I can already hear the moans and groans now. How in the world does this guy think we can do thorough maintenance to 300 units before May? I have a ton of work orders, punches to be done, blah, blah, blah,…. I’ve got some nerve don’t I?
Because I can tell you I have been in your spot for many years trying to come up with a way to avoid after hour calls and my days being slammed with a/c calls. It is nothing to have 20 a/c calls a day on a property 10 years old or more. So the million dollar question has to be…..
How can we avoid getting so many calls this year and lighten our work order load for the summer?
We all know that summer time is the busiest. People are moving, projects need to get done around the property while the weather is nice, and the work order load picks ups. From screens to punches, how does efficient HVAC preventative maintenance fit into the picture? Changing the filter is good. Adding drain tabs is good. Blowing out condensation lines is good too. But let’s go over 5 tasks you must do to keep from being called out and make your summer easier.
- Changing filter- OK. This one is obvious. Everyone knows that the filters need to be changed on a quarterly basis. Keeping up with this is extremely important because a dirty filter will cause your suction pressure to be off. It will give the reading that the system is low on charge and make the technician think they just have to add refrigerant. Remember-AIRFLOW is the most important part of HVAC.
- Clean Evaporator Coils- While we are changing filters, why not brush the coil down with coil cleaner? It is vital to the system to have a good clean evaporator coil. Blow out drain lines as well to prevent overflow of the pan and keep carpets from getting ruined. Also, if you have a float switch, test it for proper working condition.
- Check Condenser parts- It does take some time to take all of the panels off and to check everything that makes an a/c run. But, there could be a weak capacitor or burned up contactor that could be caught right then and not a month from now. Go ahead and change out the part right then if you have it. This actually doesn’t take that long to check. TECH TIP: for your reference, keep a Sharpie with you and write down the date you changed the part on the inside of the cover. If you have come back to a unit that sparks your memory, this may help you with the elimination process to figure out if there is a bigger issue somewhere else.
- Clean condenser coils- This is the tricky one. There are a lot of a/c units that are completely ignored when it comes to this task. Spend a day going around with a water house and coil cleaner just cleaning condenser coils. This will help the systems compressor work easier and allow the heat transfer to happen more efficiently. Just think of an HVAC system as the human body. The inside coil is your nose and the outside coil is your mouth-it’s impossible to breathe through just one, right?
- Charge system properly- The most common call for an a/c is low refrigerant. It is also the #1 cause of compressor failure. By charging systems up correctly, you can avoid major component failure as well as being called out. Have a tech go inside and turn the systems on while someone else checks the charge.
By following the tips above, it will guarantee that your summer will be easier. And it will also save your company money and time for you to focus on keeping the other prospects of the property up. Take one building at a time and team up with someone to help you. You will be glad you did!!!