Commercial AC Repair and Maintenance: Top 3 Tips to Save Money

TIP 1:   Regular Maintenance
Air conditioning equipment requires regular maintenance to maximize the unit’s performance and efficiency. When the unit is examined at regular intervals, minor problems can be detected and adjusted to prevent expensive major mechanical failures and a costly commercial AC repair. The life expectancy of the entire system will be preserved through a maintenance routine that becomes more extensive as the system ages. Each maintenance visit will provide insight into the current condition of the system components and any future replacements that might be necessary to sustain superior system performance. The following checks will be performed at proper intervals under the commercial AC maintenance agreement:

  • Replace all AC unit filters.
  • Conduct visual equipment inspection.
  • Verify all supply and return temperatures.
  • Analyze the equipment.
  • Measure airflow and check ducts for obstructions.
  • Verify voltage and amperage in the unit.
  • Lubricate motor shaft and bearings when necessary.
  • Check condition of belts and bearings for unnecessary wear. Adjust belts for maximum performance.
  • Clear and inspect each condensate drain in the system.
  • Tighten all electrical connections and check wiring for nicks and kinks.
  • Inspect pipes and fittings in the refrigerant cooling system.
  • Check the condition of the condenser and evaporator coils and remove dirt and dust.
  • Validate operational and safety controls.
  • Calibrate thermostats and verify accuracy.
  •  Ensure carbon monoxide is not present and that the burner is clean.
  • Cycle and test the economizers.
  • Clear dampers for maximum venting.
  • Verify proper system operation through multiple cooling cycles.

Brand new systems will not require all of these steps. As the system passes the five-year mark, more maintenance tasks are required to ensure that the equipment remains in efficient working order.

TIP 2:  Air Filter Replacement
Air conditioner filters must be replaced at regular intervals to prevent dust and dirt from clogging the filter medium. Normal air flow through the filter will enable the system to run efficiently and provide cooling to every area of the building. When the filters become blocked and air flow is obstructed, the air conditioning system will be required to run more often to cool the building. Clean filters will lower the air conditioning unit’s energy consumption by as much as 5 to 15 percent.

Another impact of blocked filters is that the air inside the air conditioning unit will carry dirt into the evaporator coil, which will impair the heat absorption capacity of the coil. Since the heat cannot be absorbed in the coil, the efficiency of the unit will decline and the unit will have to run more often to cool the building. This accumulation of dust will shorten the life of the evaporator coil, resulting in a costly commercial AC repair. Internal components of the unit are protected from dust and dirt when the air filter is able to trap particles.

Expertise is required to check the system and ensure that the air flow is sufficient to cool the entire structure during the hottest months of the year. Even if the maintenance crew is capable of changing the filters, air filter maintenance is an important part of the monthly building maintenance routine. Air filters will require replacement more often during the hottest months of the year because the air conditioning unit runs most of the time.

TIP 3:  System Replacement versus Repair
Older air conditioning systems should be repaired if the business will be changing locations in the near future. Since replacement is an expensive capital investment, the return on that investment would not be realized in an acceptable time period. Cash expenditure is required to replace a system, and when cash is tight, repairing the existing system can be a viable option for the short term. When the existing property would require extensive modification to accommodate new equipment, the best choice is to repair the existing equipment.

Advances in HVAC equipment technology have made equipment more efficient and quieter. When the older equipment still has functional life but the economic life has ended, replacing the entire system might be advantageous. If the business will remain at the current location for a number of years, the replacement of the system might make economic and environmental sense. When building modifications have taken place since the original air conditioning system was installed, a new system might provide better cooling throughout the entire structure. New AC units provide better environmental control that eliminates consistent cooling without hot and cold areas.

Most air conditioning systems will run efficiently for 10 years with proper commercial AC maintenance. Once the equipment has been in use for a decade, plans should be made to replace the equipment soon. Utility companies around Nashville TN, Murfreesboro TN, and Tullahoma TN, are offering rebates to companies that install new commercial AC systems. These rebates are meant to encourage companies to install energy-efficient systems that will require less electricity to operate. Even if cash is not immediately available, there are low-interest loans that can be acquired by those who qualify.

Contact Roscoe Brown about your Commercial AC Repair & Maintenance. 

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