Commercial air conditioning systems in buildings across the area have been running with the unseasonably warm weather blanketing parts of the state.
Make sure your building’s cooling system is prepared to operate efficiently by taking a few preventative maintenance steps before the serious heat settles in. Doing so will help to ensure your system can be relied on all summer.
If you have a facilities director and maintenance team, it’s likely they are performing many of these steps already. If not, consider hiring a professional service team to maintain your building’s cooling system.
This is critical, because not only do heating and cooling systems and lighting consume the most energy in buildings, but they also directly influence the comfort of your employees, tenants, or customers. Comfort and reliability are key.
We recommend these summer preventative maintenance tips for your commercial building:
- Clean and inspect outdoor coils. Coils assist in the removal of heat from your building. Dirty coils make units work harder, increasing energy use and utility costs.
- Inspect the compressor(s). Think of the compressor as the heart of your cooling system, because it circulates refrigerant throughout your system. It must be working properly for your system to operate efficiently.
- Inspect and lubricate fan motors and fan blades. Fan motors turn fan blades, which move air and keep your compressor from overheating. If they quits working your compressor may break down, which can cost significant money to repair or replace.
- In the control panel check wiring, switches, and other components. Make sure these parts and pieces are in good working order, because they directly affect how cooling systems operate. Some act as safety elements, and others regulate electricity.
- Check the refrigerant level. If the compressor is the heart of your cooling system then refrigerant would be the blood. Refrigerant changes from liquid to gas and back as it travels through your cooling system, making the removal of heat from your building possible. Add more refrigerant if needed.
- Check and lubricate belts and replace if needed. Belts drive fans and other working components in your cooling system. If broken, a number of problems will develop in your system, which can lead to even costlier repairs.
- Inspect air filters. This should be done every three to four weeks, and change them every three to six months, per the manufacturer’s recommendation, or as needed. Clean the air filters to ensure air can move through them freely. Clogged air filters make units work harder, which increases energy usage.
- Program thermostats. When the cooling season begins, program your thermostats to meet the unique demands of your building to ensure its most efficient operation. Revisit your thermostats throughout the summer to ensure they are operating as designed, and adjust as needed.
- Check drip pans and drain lines. Make sure they have not become clogged, because blockages can lead to mildew growth or damages to whatever is located near them, including ceiling tiles and insulation.
By following these nine steps, you will have done all you can to ensure your cooling system operates efficiently and reliably this summer. And those who work, live, or shop in your building will be comfortable all summer long.
Is your building’s commercial cooling system ready for the hot summer weather ahead? Could your building withstand the loss of comfort or process cooling? For more information, please contact Jonathon Goering by email or phone at 316-265-9655.
Knipp Services works with commercial and industrial building owners to lower operational expenses and increase building comfort.
We provide services that enable owners to have high-performance buildings. “Making Buildings Better” sums up the mission statement of Knipp Services.
Knipp Services is the Trane commercial sales representative for the majority of Kansas.
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The Commercial HVAC Maintenance Checklist You Should Be Following