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Commercial HVAC systems and the importance of regular maintenance

(NC) When the furnace in your home dies in the middle of a cold spell, it's a major inconvenience. When the same thing happens in a commercial business, it's far more – it cuts into your revenue.

This is why regular maintenance of HVAC equipment in a commercial property is critical. While it takes a bit of dedication, it isn't nearly as expensive as repairing the system breaks and failures that can happen if you don't.

While there are numerous steps that are involved in the regular upkeep of a commercial heating and cooling system, there are some standard considerations that should top any maintenance to-do list:

For starters, you need to have a comprehensive HVAC maintenance plan in place, based on manufacturer's operating manuals. This plan can act as a blueprint and a point of reference, for ensuring there is proper oversight and that nothing falls through the cracks.

Remember to track system indicators continuously – make it a habit. This way you can pick up on warning signs early and avoid larger, unexpected emergencies down the road. This surveillance should become a standard part of your day-to-day business operation.

Change your filters quarterly. Yes, it sounds simple, yet so many businesses overlook this very basic and inexpensive step that can do volumes in keeping your system in working order. Ensuring your filters are changed regularly will improve a system's efficiency, prevent it from freezing up, and provide better air quality.

When faced with an equipment glitch or aging part, conduct a life cycle cost analysis to determine whether you should repair or replace the part in question. While we all want to squeeze what we can out of an existing part to avoid the higher cost of purchasing a replacement, pumping a continuous stream of money into repairs can cost you more in the long run. There will come a point when it is more economical to replace than repair.

Most importantly, have your HVAC system serviced by a licensed professional twice a year. This is essential. An qualified HVAC contractor will catch problems long before they happen, and help ensure your system is in top working order at all times of the year.

When it comes to commercial heating and cooling systems, don't wait for a problem to develop. Start preventing system glitches well in advance, and you will help keep your business running smoothing all year long.

For more consumer tips and information, visit www.hrai.ca/educationcentre.html or for information on how to locate a qualified contractor in your area, visit www.hrai.ca/qualifiedcontractors.html

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