The Ultimate Commercial HVAC Maintenance Checklist to Ensure 100% Customer Retention
This is the most pressing question that keeps service business owners awake at night. True, acquiring new customers is essential. But your loyal customer base is where the money is. Studies show that 80% of your revenue comes from repeat customers. So, it is crucial that you do whatever it takes to retain that client base.
You need to walk that extra mile to stand apart from your competitors so that your customers choose you every time over any lucrative deals or offers. For HVAC businesses, the secret ingredient is preventive maintenance. And to do that successfully, you need to follow a comprehensive Commercial HVAC maintenance checklist.
Table of Contents
1. What is Preventive HVAC Maintenance?
Before we proceed any further, let us have a quick overview of preventive maintenance. If you have spent some time in the industry, you are probably familiar with the term.
As the name suggests, HVAC preventive maintenance is a method that involves proactive inspection and maintenance of HVAC systems. In simpler terms, it is how you keep a close eye on heating/cooling systems and be prepared to handle future problems long before they occur, or even better, prevent situations altogether that could cause troubles to the HVAC system. This way, you keep the system up and running all season long, with no surprises breakdowns or hazards.
2. Why Preventive HVAC Maintenance is Important?
Some of the benefits of regular HVAC maintenance are immediate, while others prevent future problems from developing.
The biggest benefit of preventive maintenance for HVAC systems is making sure that your customers can use their refrigerators or air conditioners whenever they need to. This gives your customers the best customer experience possible. On the other hand, preventive HVAC maintenance lets you, the service provider, start the season with reliable and efficient service while operating at maximum efficiency. This again increases your service quality as well as productivity, giving your brand the necessary reputation to retain your loyal customer base.
3. Why a Commercial HVAC Maintenance Checklist is Necessary?
Even though the benefits sound interesting, you need to make sure you are ready to do preventive maintenance to get the most out of the process. And to that end, knowing how to maintain HVAC systems won’t suffice; you must know what to do on the job in the most efficient way. Besides, you need to train your field technicians for the same knowledge and hands-on expertise. This right here is actually the difficult part, for it would take a lot of time and resources to bring each of your employees up to speed.
The easiest way to do that is to give them an Commercial HVAC maintenance checklist.
This would be short, precise, comprehensive, and, not to forget, efficient as well. Having such a checklist would simply mean that your technicians would have to check items off the list without having to remember a truckload of information. Besides, having such a list would also ensure that nothing is overlooked, thus giving you the best possible prevention against untoward breakdowns.
Having said that, there are different kinds of HVAC checklists. And to provide best-in-class service, you need to be aware of them all. There is one checklist that is categorized by the type of appliance you are going to inspect and repair. Then, there is another that is categorized by the different seasonal requirements. It is indeed a difficult task to figure them out on your own.
To save you time and effort, we have compiled a comprehensive checklist for HVAC system preventive maintenance. Go through the list yourself first, and then hand it out to your technicians before they go out on their next assignment. And you are all set to succeed in your quest for 100% customer satisfaction and retention.
4. How to Begin Your Commercial HVAC Maintenance Checklist?
Before you dive into your HVAC checklist, there are several factors to consider as a business owner/manager. First, you need to:
- Gather and train your maintenance team
- Create your PM (preventive maintenance) schedule
- Set goals and KPIs you want to achieve
- Gather asset data and history
- Know the standards and warranty agreements you need to adhere to
- Get a great system in place to gather the information you need
- Know your budget and what your costs will be
Your next step is to work out what type of preventive maintenance you will need to perform. This will depend on:
- Asset type/brand
- Asset age
- Past asset performance
- Customer contracts
- How often the asset is used
- What climate the asset is in
- What time of year/season it is
Once you have gathered your initial data, it is time to create your maintenance checklist.
5. What is Included in the Commercial HVAC Maintenance Checklists?
To ensure the best preventive HVAC maintenance, there are a few different checklists. Your maintenance checklist will vary depending on the asset type and the seasonality of the servicing.
Going by the asset type, there are three distinct Commercial HVAC maintenance checklists. One is the general checklist, which technicians follow in general to inspect all kinds of HVAC units. Another one is heating-specific, i.e., a furnace maintenance checklist. Last but not least is the cooling-specific list, which is basically an air conditioner maintenance checklist.
i) General Commercial HVAC Maintenance Checklist
- Check if the thermostat settings are optimized to ensure that the system saves energy and works efficiently.
- Check the system’s control to ensure secure and proper operation. See if it starts, runs, and shuts off properly.
- Lubricate all moving parts well. Pieces lacking lubrication can cause friction, which, in turn, will consume more energy than necessary.
- Make sure all electrical connections are tightened and there are no loose connections.
- Check for faulty electrical connections, voltage, and current.
ii) Heating-Specific Checklist
- Oil or gas connections that work incorrectly are serious fire hazards. Check them carefully.
- Check for a cracked heat exchanger or a dirty burner. They can lead to inefficient operation of the equipment as well as trigger safety hazards.
- Check the gas pressure and combustion of the burner.
iii) Cooling-specific Checklist
- Clean and change the blower component to allow sufficient system airflow. Airflow issues can reduce device efficiency by 15%.
- Check the refrigerant level of the central air conditioner and change it if necessary.
- Clean conditioning condensers and evaporator coils.
Coming to the seasonal commercial HVAC maintenance checklist, there are two major seasonal checks done for HVAC systems—one for the spring/summer period and another for the fall/winter period.
i) Spring/Summer Preventative Commercial HVAC Maintenance Checklist
Your technicians perform these HVAC preventative maintenance tasks to prepare the air conditioning system for the cooling season during summer and spring.
- Clean or replace filters
- Clean condenser and evaporator coils
- Clean drain lines for proper flow and clear clogs
- Clear drain pans of any standing water to avoid overflows
- Replace worn pulleys and belts
- Inspect ducts for mold, dust, and debris
- Observe humidity levels
- Check refrigerant charge and for leaks
- Test thermostats and controls to make sure temperatures and timer functions are correctly set
- Change batteries
- Check the electrical system and connections
- Check fan motor
- Check blowers and blades for proper airflow
- Lubricate motors bearings and moving parts
- Inspect cabinet for leaks and check cabinet door for secure closure
- Check for debris around the outside unit
ii) Fall/Winter HVAC preventative maintenance checklist
Your HVAC service company performs these HVAC preventative maintenance checklist tasks to check your heating system and prepare it for the cold weather season. Don’t skip these steps if you want to avoid a furnace breakdown this winter.
- Replace filters on heating equipment
- Inspect the ignition burner assembly
- Examine heat exchanger or heating elements
- Study the flue system and ensure secure attachment to the furnace
- Inspect for gas leaks with gas furnaces
- Assess gas pressure
- Check pulleys and belts
- Clear drain lines and pans
- Check electrical connections
- Lubricate motors, bearings and other moving parts
- Check thermostats and controls
- Check fan and blower operation and adjust as needed
- Inspect heat pump
- Examine ductwork and vents
You can use the checklists as a template and work around them to suit your needs. Or you can go ahead and use it to start your preventive maintenance work.
But before you do that, make sure your service company is well-equipped. Handling all these tasks manually, using a traditional paper-based system, will set you up for probable mismanagement and errors. If you don’t want that to happen, you need an automated system that can easily schedule preventive maintenance and set up checklists. And your best bet in this regard is Field Promax HVAC business software.
Field Promax comes with a comprehensive dashboard with color-coded calendar views that allows you to easily manage your repeat work orders. It also has cloud-storage access even for your field technicians which enables them to utilize customer information, asset history, and HVAC service call checklists to deliver the best possible service. What’s more, the smart, SaaS-based technology automates your scheduling and dispatching tools, notification systems, and GPS tracking so that you never miss a service call, no matter if it is scheduled for the next month, or even further ahead.
So, what are you waiting for? Switch to Field Promax, the best paperless business solution in the market. Start your journey to provide the best customer service and ensure 100% customer retention.
An HVAC examination should include the following:
- Thermostat setting assessment – Your settings should keep your space comfortable when you are around to enjoy it and change to conserve power when you are not home.
- Electrical connection check – Connections should be snug, and the voltage and current readings should help reflect this.
- Lubrication – Lubrication reduces resistance and helps you save energy.
- Condensate drain examination – The condensate drain should be inspected to ensure that it is not clogged or obstructed.
- General operation assessment – A technician should confirm that the system begins, runs and shuts off correctly.
- Outdoor unit inspection – Debris and dirt should be removed from the area around the outdoor HVAC unit.
- Fan assessment – The motor and blades on the fan should be checked to make sure they are not damaged.
- Air filter replacement – Air filters should be replaced regularly to maintain airflow and air quality.
Routine HVAC maintenance is the process of maintaining the heater or air conditioner by periodically inspecting, cleaning, testing, or even repairing and replacing components in the system. By investing in preventive maintenance for your HVAC system, you can fix issues before they become bigger problems.
The four phases of planned HVAC maintenance are
- Corrective maintenance.
- Preventive maintenance.
- Risk-based maintenance.
- Predictive maintenance.
Some of the most common HVAC problems are
- Lack of maintenance
- Dirty filters
- Pilot or ignition problems
- Thermostat malfunctions
- Mechanical wear and tear
- Unusual furnace noises
- Blown fuses or tripped breakers
- Dirty condensers or evaporator coils