Is Your Air-Conditioning System Ready for Warm Weather?

Is Your Air-Conditioning System Ready for Warm Weather?

This is the focus I’ll be tackling here on this post, enjoy.

While cooling is essential for facility comfort and productivity, it accounts for nearly 15 percent of the electricity used in residential homes & commercial buildings. Facilities can save on energy costs and increase equipment life by properly maintaining air-conditioning systems. Use the following checklist to structure a preventive maintenance program for cooling equipment:

Key Points

  • Air conditioning accounts for 15 percent of electrical use in commercial facilities.
  • A regular preventive maintenance program can save on energy costs and extend equipment life.
  • Clean and inspect equipment regularly following all manufacturers’ recommendations.

 Refrigerant circuit and controls

  • Inspect the moisture liquid indicator to ensure that no moisture is in the system
  • Check for and repair refrigerant and oil leaks around equipment seals, pipe joints, valves and other instrumentation
  • Check and balance refrigerant levels
  • Inspect the liquid line leaving the strainer
  • Check all gauges regularly to ensure that design conditions are being met
  • Listen to the system operate for a few minutes to determine the cause of any unusual sounds
  • Inspect the tension and alignment of all belts and adjust as needed
  • Lubricate motor bearings and all moving parts
  • Inspect the insulation on suction and liquid lines and replace as necessary
  • Calibrate digital-based controls and check for software updates


  • Check for unusual compressor operation, including continuous running or frequent stopping and starting
  • Inspect the compressor and check amp draw
  • Listen to the compressor operate for a few minutes to check for unusual sounds
  • Check to see that the compressor and motor are securely fastened to the base
  • Check all compressor joints for leaks
  • Clean compressor housing; any dirt or debris affects air flow
  • Inspect instrumentation regularly to ensure that the oil pressure and temperature match the manufacturer’s specifications
  • Lubricate the compressor and its components to manufacturer’s specifications

Air-cooled condenser

  • Check the fan belt drive and motor to make sure they are aligned and lubricated properly
  • Ensure that refrigerant piping connections to the condenser coil are tight
  • Clean condenser coils, fins and tubes
  • Determine if hot air is being bypassed from the fan outlet to the coil inlet
  • Check for the proper temperature difference between the outside air and the condenser fan discharge air

Evaporative condenser

  • Inspect piping joints and check for leaks
  • Check for dirt on the coil surface
  • Inspect the air inlet screen, spray nozzles, water distribution hoses and the pump screen
  • Check to see if the water supply leaves surface deposits on the coil
  • Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for fan and pump maintenance

 Cooling towers

  • Conduct a chemical analysis to determine if solid concentrations are maintained at acceptable levels
  • Check the clearance of the overflow pipe from the normal operating water level
  • Listen to the fan and determine the cause of any unusual noise or vibration
  • Inspect the V-belt and the alignment of the fan and motor
  • Ensure that the tower and intake strainer are clean
  • Determine if air is bypassed from the tower outlet back to the inlet
  • Inspect spray-filled and gravity distributed towers for proper nozzle performance; be sure the nozzles are clean
  • Inspect gravity distributed towers for even water depth in the distribution basins
  • Monitor the effectiveness of any water-treatment programs


  • Have all large tonnage chillers inspected once a year by a trained professional
  • Check and change compressor oil and refrigerant filters regularly
  • Monitor refrigerant charge
  • Test water quality and adjust as needed
  • Check purge operation in the case of low-pressure refrigerants
  • Keep water-side tubing clean and the refrigerant side free of non-condensable materials
  • Check drive alignment, wear, seating and operation

Absorption equipment

  • Clean condenser and absorber tubes annually
  • Clean the strainer and seal tank regularly
  • Lubricate flow valves regularly
  • Replace the rubber diaphragms in the service valves every three to five years
  • Self-contained units (window and through-the-wall units and heat pumps)
  • Clean evaporator and condenser coils, air intake louvers and filters
  • Keep airflow from units unrestricted
  • Replace worn caulking in openings between the units and windows or wall frames
  • Check the voltage to ensure that the unit is operating at full power
  • Follow applicable maintenance guidelines for compressors, condensers and fans
  • Check for proper operation of the heat pump’s reversing valve

All control box and electrical parts (contacts, relays, wiring, and connections) should also be checked for wear or damage. In all cases, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding proper maintenance and operation. Service and repairs should be done by a licensed professional and never attempted by a none trained person.


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