Just like any other machine, HVAC systems need maintaining. Whilst reactive maintenance can be necessary when component parts finally bite the dust, it shouldn’t be your only form of defense against inefficient performance. Improving the quality of your HVAC systems can be as easy as scheduling regular building maintenance every few months.
Routine tune ups and expert cleaning can prolong the life of your air conditioning and heating unit, ensuring that costly repairs are rarely needed. But maintenance, like everything else, needs to be carefully timed.
Why Is Preventative Maintenance So Important?
HVAC units that are left unchecked are more likely to suffer burnouts than those that are maintained regularly. Once a ventilation fan or a heat pump becomes worn, it can become incredibly difficult to rectify the problem without completely replacing the affected part.
Scheduled maintenance prevents this from occurring. Rather than waiting for a HVAC unit to breakdown, you can make small improvements to keep it running for longer.
Reactive repairs take a long time to complete and can be particularly disruptive in areas of heavy traffic such as office blocks. They can also be relatively expensive, even when compared to the cumulative cost of preventative maintenance.
When Is The Best Time To Schedule Preventative Maintenance?
Preventative maintenance should be scheduled on a routine basis for the entire HVAC system. However, certain factors should also influence when building maintenance targets specific parts of the system. For example, as summer approaches, contractors should be more concerned with the performance of the air conditioning and ventilation than the heating.
Performance checks should be pencilled in for the months before temperatures begin to soar, so there is plenty of time to carry out maintenance should it be needed. Many building maintenance companies get called out in the very first days of the summer, because poorly maintained air conditioners can’t cope with the sudden strain.
If an issue is discovered, it’s important that the source is unearthed as quickly as possible. Busy buildings might restrict the times you can easily carry out repairs, so it’s prudent to develop a strong idea of how long any work will take. If maintenance requires the HVAC unit to be shut down for an extended period of time, then this will affect the time of day you are able to work. Building occupants can’t be expected to work in offices without ventilation or temperature control, so you need to find a way around this. Making repairs at night might be one option, especially if the job will only take a few days to complete.
You may also feel obliged to check the heating during the same timeframe. But, bear in mind, this system will be idle in the months that follow. Over this period of inactivity, problems are prone to surface. Component parts that were working in spring may not be operational in the winter. Checking heating in the autumn, as temperatures begin to plummet again, will give you a much better indicator of performance.
If you have kept up routine tune ups throughout the year (replacing air filters, sealing ducts etc.) then you should be able to identify any key problems immediately. Seasonal preventative maintenance can be the most effective form of maintenance because it means systems are checked at optimum times. As long as you keep a record of performance and when each part was tested, you should rarely have to undertake any major or reactive repairs.
Author Bio: Tony Ellerker has worked in the building services and construction industry for over twenty years. He is currently the director of Blakes M&E Building Services, who provide pre-planned maintenance, reactive repairs and installations of all mechanical and electrical systems throughout London and the South East of England.