Rooftop HVAC Maintenance Checklist: How to Take Proper Care of Your Heating and Cooling Unit

Annual rooftop HVAC unit maintenance is a crucial aspect of ensuring optimal performance and a long lifespan for your heating and cooling system. Whether you own or manage a residential or commercial property, hiring a professional and knowledgeable local HVAC technician is the most effective and efficient way to ensure every item on your rooftop unit (RTU) maintenance checklist is thoroughly completed. These annual checkups also provide the technician ample opportunities to better understand the needs of their customers and in turn make appropriate service and product recommendations that maximize their overall comfort level.

Why Regular RTU Maintenance Matters

The answer to this question is simple. Regular RTU maintenance is important because it helps ensure that your heating and cooling system is always in tiptop working condition and that it’s operating at maximum capacity and efficiency levels. Having an HVAC technician take a look at your unit once a year also makes it easier to identify potential operational issues sooner rather than later, which can save you a great deal of money in the future.

The sooner your technician is able to diagnose and anticipate potential problems, the sooner they can administer preventive actions that protect your unit from extensive damages and system malfunctions.

HVAC Maintenance and Preventive Checklist

To guarantee that your unit is always in excellent working condition and maintain its functionality for a long period of time, there are certain measures your technician should include in their rooftop HVAC preventive maintenance checklist.

Air Filter Inspection

The air filter impacts the quality of the air you breathe, and its core function is to filter out airborne dust, allergens, and other toxins. A dirty air filter can make it hard for you and anyone else who uses your property to breathe and it can also clog your HVAC unit if it’s not cleaned or replaced on a regular basis. Since it can be hard to get to, you should hire a licensed rooftop HVAC unit maintenance specialist to check, clean, or replace your air filter at least once a year.

Clean the Fan and the Motor

It’s also important to check on the internal fan and motor to make sure they’re both properly placed in the center with equal distance on both sides of the housing unit. Over time, the blades can also start to rust due to excessive use and exposure to external elements like snow and rain, so they need to be cleaned or removed and replaced. Other blade damages can include chips, cracks, and extensive dirt buildup. These damages can hinder the functionality of the fan and cause the motor to vibrate and make loud noises, which can sometimes be inaudible and undetectable for rooftop HVAC units. The motor bearings should also be lubricated every six months to guarantee smooth operation and prevent grinding.

Inspect the Heat Exchanger

The heat exchanger is the part of your HVAC unit that heats the air. It’s a complex system of coils or tubes that are intertwined to allow air to repeatedly flow freely through the unit until it’s heated and then delivered to your space. Since the heated air supply is delivered directly to your space where it’ll inevitably come into contact with anyone who uses your property, it’s important that the heat exchanger is always in optimal working condition. Any minor damages like cracks or rust could contaminate the building’s air supply with toxic gases. The igniter, combustion section, and burners should all be thoroughly inspected to make sure they’re working properly and issue necessary repairs. There are certain warning signs like smoke release, vibration, roaring noises, popping sounds, and flame rollout that indicate if the unit isn’t working as it should.

Clean the Coils

Both sides of the coils should be flushed and cleaned out at least once a year to ensure maximum performance. Otherwise, dirt and dust buildup can cause the system to slow down and diminish heat transfer across different parts of the unit and it could also produce lower air quality, which you and your employees or guests breathe in.

Clean the Drainage System

If the drainage system is clogged with dirt and debris, then water and other liquids won’t be able to properly drain out of the unit, causing backlog and overflow. Not only does this hinder the efficiency of the HVAC unit, but it could also cause potentially irreparable and expensive damages. The unit’s heat transfer capability will also be severely reduced or stop altogether, causing the unit to malfunction. Every HVAC unit comes with a manufacturer’s safe temperature limit. If that limit is exceeded, then the unit itself will automatically shut down and cease to function.

Check the Voltage

Voltage imbalances can lead to a whole host of imbalances from overheating the motor and other components of the unit to potentially serious safety issues. An overheated motor may be subject to intermittent shutdowns or in some cases, the motor may not sense that it’s being overheated, which means it’ll continue to function but put the safety of the unit at risk of combusting. To prevent this from happening, your HVAC technician should check to make sure that the highest and lowest voltages don’t go over approximately 4% of the lowest voltage at any given time.

Replace the Drive Belt Annually

Drive belts are subject to regular wear and tear over time and should therefore be checked and replaced at least once a year. If the drive belt becomes too worn down and isn’t replaced as needed, this could cause extensive and potentially expensive damages to the system so it’s better to perform the maintenance as needed.

Contact MDM Mechanical for Monthly or Yearly Rooftop HVAC Maintenance

MDM Mechanical is a family-owned and operated HVAC installation and maintenance business that services residential and commercial properties throughout Toronto and the GTA. We take great pride in delivering only the highest quality work possible at an affordable price for our clients. That’s why our motto is “there’s no shortcut to quality”. Contact us today to book your annual rooftop HVAC unit maintenance service!

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