It's officially summer and when the sun starts heating up, the last thing you need is for your air conditioning unit to stop working. It can ruin morale for employees, equipment may be damaged, and data could be lost. That is why it is important for your HVAC system to receive routine maintenance and updates.
Here are some tips to help keep your HVAC system in top condition when you need it working the most:
Receive routine maintenance from a professional. At least once a year, the units should have a full diagnostic, from top to bottom by a professional HVAC technician. Scheduling these appointments well in advance and during a time that would normally be considered “low-volume” may allow more schedule flexibility. Have the outside units, inside units, wiring, plumbing and ventilation inspected for any potential issues. By scheduling these professional maintenance diagnostics early in the season, any possible concerns can be fixed before the dog days of summer bear down.
Schedule preventative maintenance with weather flexibility. Your facilities team should have in place a schedule for maintaining most of the perishables on your HVAC system, like filters and hoses. This not only helps your system last longer, but also helps control the Indoor Air Quality, which is important to the health and comfort of your employees and customers. Make sure your team understands there should be flexibility within that routine, especially due to severe weather or drastic changes to your local environment, to make sure things are not missed. During extremely hot or cold months, the system may work much harder than normal and the wear and tear on the parts may be excessive. Severe storms may cause damage to external units or blow debris into the fans. Local construction may cause increased dust that fills up the filters faster. These are all things that should be considered in the upkeep schedule.
Have different staff members weekly walk-by and take notes. The human brain receives so many different stimuli daily, it must block some. Therefore, having different people walk by the same area and stop, look, listen and take note in your CMMS of any inconsistencies will help better keep track of how the system is performing. Here are some things staff should look out for:
- Are there any strange sounds coming from the unit?
- Is there any water/condensation pooling nearby?
- Is there any mildew/mold or a growth of any sort on or near the unit?
- Does it sound like any water is dripping?
- Do any hoses look weak, loose, damaged?
- Do they feel air or water coming from places it shouldn’t?
Check outside. It’s hot and most will not want to go outside but checking around the outside unit to make sure it’s clear is important. Any vegetation should be removed, if applicable, and any debris that has collected around the unit or lodged within or to the unit should be disposed. Plastic bags, leaves and other debris can cause difficulty in the air filtration if not cleared regularly. Also look for leaks or anything that may look suspicious, like disconnected hoses or damage to the unit.
There are plenty of things you can do to make sure your HVAC system is up to the task with a little preventative maintenance. Ensuring your HVAC system is running at peak performance keeps your equipment safe, your employees happy and your customers comfortable. It may also help you save both energy and future repair cost.