Fall and Winter Care for Commercial Rooftop Units
All commercial heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems need care in the cooler months to keep them running efficiently. This affects your bottom line positively, as efficient HVAC systems cost less to operate all the way around. But it’s especially important for commercial rooftop systems to receive fall and winter care, since they’re exposed to the great outdoors in the Oak Brook area where Mother Nature can throw curveballs their way.
According to the Building Efficiency Initiative, the National Center for Energy Management and Building Technologies conducted 45 interviews with industry experts, and concluded that effective scheduled maintenance decreases energy bills 15 to 20 percent in commercial buildings.
Regular Rooftop HVAC Maintenance Is the Way to Go
At Amber Mechanical, along with HVAC manufacturers, we always recommend consistent professional preventative maintenance on HVAC systems. Keeping up with cleaning your system and checking to be sure all the components are in good condition helps avoid major costly issues or unexpected catastrophes.
Although some businesses tend to forget about their rooftop units, since out of sight, out of mind is true everywhere, these units really do require regular maintenance because of exposure to the elements. Parts crack, get dirty, dry out.
With regular checkups, a trained commercial HVAC professional can spot a component that’s changed for the worse since its last appointment and address it. Having your commercial expert keep a service log for your rooftop unit is highly beneficial. The log can note history, troubleshooting, and scheduled maintenance.
If you notice the professional doesn’t keep a log, bring it up. Don’t be shy. You don’t need HVAC training to set up a log and request your commercial expert use it.
Here’s How Rooftop HVAC Maintenance Should Be Done
No matter the regular maintenance schedule you set up, here are some basic checkpoints for your commercial professional—and in some cases you—to hit during any fall and winter upkeep of your Oak Brook area rooftop unit:
- Change the filters.
Illinois rooftop units are especially susceptible to dirt and debris clogging the airflow in an HVAC system due to their outdoor locale. Rooftop unit filters need to be changed a minimum of four times a year to keep your system running efficiently.
- Calibrate the thermostats.
Be sure all your thermostats are in agreement with temperature settings. Having some thermostats with large discrepancies from others can result in inefficient systems, costing you money. Another possible consequence is having both the heating and cooling systems running simultaneously.
- Check and cleangeneral system components.
Check compressors. Check and clean evaporator and condenser coils, fans and belts, fan motor bearings, outdoor air inlet screens, main burners, flue gas passageways, and the combustion air blower. Lubricate all moving parts, and make it a point to replace any worn or damaged belts and fans. Check the economizer (if present) to be sure it’s working correctly along with the ventilation settings.
- Inspect for general sturdiness.
Be sure all panels are secure, door hinges and ductwork connections are tight, and all seams are sealed. Replace any missing screws or bolts, and tighten those that are there.
- Winterize cooling systems.
Take steps to prepare the cooling system for colder temperatures. This might include shutting down your chiller or draining your cooling tower. Also drain and protect the condensate pan to avoid it freezing up while not in use.
- Keep tools handy for seasonal issues.
Your Amber Mechanical commercial expert will come prepared with their tools necessary for the tasks at hand.
- Take a monthly walkaround.
To help keep your rooftop unit in good order, make it a practice to regularly take a look at it. Keep an eye out for loose panels or bolts. And check for debris, leaves, or paper that could be interfering with your unit’s airflow or even laying nearby; one good wind could carry them straight to your unit instead of off the roof.
- Be ready once the snow hits.
Once the colder temperatures are here in the Oak Brook area and snow is a regular occurrence, this is when your ladder and shovels will come in handy. Having your units encased in a snowdrift negatively affects airflow, thus decreasing your system’s efficiency, maybe even stopping it all together.
If and when you find yourself shoveling the snow from the unit’s vicinity, take special care to not hit the unit with your shovel. Even the slightest hit or ding to a coil’s fins can have big consequences.
It’s Cool to Be Your Commercial Rooftop HVAC Experts
Regularly scheduled fall and winter preventative maintenance on your commercial rooftop units is good business. The investment of these appointments is much less than having to replace expensive parts or even entire systems due to lack of proper care. Call our trained Amber Mechanical professionals at 800-592-6237 or request service online to schedule your vitally important Oak Brook, IL, area maintenance appointment.