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Preserve air quality with an HVAC inspection checklist

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.

What Is an HVAC inspection checklist?

An HVAC inspection checklist is a document used to carefully inspect the components of the equipment used for regulating the indoor air quality of a building or structure.

Building engineers, building owners, and indoor air quality (IAQ) managers use HVAC inspection checklist forms, which are usually standardized by government agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

These checklists are standardized to ensure that every establishment meets the required indoor air quality, promoting a healthy and comfortable environment.

Table of contents

1. What is checked in an HVAC inspection checklist?

1.1. Chillers

1.2. Boilers

1.3. Mechanical rooms

1.4. Air handling units

1.5. Distribution systems

2. What are the benefits of maintaining an HVAC system with an HVAC inspection checklist?

3. Using a digital tool for HVAC inspection checklists

What is checked in an HVAC inspection checklist?

Since regulating indoor air quality depends on the installed HVAC equipment, an HVAC inspection checklist will focus on different kinds of HVAC machine. Inspectors will check:

  • Chillers
  • Boilers
  • Mechanical rooms
  • Air handling units
  • Distribution systems

The procedure mainly involves visual checks, checking preventive maintenance records, and assessing the operating parameters of the HVAC equipment.


A chiller is heat exchange equipment that transfers heat from the chilled water to the condenser water. It’s part of a complex air-conditioning system, usually inside a commercial establishment like a mall or event center.

During the inspection, chillers are checked for refrigerant leaks. Leaks usually happen in compressors of high-pressure chillers and can be checked using 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 they remove any air that has entered through leaks in the chiller.

Last on the HVAC maintenance checklist form is checking if storage and refrigerant disposal are correctly done. This ensures 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 commercial heating system.

During boiler inspections, inspectors examine 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 gasses are not appropriately exhausted due to a clog in the breeching pipe, it can cause incomplete fuel burning, leading to waste and poor heating.

Then, the purge and fuel systems are checked to ensure there is enough combustion air to achieve the proper air-to-fuel ratio.

Cooling towers

A cooling tower 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 or industrial establishments.

During cooling tower inspections, the sumps are checked for cleanliness, leakage, or overflow. Leaks and overflows are signs that the water flow is not ideal, and can be caused by clogs or underperforming pumps.

Next on the HVAC inspection checklist is checking for algae, dirt separators, eliminators, and evaluating the biocide system. Algae, when left unattended, can clog pipes and fillers, which causes poor heat exchange.

Mechanical rooms

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 inspecting machine controls such as DDCs and EMS.

Air handling units

An air handling unit is a heat exchange system that transfers heat from 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 these inspections, the parameters of the supply air, return air, supply chilled water, and return chilled water are measured. These parameters check the efficiency of heat transfer.

After this comes inspection of the coils and fan. Coils need to be clean and free of algae. And the fan needs to be clean, free of excess vibrations, and have a working driving mechanism.

Distribution systems

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 subpar, 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.

What are the benefits of maintaining an HVAC system with an HVAC inspection checklist?

Following the standards outlined by HVAC maintenance checklists has two significant benefits: energy efficiency and good indoor air quality. The merits of a well-maintained HVAC are outlined by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA).

Generate Savings

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, regularly maintaining the HVAC equipment can reduce operational costs by 20% to 50% and lead to 90% fewer equipment failures. This generates enormous savings, especially for commercial and industrial entities that operate on a large scale and have several HVAC machines.

Conducting regular maintenance inspections with a checklist also protects the warranty coverage of newly installed equipment. Manufacturers need to prove regular maintenance before manufacturers honor warrantied replacements or repairs.

Well-being and comfort

A well-maintained HVAC system greatly improves indoor air quality. It effectively removes allergens and contaminants in the air, like dust, pollen, and mold, promoting the well-being of everyone in the building.

Also, if the HVAC system is working as intended, it will reach and maintain the ideal temperature inside the treated space, increasing comfort inside.

hvac Aeration Propeller

Using a digital tool for HVAC inspection checklists

Regular preventive maintenance, generating comprehensive inspection reports, and tracking HVAC system performance all take time. With a digital solution like Lumiform, HVAC inspections take far less time. Contractors and property managers can perform paperless inspections and generate detailed reports instantly.

  • Use a ready-made HVAC maintenance checklist from Lumiform’s template library to inspect systems easily
  • Capture photos and include them in the report for a better record of your inspection
  • Get an overview of upcoming maintenance work at any time and plan all work in advance
  • Send and receive notifications for scheduled maintenance checks
  • Automatically generate HVAC inspection reports and share them before leaving the facility.
  • Save time by making it easier to analyze all data and identify areas that need attention faster.

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four HVAC condensers units being inspected
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