Maintaining Your Air Conditioning Even During Shutdowns

  • 14th December 2020
  • News

For many businesses, the last 9 months – an unprecedented time of Covid-19 – have been extremely difficult as they’ve had to shut up shop and ask staff to work from home to meet government guidelines. As a consequence many buildings have either completely closed their doors or are operating with a limited number of staff. As a result many businesses/buildings have turned off their air conditioning systems or are operating them on a reduced basis.

However it’s important to note that just because your HVAC system is turned off or is operating on a reduced schedule does NOT mean that air conditioning maintenance is no longer important!

A system which is not in full use for any period of time may suffer from issues and equipment failure when it’s pressed back into service. Air conditioning which hasn’t been used for a matter of months or has been working at reduced capacity can be problematic when it’s turned back on putting the system under stress. You shouldn’t wait until your business reopens or is back to full capacity working before considering the maintenance of your air conditioning system. This is even more important given the time of year and the stress an HVAVC system undergoes as we move into the colder weather where it’s expected to switch from releasing cool air to warm/hot air.

Ideal Time For Planned Preventative Maintenance

It’s vital that you keep on top of your air conditioning maintenance and a period of shutdown or where staff levels are lower than normal, may in fact be an ideal time to carry out planned preventative maintenance (PPM) of your HVAC. A PPM will allow you to assess the need for repairs or upgrades and any work required is less likely to cause disruption.

Synecore’s PPM team can visit during this time and inspect your system to ensure it is working correctly and is fully up to the task of an increased workload once your business is back open and running normally again.

A PPM includes the following:

  • A visual inspection of your air conditioning system. A visual inspection can highlight if there are any issues. This should include: the thermostat, all electrical components, supply registers and return vents; condenser and evaporator coils; condensate drain, all lines and coils and exposed ductwork.
  • Checking the electrical connections. There are numerous electrical circuits with an AC, all of which must work correctly to keep the air conditioning running smoothly. Over time air conditioning electrical connections can come loose, fray, become damaged or break.
  • Checking the control panel, thermostat and sensors. It’s important that the control panel temperature reading matches that of the actual room/building temperature. Any discrepancy between the two may indicate a control panel or temperature sensor fault.
  • Changing filters. If filters are not checked, cleaned or replaced regularly, dirt, dust, grime, pollen etc. can build up and the filters can become clogged. Clogged filters will cause the air conditioning to have to work harder to maintain the set room temperature and keep the air clean. Inspecting and changing the filters is one of the easiest tasks in air conditioning maintenance.
  • Examining the ductwork. Like the electrical connections HVAC ductwork can become damaged. It’s important to look for gaps in the ductwork or holes and connections that become loose over time. Any gaps, loose fittings or holes that are found should be properly sealed which will improve the efficiency of the system.
  • Cleaning the evaporator coils and condensate drain. A build up of dust can clog the evaporator coils. This can lead to reduced heat transfer and air flow and in turn decreased cooling and energy efficiency. If the condensate drain becomes clogged it can lead to an accumulation of water within the system which can cause water damage, the growth of mould, increased humidity levels and poor air quality.
  • Checking the refrigerant levels. Air conditioning systems rely on refrigerants. Without the right amount of refrigerant in the system the compressor has to work harder to maintain the temperature. A decrease in refrigerant levels is usually a good indicator that the system is losing refrigerant. Leaks most commonly occur from the evaporator coils, condenser coils and refrigerant lines and are very serious. If you suspect you have a refrigerant leak you must call a professional HVAC and M&E contractor.
  • System testing. Once the system has been fully serviced it is tested to ensure all issues have been addressed, if there were any, and the system is working efficiently.

Planned Preventative Maintenance is a wise investment. By regularly checking an HVAC system you can detect and deal with any issues before they become major problems. Leaving small issues to develop into bigger problems can end up in costly, sometimes catastrophic repairs, as one part of the system results in the breakdown of other elements which in turn can end up in downtime of your HVAC system.

In comparison to large repairs, PPM is never as expensive as you think it will be. Synecore’s PPM Service ensures your system not only remains efficient, but we’ll also ensure you remain compliant with FGas and TM44.

Ideal Time To Upgrade Your Air Conditioning System

You may have been thinking about upgrading your HVAC e.g. if you have an old system which is still running on R-22 refrigerant. R-22 is a hydrochloroflurocarbon (HCFC) refrigerant gas, which was commonly used within air conditioning systems, process chillers and industrial refrigeration plant applications prior to 2003 and which due to its harmful effects on the ozone layer has been banned. R-22 air conditioning systems are approaching the end of their lifespan, and due a replacement. If your air conditioning system is still using R-22, a shutdown period could provide the perfect time to upgrade.

Synecore can advise on a suitable replacement HVAC system for your business and premises. Our project managers and engineers can then professionally install and commission your new air conditioning system. As part of the service we will also decommission and dispose of your old system. We offer payment plans on new air conditioning installations, which, when coupled with our Planned Preventative Maintenance scheme, offer very competitive warranty periods on parts and labour.

Synecore

We operate throughout Kent, London and the UK, providing commercial and industrial clients with the very best in air conditioning maintenance. For more information on our air conditioning maintenance services call us on 01795 509509 and speak to one of our friendly and experienced experts to arrange your visit today or contact us via our contact form.

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