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Value of Spring Planned Maintenance for Commercial Kitchen HVAC Systems

Close up of Air Conditioning Repair, repairman on the floor fixing air conditioning systemBy Jason McGillivray – Director of Operations

As we get into the Spring season, we recognized that many of our customers will begin the heavy use of their HVAC system.  We asked some of our seasoned technicians on what they think about annual planned maintenance for commercial kitchen HVAC systems in commercial kitchens.

Why is planned commercial kitchen HVAC maintenance important?
Planned Maintenance (PM) will help reduce costly and unplanned system breakdowns.  When a commercial kitchen HVAC system breaks, the timing is usually when you need it the most.  Those emergency services are more costly as well as getting the right parts can delay a repair.

PMs will improve the consistency of temperature in the building, leading to a comfortable experience for customers and a better work environment for employees.  This will improve the overall air quality within the building.

Proper PMs will reduce energy consumption and help your system run at peak performance, thereby extending the life of your equipment.  Proper PM servicing can extend the life of your system by 4-6 years by reducing the overall stress on the unit.

What is performed in a Spring check-up?
Many aspects of your commercial kitchen HVAC system are checked, including all belts, filters, and screens.  On an annual PM service, replacing these should be a priority.  Mechanical components should be lubricated, condensing coils cleaned, and control systems verified to be operational.  Ensuring all wiring connections are secure, as well as checking for damaged ducts, proper venting, and airflow, and clearing drain lines is also completed.  A full checklist is available by consulting your local General Parts location.

How soon and often should PMs be scheduled?
Waiting for the first hot day may be too late to get a PM performed on your system.  When the outside temperature is at least 60 degrees for several consecutive days is the best time to schedule service.  This allows for oil in the compressor to warm up and any moisture in the oil to dissipate.  For the best schedule, work with your local General Parts location early so annual PMs can be planned.

Initially, your first service should be six months after installation.  This is to ensure your system is operating at optimal performance.  In an annual performance plan, the Spring service should be based on your location and any environmental conditions that exist.  In southern regions, the annual service may come as early as February.  In the northern climates, April may be the best time.

Some environmental factors to consider are frequency of use, location of the unit (near busy street or high dust area), high pollen, or cottonwood.  There are many conditions that can lead to having an early Spring service and regular monthly services.

What is the cost?
PM costs can vary with all factors considered.  We mentioned the environmental and regional impacts, and the frequency of PMs will determine the overall costs to a proper program.  Certainly, the cost of a PM service will be much less than the cost of repair service.  General Parts can work with you to fit your needs and budget.