The Spring–Summer Transition is Critical to Cooling Start-Up
Whether you’re in a standalone building, a strip mall, or part of a larger facility, it’s likely that the structure is using commercial rooftop units for cooling and ventilation. Over time and as the seasons change, these units are subject to a variety of harsh conditions and elements that can dramatically impact their operation and longevity. As spring turns to summer, it’s important to prioritize starting up commercial cooling properly to avoid damaging these units and to keep long-term maintenance costs down.
Here, we’ll explore what should be considered when starting up commercial cooling for the summer months. But first, what exactly goes into starting up commercial cooling?
A Commercial Cooling Startup Overview
Starting up commercial cooling is a preventive maintenance process typically handled by an experienced commercial HVAC/R vendor. Every program is different, but at CLS Facility Services, this service includes a breadth of proactive measures such as:
- Replacement of air filters
- Inspection of the condenser coils, belts, drains, fan blades, and motors
- Inspection of refrigerant pressures and checking for leaks
- Checking and cleaning electrical connections
- Verifying amp draw against manufacturer specifications
- Measuring air supply and return temperatures
- And much, much more
Must-Haves for Starting Up Commercial Cooling Units
Proactive Belt Changes
While belts are just one component of a commercial rooftop air conditioning unit, they are absolutely essential — without a functioning fan belt, there is no air conditioning. They should be checked during every maintenance cycle. More importantly, they should be proactively replaced when starting up commercial cooling.
Over time, belts can become loose, worn down, or even cracked. Proactively replacing belts when transitioning from heating to cooling avoids dealing with older belts that have wear and tear, reduces the need for more frequent belt tightening, and ultimately ensures a higher-performing unit. Belt replacement also helps prevent wear on the unit itself, which over time can lead to a much more costly problem.
Condenser Coil Chemical Cleanings
Over time, the coils in a commercial rooftop unit can collect dirt, debris, and other unwanted elements that can impact performance. A common example of this is cottonwood, which comes off trees and can collect on the condenser coils on the exterior of the unit — reducing its efficiency, operating pressure, and overall cooling capacity.
Proactive chemical cleanings help to clean out the small spaces between the condenser coils, eliminating the debris and residue buildup in these tight spaces. Doing this proactively when spring turns to summer — and not skipping a year or two between cleanings — ensures that your systems are performing as optimally as possible, without a negative impact to pressure or efficiency.
A Consistent Scope of Work
This doesn’t pertain to the units themselves, but if you have anywhere from a few dozen to few hundred locations to manage throughout your footprint, the last thing you need to be dealing with is inconsistent cooling system performance at random locations. This can happen when separate locations are managed individually, or when service providers are engaged reactively as opposed to proactively.
When you work with a single service provider that specializes in supporting organizations with a large footprint, the scope of work is structured so that consistent, uniform service is executed at each location, on each asset. This helps to avoid variations in service quality; differing maintenance techniques; and even administrative issues that can cause delays, frustration, or missing information.
Ultimately, it’s best to work with a facility management aggregator when starting up commercial cooling because you work with a single company for all of your preventive maintenance needs. The aggregator in turn works with a nationwide network of experienced, vetted service vendors who execute a preset scope of work on all assets.
All estimates, invoices, and reports are managed by the aggregator, which makes that information available to you in an easily accessible online portal for review at any time. No missing documents or files, no communication issues, and no inconsistency in service — just a commercial cooling start-up program that you — and your customers — can rely on for comfort all summer long. Learn more about the advantages of working with an aggregator for your facility management needs here.
Keep Your Cool This Summer with CLS Facility Services
For more than 50 years, we’ve partnered with companies in multiple industries for all of their asset maintenance needs. If you’re tired of underperforming cooling systems, are experiencing issues with service inconsistency, or are struggling to manage service needs at multiple locations, our team is here to help.