Heating costs can account for up to 25% of total energy expenditures and commercial buildings, asserts the U.S. Energy Information Administration and depending on local rates, this statistic may be even higher. Winter is also a period of increased risk to your commercial HVAC system, but commercial HVAC preventative maintenance, like regular equipment inspections, explains FacilitiesNet, can help prevent five common failures of such systems during the winter.
1. Rooftop Unit Condenser Failure Results in Less Heat
Debris, snow and other elements may build up around your rooftop condenser units. This results in less-efficient operation and poor heat output within the building. Obstructed air intakes may also contribute to a build-up of potentially poisonous gases, such as carbon monoxide, in your facility throughout the winter. Commercial HVAC preventative maintenance should prescribe the cleaning rooftop condenser units and have a plan in place for removing ice, snow, and debris before and during wintry weather.
2. Heat Exchangers May Fail from Overuse Due to Dry Air
Dry air is a major problem during the winter. Dry air can cause skin and problems among your building occupants, affecting your brand’s reputation. The problems with dry air are not limited to impact on building occupants’ health. Dry air results in a less efficient exchange of heat within your HVAC system. Dry air holds less heat than air. To prevent this problem, says HVAC Utah, Facilities Managers should consider installing and updating humidifiers as part of the preventative maintenance schedule.
3. Dust, Debris, and Mold Reduce the Efficiency of Coils
The buildup of dust debris, mold or other material around the HVAC system coils will also impact efficiency. Clean coils regularly, and check for signs of coolant leakage.
4. Gas Problems May Occur
Depending on the energy source of your HVAC system, it is imperative to check all incoming gas lines for potential leaks and pressure. While performing these tests, inspect the pilot lights for function and efficiency as well. Gas pilot lights should stay lit, and electrical pilot lights should be clear from dust or other debris.
5. Improperly Calibrated Thermostats Could Lead to Additional Problems
The heating unit may not have been used since last winter, and your thermostat could be improperly calibrated. Although it appears to be a minor issue, poor calibration may result in the unnecessary activation of your HVAC system, and this can lead to simultaneous firing of both heating and cooling systems, asserts Evergreen Air Conditioning. This amounts to higher electrical bills and poor heating.
Extend the Life Expectancy of Your HVAC System With the Right Preventative Maintenance Plan
The right preventative maintenance plan will reduce the total cost ownership of your company’s HVAC systems. Instead of waiting for a winter HVAC system disaster due to deferred maintenance, implement a commercial HVAC preventative maintenance program. Learn more about implementing a preventative maintenance program by visiting QSI Facilities now.