very least, technicians should be wearing gloves, masks, and safety glasses or face shields. You’ll want to hear that the service provider encourages workers feeling ill to stay home, and that they are doing health checks every day.

HVAC technicians should also clean and disinfect all surfaces that they come into contact with as they work on your equipment. Finally, technicians must safely dispose of used HVAC filters by placing them in plastic bags and throwing away in outside trash receptacles, since filters might contain trapped virus particles.

Learn more: COVID-19 and Your HVAC System: Your Questions Answered

guide to HVAC strategies for COVID

2. How long will each maintenance visit take?

The answer to this question can help you compare vendors. A vendor that spends more time on the visit is doing a more thorough inspection of your system. (Read this related article to learn more about this issue).

3. Will you review maintenance issues with me after each visit?

You want a vendor that’s willing to take the time to explain what he did and what corrective actions were needed. The best service providers can even provide a video that shows you what they did during a service call.

4. What needs to be done to improve my system’s performance?

If you are experiencing performance issues, steps may be needed to correct them that go beyond preventative maintenance. Make sure everything that’s needed to ensure comfort and reliable performance has been taken into account.

Related Article: 4 Things You Better Be Getting With Your HVAC Maintenance Contract.

This commercial HVAC preventative maintenance checklist was developed to help you understand what needs to be done to keep your equipment in good working order.

Like all successful business owners, you’re probably also interested in the cost and how to tell if the benefits are worth the money. Here are some helpful resources to help you evaluate the cost of a preventative maintenance contract, versus the cost of neglecting maintenance: