Mechanical Insights

Is Your HVAC System Ready for the Summer Heat?

May 7, 2020 9:00:00 AM / by Tate Engineering

Tate HVAC Summer Ready Blog Image

Because commercial systems face incredible demand, it’s important to ensure that they’re in good working order before you flip the switch. When a portion of your HVAC system has been dormant for months, you want to make sure it’s clean, functional, and operating at peak performance so you don’t find yourself without AC in the hottest part of summer.

Frontline service technicians and mechanical engineers are often the first to encounter mechanical problems and attempt to diagnose and fix them. This isn’t always an easy task though, especially when major problems arise. The good news is, you have options to ensure efficient operations and keep problems to a minimum, thanks to preventative maintenance from a vendor with expertise in mechanical systems, including HVAC.

As the person responsible for addressing day-to-day issues and interfacing with vendors, you are in a unique position to keep communications open, discussing new or ongoing issues with HVAC experts to ensure that minor issues don’t become major snafus. A great place to start is by scheduling seasonal maintenance appointments, especially in regions that experience cold winters and hot, humid summers, where functional HVAC is essential.

What Needs to Be Checked

When it comes to spring HVAC maintenance, you should ensure your vendor delivers the following:

  • Full system inspection and testing
  • Check electrical connections
  • Check refrigerant charge and look for leaks if necessary
  • Check belts and pulleys for wear and replace if necessary
  • Check fan and blower motor operation
  • Test thermostats and controls
  • Test air flow
  • Clean condenser and evaporator coils, as well as drain lines and pans
  • Replace filters if necessary
  • Lubricate motor, bearings, and other moving parts

They should also inform you of needed repairs to prevent potential emergency situations, and recommend upgrades to increase efficiency and minimize ongoing costs. Keeping your HVAC system functioning day-to-day is made easier with regular maintenance that prevents failures and downtime, along with associated stress and expenses.

This is also the time to be mindful of Indoor Air Quality, and the importance of maintaining your HVAC system to ensure good IAQ. As we all return to work once the stay at home requirements are lifted, IAQ will be extremely important. For peace of mind, and a healthier workplace environment, be sure to consider the following:

  • Fresh air filter change
  • More frequent air filter replacement schedule
  • Upgrade your air filters to higher efficiency air filters, such as HEPA filters
  • Clean your indoor coils, condensate pans and drains with a disinfecting treatment
  • Increase the introduction of outside air where applicable
  • Installation of Ultraviolet Lighting (UV) systems in your HVAC units

Tate Engineering advises you to explore efficiency upgrades during this time and create a custom schedule for maintenance and repairs that ensures productivity and savings every step of the way. If your HVAC system isn’t yet ready for summer, now’s the time to give us a call.

Why Service Before Summer?

When it comes to your car, you know that if you fail to change fluids, filters, and brake pads - or forget to get the engine checked regularly - you’re going to start seeing all kinds of problems. Anything from knocking and pinging, to waning fuel efficiency, to spongy brakes, to broken parts. Eventually, the engine could seize, resulting in catastrophic failure, incredible costs, and a very long bus ride to work each day.

The same basic principle applies to any mechanical equipment. It must be properly and regularly maintained if you want to enjoy peak efficiency and avoid costly failures and downtime. Why should you pay for seasonal inspection, cleaning, and maintenance? The short answer is because it will save you in the long run – not only money, but time.

The goal with any kind of maintenance is to prevent problems that could lead to downtime and major repairs, both of which impact the bottom line. Maintenance can help to improve efficiency - lowering utility bills, catching and fixing problems early, preventing damage and saving on bigger repairs down the line, extending the life of components and HVAC equipment as a whole, averting emergency scenarios and downtime, and preserving equipment warranties so that if failures do occur, they’ll be covered.

The last thing you need when temperatures soar to triple digits is to find yourself without needed air conditioning, facing an expensive emergency service and suffering a loss of productivity in the meantime.  Ensure smooth sailing by scheduling your spring HVAC service early so you know your system will meet your demands when temperatures start to climb.

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Tags: HVAC, Seasonal

Written by Tate Engineering