Most property managers and maintenance professionals are no stranger to the panicked call of a tenant with a malfunctioning Heating, Ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. Preventative maintenance on an HVAC system not only extends the life of the unit but ensures the comfort and safety of tenants. In the long run, an efficient, well-maintained HVAC unit can save property owners and managers time and room in the budget.
Here are a few considerations for your commercial HVAC maintenance checklist:
A preventative maintenance plan should be broken down by season and by time. In addition to having desperate summer and winter tasks, there should be well-planned daily, weekly, and monthly tasks as well. This will make sure that problems don’t go unaddressed for long periods of time and that the systems remain well-maintained. While summer and spring tasks can focus on the cooling system, winter and fall tasks can center around the heating equipment.
Completing HVAC maintenance tickets and checking on the system on a weekly basis will make the maintenance team more likely to find any odd smells, sounds, or other conditions that may signal to a larger problem down the line. Replacing HVAC system parts is usually a large ticket item, so finding the problem early can save time and money down the line.
The COVID-19 pandemic has meant a lot of emphasis on filters. According to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), filter changes and HVAC maintenance should not be suspended, rather extra precautions should be taken.
Filter changes are great for a system’s efficiency and allow the system to run at full capacity without sacrificing stress the system. According to ASHRAE, personal protective equipment should be worn when replacing filters, and maintenance professionals should consider reducing the frequency of changes if it suits their building, and the room pressure differentials are not disrupted.
It is also important for maintenance professionals to ensure that hand-washing is a part of their repair ritual, especially after tasks like replacing air filters.
The saying goes “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” When it comes to preventative maintenance for commercial HVAC systems, the thought process is different. Carefully measuring and diagnosing the running of an HVAC system can help prevent energy loss and make sure the building has a well-balanced system.
If a building is currently in lower occupancy than normal due to COVID-19, now may be the time to experiment with energy efficiency in the building. Resetting the temperatures to their optimal range many improve the overall function of the system. Low-occupancy buildings also mean lots of time for maintenance projects during the day.
HVAC and air filtration considerations will evolve as the knowledge around airborne transmissions grows, but routine preventative maintenance should always be a part of the plan.
For updated safety guidelines head to https://www.ashrae.org/technical-resources/filtration-disinfection
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