Timberline Blog

Money-Saving HVAC Inspection Checklist for Property Owners

January 22, 2018 by Timberline

Every year, property owners spend far more on repairing or replacing components of their HVAC system than they would have to if they spent just a little extra time on inspection and maintenance. While it’s a good idea to perform spring and fall inspections since your needs are switching from heating to cooling and vice versa, mid-season HVAC preventative maintenance inspections can also help you prevent costly repairs.

Simplifying the Inspection Process

As a property owner, you probably have many demands on your time, and the same is surely true of your maintenance team. Often, that busy schedule is what stands in the way of performing regular commercial HVAC preventative maintenance.

However, in some instances owners don’t provide enough attention to their HVAC systems simply because they don’t know what to look for. Below is a list of HVAC maintenance tips and things you should evaluate regularly. If you and/or your maintenance team works through this commercial HVAC preventative maintenance checklist periodically, you will keep your system in much better operating condition and likely save a significant amount of money in the long run.

Inspect Indoor Units

  • Check for lint and debris in the combustion blower housing and clean as necessary
  • Inspect and clean other parts of the blower assembly such as the motor and blower wheel
  • Inspect and replace the fan belt and lubricate the motor on older models if needed
  • Inspect the evaporator coil, condensate drain lines, and drain pan, and clean as needed
  • Check for leaks in gas furnaces
  • Replace or clean air filters
  • Inspect safety controls and the ignition system, and adjust if needed
  • Inspect the burner assembly, clean as needed, and make adjustments if necessary
  • Inspect heating elements or the heat exchanger
  • Check the flue system and ductwork for proper connections and system integrity
  • Inspect the control system including wiring and connections

Inspect Outdoor Units

  • Remove any accumulations of leaves and debris from inside and around the cabinet
  • Check the refrigerant level and correct if needed
  • Inspect the coil and clean as appropriate
  • Inspect the base pan and remove any debris that is restricting drainage
  • Inspect fan blades and the fan motor for signs of damage or excessive wear, and on older models, lubricate if necessary
  • Inspect the control box and all controls, connections, and wiring
  • Check the compressor and tubing for excessive wear or damage

Keep in mind that while these are some of the most common and important HVAC preventative maintenance items, this list is not exhaustive or specific to your system. It is a good idea to get input from your HVAC provider to fill in any gaps on your checklist.

Practice General Awareness

In addition to specific “inspection” activities, it pays to simply be aware of how your system is operating. For example, have you noticed any changes in the way the system starts up or shuts down? Is it making unusual sounds or producing unpleasant odors? Is it taking longer for the system to heat or cool a space? Does the system kick on noticeably more frequently or less frequently?

Really, any change in what you are used to with your HVAC system can indicate that it’s time for a closer look. But, you won’t notice those changes unless you make a conscious effort to be aware of the system’s “baseline” when it is operating efficiently and effectively. Keep in mind that your staff members or residents can be a valuable source of information as well. Let them know that their assistance in pointing out issues is very helpful.

Operating “Best Practices” That Extend HVAC Life

While you certainly, want to use your HVAC system as much as is necessary to ensure that the people who live and work in your buildings are comfortable, there are things you can do to minimize the need for your system to run and thereby extend its life. For example, in cooling season you can keep sun-facing blinds drawn or install awnings over windows. You can also ensure that no heat-producing devices are near thermostats and potentially causing the system to run unnecessarily.

In heating season, ensuring that windows and doors remain closed and adequately sealed will keep the furnace from running more than it should. And, when large gatherings are expected, you can turn the thermostat down a few degrees, as the combined body heat of a group can be significant. In both seasons, you should always strive to cool or heat only as much as you need to to keep people comfortable.

Leaving the Legwork to an HVAC Service Provider

For many property owners, a more efficient and cost-effective way to handle HVAC system inspections is to assign that task to a service provider. By entering into an HVAC maintenance contract, you can be assured that your system is inspected and fine-tuned on a regular basis by technicians who know it inside and out.

To talk about this commercial HVAC preventative maintenance checklist or to learn more about Timberline’s HVAC design, implementation, and maintenance services, contact us today.

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