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IMPORTANCE OF HVAC PERIODIC MAINTENANCE

Dear Building Owner, Commercial Tenant and Home Owner,  It is important to maintain your heating and cooling equipment even in this time of economic downturn. Your heating and cooling equipment are an extremely important part of your building and with their continuing operation can be an enormous expense; however these expenses can be minimized with proper and regular maintenance keeping your system operating in an optimum performance range. With regular maintenance you can expect an overall savings in your energy usage of 5-15%. Additionally, it will help sustain optimal efficiency, prevent premature failure of your equipment and avoid the cost of larger more expensive repair bills. These units maintain and control the interior environment for the comfort of your employees, families, clients and yourself not only in the regulation of the temperature but the humidity level, movement of air, as well as the quantity and quality fresh air in your space.

 In the absence of regular maintenance of your units you may experience an increase in your equipment operating costs of up to 30% as the system gets dirty and its ability to properly function declines thus causing an increase in the inefficiency of these units. As the airflow becomes impeded at both the indoor and outdoor units failures of components begin to occur and inevitably it will happen at the most inopportune time when your reliance of the equipment is most needed (on the hottest day of summer or the coldest day of winter). Failure to take preventative measures can cause substantial repair costs not to mention uncomfortable or even unbearable conditions during these times when your system is inadequately working or worse yet, totally inoperable.

 A typical 5 ton scroll compressor replacement on a residential condenser unit will cost approximately $1200.00 for parts and EPA recovery requirements alone. If the system is a commercial rooftop unit this price can easily double and will have the likely possibility of additional cost due to crane operations required to lift the compressor onto the roof along with other safety provisions. Add these costs to the installation labor and you will easily see the benefits of periodic maintenance of all units regardless of size or location.

A typical heat exchanger failure can be equally or more expensive and have the additional consequences in the danger of leaking carbon monoxide into your space. This kind of malfunction has severe risks and liabilities and can include fatalities if not identified in a timely manner.

 Boiler failures can include the same hazards and costs as a heat exchanger failure on a forced air system and additionally if a leak occurs in the hydronic system you could be faced with water damage and the cost of this type of clean up can be substantial. Replacement or repair of wood flooring, drywall and paint damage, carpeting, etc can be a significant expense and burden. The cost of clean up and removal of mold is extremely expensive but not nearly as serious as the severe health risks that could be produced if not properly and fully removed.

Energy Star Maintenance

A typical periodic maintenance should include for the cooling season:

A filter change or depending on the type maybe a filter cleaning

Condenser coil cleaning – especially after the cottonwood flies

Evaporator coil cleaning

Servicing of all motors – condenser blower and evaporator blower

Cleaning of the evaporator blower blades

Check and tightening of all electrical connections

Verification, and adjustment if needed, of refrigerant levels

Verification of controls and operation

 

A typical periodic maintenance should include for the heating season on a forced air system:

A filter change or depending on the type maybe a filter cleaning

Cleaning and inspection of the heat exchanger

Cleaning of the burners

Cleaning of the pilot assembly if applicable

Cleaning of the flame rectification rod if applicable

Servicing of all motors – inducer and evaporator blower

Cleaning of the evaporator blower blades

Adjustment of the blower belt if applicable

Check of the flue draft

Check for CO concentrations in the supply ductwork

Check and tightening of all electrical connections

Check and tightening if necessary of all gas connections

Check and adjustment if necessary of gas pressures – both input and manifold

Verification of controls and operation

 

A typical periodic maintenance for a boiler and hydronic system should include:

Cleaning and inspection of the heat exchanger

Cleaning of the burners

Cleaning of the pilot assembly if applicable

Cleaning of the flame rectification rod if applicable

Check of the flue draft

Check and adjustment if necessary of the system pressure

Check for system leaks

Check for PH level

Service of the boiler relief

Service of the auto air vent

Check and adjustment if necessary of the expansion tank pressure

Check and tightening of all electrical connections

Check and tightening if necessary of all gas connections

Check and adjustment if necessary of gas pressures – both input and manifold

Check operation of all pumps

Check of backflow and make up water devices

Verification of controls and operation

Most equipment manufacturers anticipate their equipment to have a life expectancy of 15-25 years when properly maintained. I can tell you throughout my years in this business I have seen some equipment last longer due to the owners precautionary measures of making preventative timely maintenance of the equipment a priority. The benefit of this is longer lasting equipment and delay of replacement expenditures.

   It can cost approximately $1.00 / day per system to maintain your HVAC equipment through a service provider however, it may be possible to lower this cost with some individual efforts on your part. Most likely if you are a commercial customer you are entirely too busy to take on the responsibility of maintaining these and are untrained in the techniques to assure proper maintenance. Whether you choose to hire a service provider or take on this project yourself, I strongly urge you to consider the consumer energy cost savings and environmental benefits of well maintained HVAC equipment.

 

Thank you for your time,

Doug Watson

Service Manager

Grand Mesa Mechanical Inc