Do you constantly shrug off cleaning or maintenance checks on your restaurant HVAC system? It might seem like a menial task that doesn’t add anything to your bottom line, but it could be more important than you might think. It only takes one instance of the AC breaking down on a hot summer day to cost your restaurant more than a year’s worth of maintenance fees, in terms of lost business. But there are other reasons to maintain your HVAC system, in addition to prevention of emergencies.

HVAC maintenance is a preventative measure which helps keep the system running without any breakdowns, meanwhile operating at 100% efficiency. Most restaurant AC systems are hidden away on the rooftop or behind the building and it’s very easy to forget or neglect it completely until when it breaks down. Remember, regardless of how expensive or how many warranties are in place, the system is definitely vulnerable to breakdowns. According to AC repair specialist, Tim Engelsma of Engelsma Heating and Cooling in Grand Rapids, MI, scheduling regular cleaning and maintenance is the best way to guarantee fewer repairs.

Benefits of HVAC Maintenance

The cost of maintenance might be a concern, especially for a large AC unit, which is the reason why many restaurant owners ignore this task altogether. However, below are some prominent benefits of cleaning or performing maintenance tasks on your furnace or air conditioning system.

• Reduced Energy Bills
If the system is not working as properly as it should, your energy bill might be through the roof. There are many reasons why it may not be working efficiently, including the fact that there is dust or debris trapped inside the vents. If the maintenance is not performed regularly, it’s easy to assume that it’s working properly when it’s actually not.

• Less Repairs
If you notice a strange sound in the system or a strange odor coming from the furnace, it’s crucial to schedule cleaning or maintenance before the consequences are devastating. If you notice any trouble early enough, you’re likely to save yourself a lot of money which could be wasted on expensive repairs later on. If you schedule maintenance every year, the chances of getting expensive repairs diminish greatly.

• Extended Life Span
HVAC systems are quite expensive to install. Therefore, if you made a significant investment in the system in the first place, you should schedule maintenance tasks regularly to guarantee an extended lifespan. Cleaning your furnace or the air conditioning system will reduce any chance of breakdowns which might demand partial or total replacement of the whole system. Regularly inspecting the system to make sure everything is working properly will increase the life span of your system.

• Safety
If the furnace is not working properly, you could be putting staff and customers at risk due to exposure of carbon monoxide. HVAC systems powered by electricity can short circuit at any time which is a serious fire hazard. Also, if the air conditioning is not working properly, especially during the cold winter nights, chances of freezing are slightly increased.

• Hiring A Professional vs Doing It Yourself
There are a few cleaning and maintenance tasks you can do on your own to save on the expenses but the rest should be left to the heating and cooling service professionals. Start by changing the air filters every month to prevent clogging which slows down the system. Also, you should remove any debris present on the outdoor unit by hosing it down. Finally, you should make sure the return and supply registers are not blocked by furniture, equipment, rugs or drapes.

The professional HVAC contractors will check the thermostat, tighten the electrical connections, lubricate all the gears, inspect the condensate drain, check the system controls, adjusting and cleaning the blowers, cleaning the condenser coils or evaporators, checking the refrigerant charge, checking the fuel line connections, inspecting the gas pressure, heat exchanger or burner combustion etc.

There are a few things to consider when looking for a professional HVAC contractor. If you prefer hiring a company for the job make sure all the contractors are properly licensed, have enough experience and have a high level of reputation which can be assessed through reading reviews and testimonials from former clients. On that note, with these tips, you should have enough reasons to clean your furnace and schedule maintenance tasks for your air conditioner.