A Guide to Commercial HVAC Maintenance
South Carolina’s commercial buildings are investments that need constant care to maintain their value. Of all the systems in a commercial building, the HVAC system is one of the most critical. Maintaining HVAC equipment is essential to correct problems, keep systems running well, and extend equipment life.
Commercial systems are complex, and it takes experts to maintain them, but the effort is well worth it. Routine upkeep can reduce owners’ costs, ensure comfortable buildings, reduce energy usage, and prevent minor problems from becoming significant, expensive issues.
How HVAC Systems Keep Buildings Comfortable
Commercial HVAC systems work the same way as home units but are more complex. Air is heated by burning fuel like gas or using electricity, and systems cool air and remove humidity by removing warm air and then cooling it using a refrigerant. Ventilation systems have fans to move air and filters that eliminate contaminants. It takes specially trained technicians to maintain these complex systems.
Ideally, commercial building owners in South Carolina should schedule spring and fall maintenance checks that allow professionals to inspect all HVAC components to ensure they are working correctly. Technicians who provide HVAC services for commercial equipment can often identify and correct issues before they lead to breakdowns.
The Problem with Reactive HVAC Maintenance
According to professionals at Facilities.net, HVAC systems in commercial buildings account for over 40% of energy use, and preventative maintenance is the best way to control energy use. Scheduling maintenance also helps to prevent expensive repairs. Despite the benefits of preventative care, it is common for companies to work in reactive mode and only call HVAC technicians when something goes wrong.
In addition to creating an uncomfortable environment for people, failed HVAC systems can become very expensive if buildings require controlled environments for equipment. For instance, telecommunications systems generally work best in a specific temperature and humidity range.
Scheduled maintenance can prevent or fix an array of problems that include:
- Leaking refrigerant. Refrigerant leaks are one of the most common HVAC problems that technicians spot and repair. Leaking refrigerant causes the unit to blow hot air, and if the problem is ignored, it can harm equipment and result in major expenses.
- Dirty filters. HVAC technicians routinely check the filters on HVAC systems and change them during service visits. Filters should be changed at least four times each year since they filter out contaminants that can harm the coils and reduce efficiency.
- Unusual noises. When a commercial air conditioning and heating unit develops problems, it often begins making unusual noises. Commercial technicians can identify the source of these sounds. When equipment begins making noises, it is critical to call for HVAC repair immediately and shut down systems, to prevent a breakdown.
- Dirty Condenser coils. A commercial unit’s condenser coils can accumulate debris, dust, leaves, and even animal hair, which may reduce efficiency by as much as 21%.
- A clogged drain. An HVAC system’s condenser coils convert liquid, causing moisture to collect and condensation to form. Ideally, the moisture flows into a drain, but slime can build up and prevent that from happening. If the problem isn’t corrected, indoor air quality will suffer, a moldy smell can develop, and the building may experience rust or water damage.
Technicians Will Customize HVAC Maintenance
HVAC technicians trained to work with commercial systems have a checklist they use during maintenance visits. The checklist ensures they do not miss any critical areas. Since not all businesses have the same HVAC requirements, contractors will create custom plans for each client. All maintenance plans cover crucial areas such as programming the thermostat, changing filters, and inspecting indoor and outdoor units.
A contractor specializing in commercial systems can provide spring and fall preventative maintenance. Technicians essentially tune up the equipment and take a series of steps that can correct and prevent problems.
Benefits of Routine HVAC Maintenance
Per Forbes business experts, routine maintenance is one of the essential things property owners can invest in to make sure that HVAC systems function efficiently at all times and last as long as possible. Careful maintenance also helps save money and ensures healthier buildings.
An HVAC system plays a huge part in keeping indoor air clean and safe. Dirty coils, filters, and blower parts can contaminate air instead. Simple maintenance inspections will identify and correct these problems.
When the parts in an HVAC system fail, they stress other components, making equipment much less efficient. An inefficient HVAC system uses far more energy, which increases owners’ costs. Part of commercial maintenance is ensuring that equipment is operating at peak efficiency, which can lower energy costs by as much as 40%.
Routine professional HVAC maintenance can help commercial building owners lower costs, keep residents more comfortable, and improve indoor air quality. Technicians who provide the service are trained to locate and correct problems before they begin, which can prevent major breakdowns and extend equipment life.
Inverter Mechanical Piping Solutions is an HVAC contractor that has been serving Columbia, South Carolina, and surrounding areas for 35 years. Our team of experienced commercial technicians can provide services ranging from simple maintenance to complex installations.