For most entities, HVAC equipment accounts for a large percentage of their energy consumption and operational costs. As such, comprehensive maintenance is vital in ensuring the machinery’s efficient operation and reliability. When developing preventative maintenance plan for air conditioning units, there are several essential points that need to be kept in mind.
Operators need to document the equipment’s performance each day with a detailed, accurate log. This can then be compared to start-up data and design so that any issues or inefficiencies are identified. With such logs, the HVAC unit’s operating history can be assembled, reviewed and analyzed to provide a warning mechanism and document trends.
Cleaning the Tubes
The performance of air conditioning equipment is heavily dependent on the capability to transfer heat via tubes. These ducts have large surfaces (especially for larger units) which need to be kept free from debris and contaminants in order to achieve high efficiency. Most manufacturers recommend cleaning the evaporator and condenser tubes annually or once every
3 years for open and closed systems respectively.
It’s recommended that the equipment be tested once every 3 months for leaks. This is especially important for high-pressure units, since any leaks could result in a release or hazardous refrigerants into the air. Technicians should thus constantly monitor the refrigerant charge levels, track moisture accumulation at the purge unit and check the evaporator pressure in order to identify leaks early enough.
Oil and Refrigerant
Carrying out a chemical analysis of refrigerant and oil could help in detecting contamination problems before they get to critical levels. The analysis is carried out to detect the presence of contaminants like acids, metals and moisture which impair performance thus inhibiting efficiency. This process should be handled by a qualified professional heating and
cooling service, such as Mick’s Heating & Air. Most equipment manufacturers provide such services as well.
Analyzing the oil could help in detecting other problems, such as compressor wear or issues with the purge unit. Contamination also happens when oil gets mixed with the refrigerant, something which hampers efficiency. As such,
conducting regular tests could go a long way in early rectification of such issues.
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