Find out which components should always be checked during HVAC maintenance and why a well-maintained system will benefit your business. Generate savings and improve indoor air quality by using a standard HVAC inspection checklist.
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An HVAC inspection checklist is a document used to carefully inspect the components of the equipment in charge of regulating the indoor air quality of a building or structure.
Building engineers, building owners, and indoor air quality (IAQ) managers use the HVAC maintenance checklist form. And these forms are usually standardized by respective government agencies such as Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).
The forms are standardized to ensure that every establishment meets the required indoor air quality, promoting a healthy and comfortable environment.
Since the regulation of indoor air quality heavily relies on the installed HVAC equipment, the HVAC inspection checklist focuses on these components. The procedure mainly involves visual checking, checking preventive maintenance records, and assessment of the operating parameters of the HVAC equipment.
The information below is referenced from the HVAC maintenance checklist PDF form from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).
A chiller is heat exchange equipment that transfers heat from the chilled water to the condenser water. It is part of a complex air-conditioning system, usually inside a commercial establishment like malls and event centers.
During the inspection, chillers are checked for refrigerant leaks. Leaks usually happen in compressors of high-pressure chillers and can be checked through the chiller parameters or manual detection.
Then, the purge system of the chiller is checked for leaks. Purge systems are only present in low-pressure chillers, and their purpose is to remove any air that has entered through leaks in the chiller.
Last on the HVAC maintenance checklist form is checking if storage and disposal of refrigerants are correctly done. This is to ensure no refrigerants will leak into the atmosphere and cause pollution.
A boiler is a heater that uses heat from fuel-burning to the circulating water in the system. It can be a part of a simple home heating system or a complex heating system of commercial establishments.
During the inspection, boilers are checked for the flue and the breeching. The flue is a byproduct of burning and needs to be ejected through the breeching pipe from the boiler. When flue gases are not appropriately exhausted due to a clog in the breeching pipe, it can cause incomplete fuel burning, leading to waste and poor heating.
Next on the HVAC maintenance checklist is checking the purge system and fuel system and then whether there is enough combustion air to achieve the proper air-to-fuel ratio.
A cooling tower is a heat exchanger that transfers heat from the condenser water to the ambient air. It is a part of a complex air-conditioning system and is usually found in commercial and industrial establishments.
During the inspection, the sumps are checked if it’s clean and if there are signs of leaks or overflow. Leaks and overflows are signs that the water flow is not ideal and can be caused by clogs or underperforming pumps.
Next is checking for algae, dirt separators, eliminators, and if the biocide system is working correctly. Algae, when left unattended, can cause clogging of the pipes and fillers — in effect, causing poor heat exchange.
A mechanical room is a dedicated space for housing mechanical equipment such as chillers, boilers, air handling units, and pumps.
During the inspection, mechanical rooms are checked for proper housekeeping. This involves checking operators on-site and visual checking of the controls such as DDCs and EMS.
An air handling unit is a heat exchange system that transfers heat from the indoor air to chilled water. It is a part of a complex heating and air-conditioning system and can be found in commercial and industrial establishments.
During the inspection, the parameters of the supply air, return air, supply chilled water, and return chilled water are measured. The parameters are needed to check the efficiency of heat transfer.
Next on the HVAC maintenance checklist is the inspection of the coils and fan. Coils need to be clean and free from any algae. And the fan needs to be clean, free from excessive vibrations, and it is driving mechanism should be in good condition.
The distribution system is mainly composed of ductworks. Ductworks is a tube or vessel that serves as a passageway for the conditioned air.
During the inspection, the ducts are checked for airflow rate. If the airflow readings are not on par with the design, air balancing might be required. Other duct parts that can contribute to the imbalance are also checked, like leaks, faulty dampers, and improper duct installation.
Following the standards written in the HVAC maintenance checklist form is tedious and costly. But it has two significant benefits, energy efficiency, and good indoor air quality, which gives a return on investments. The information below is referenced from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA).
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, regularly maintaining the HVAC equipment can reduce the operational cost by 20% to 50% and minimize equipment breakdown by up to 90%. This would generate enormous savings, especially for commercial and industrial applications that operate on a large scale and has several HVAC equipment.
Conducting regular maintenance inspections with the use of a checklist also protects the warranty coverage of newly installed equipment. Manufacturers need to have proof of routine preventive maintenance before they honor replacements or repairs covered by the warranty.
A well-maintained HVAC system greatly improves indoor air quality. It effectively removes allergens and contaminants in the air like dust, pollens, and mold. In effect, it promotes the well-being of the people inside the treated space.
Also, if the HVAC system is working in optimal condition, it will reach and maintain the ideal temperature inside the treated space. In effect, it is bringing comfort to the people inside.
Regular preventive maintenance, generating comprehensive inspection reports and tracking HVAC system performance are laborious and time-consuming tasks. With Lumiform, the powerful mobile inspection and audit app, HVAC contractors and property managers can perform paperless inspections and generate detailed reports instantly.