Halloween is scary... So are costly HVAC repairs!
HVAC equipment is complex, expensive, and like any high-performing system, needs occasional TLC. In the spirit of Halloween, we wanted to go over some of the scariest things that can happen to your HVAC unit as a result of improper maintenance… which can lead to an even scarier time for your finance department when evaluating any maintenance repair costs throughout the year!
Dirty Coils or Ductwork
This is one of the most common problems with an HVAC unit and is brought on simply by lack of cleaning. AC filters are in place to try to catch as much of the 'dirt' as possible, but there are always contaminants that make it past the filter and build up inside the actual ductwork. And unless you physically open up the air register, you won't know there's anything there to clean - which makes it very easy to overlook. As most of us know, the longer you leave dirt the harder it can be to get rid of - and in the case of an HVAC unit, the build-up of dirt causes the system to slow down. This results in increased energy bills and a poorly performing unit.
You may be surprised to hear that falling leaves can pose a great risk to your HVAC units, as beautiful as they may be to look at! During the autumn season especially, they can quickly build up on or around your HVAC units, resulting in restricted air flow and clogged up condensers, intakes and exhausts. This can then cause the system to overheat. Leaves tend to retain moisture, so you can imagine the potential damage caused by a mountain of damp leaves that is sitting on equipment for long periods of time. Maintenance professionals recommend leaving at least 2 ft of clearance between HVAC units and any foliage in order to avoid potential malfunctions caused by the build up of leaves and other shrubs.
We're all guilty of not replacing the AC filter as often as we should. However, this small (often inexpensive) maintenance task can be one of the most important. As dust and other allergens collect on air filters over time, it restricts the airflow and in turn causes your AC unit to have to work harder to pull the air flow through (imagine trying to suck air in through a straw). This causes a clammy-like environment for occupants, which can often lead to them turning down the temperature on the thermostat in an attempt to fix the problem - not realizing that this just puts even more of a strain on the HVAC and lowers the overall efficiency of the system.
Refrigerant is the substance, usually a fluid, that absorbs heat and releases it to the air outside. It plays an important part in the process of cooling a residence. Needless to say, if the refrigerant level is running low, the AC unit isn't able to cool air property - which results in the unit needing to work extra hard to try to cool an area, often to no avail. An AC unit running for extended periods of time is a sure fire way to run up a high energy bill and cause damage to coils within the unit. The two most common causes of low refrigerant levels are improper installation and leaks, both of which can be easily fixed if detected in time by maintenance technicians.
If you've ever had to foot the bill for an expensive HVAC unit repair, you probably understand the importance of routine maintenance. Having a trained professional regularly service your equipment is well worth the investment in the long run. Better yet - if you have multiple units to manage, it may be more efficient for you to invest in a solution that constantly tracks and monitors the health of all of your units, allowing you to immediately address any potential equipment malfunctions before they become a costly problem.
A dedicated Facilities IoT solution can be a great way to cut down on maintenance staff working over-time, avoid equipment repairs and result in an increased NOI. Have you met TrustHab yet? Contact us now to learn more.