What You Need to Know About HVAC Maintenance

If you own a brick-and-mortar storefront business, you will rely on HVAC equipment to keep you cool. Having this equipment means that it will need to be maintained from time to time. A professional company should perform regular maintenance, but doing your part between professional jobs should help your system last longer.

How long will my commercial HVAC equipment last?

As a rule of thumb, we expect your equipment to last approximately 15 years under normal usage. This length of time can be affected by many things, including how often the unit is maintained, the type of unit, where the unit is located, and so on. 

If the coils on your equipment have become overly dirty, the unit may have restricted air-flow, making it work harder and lowering the lifespan and efficiency. It is the same concept when you forget to change your filter and it becomes clogged with debris. 

How much does it cost for commercial HVAC maintenance?

The average company will charge between $100 and $140 per hour of work. Any parts needed will be added to the final expense. You can assume that an average furnace or air-conditioner maintenance call will take between one and two hours. However, sometimes companies run specials or offer maintenance plans that may lower the cost.

What will be done during maintenance?

Generally, during commercial heating and air conditioning maintenance, the technician will first check your filters, ensuring that they are clean and allowing proper airflow. Then they will turn your equipment off and begin to inspect the coils.

The type of commercial property the unit serves will decide how the technician proceeds. For example, if the unit is supplying a restaurant, it is possible that the evaporator coil, the part that cools the air during air conditioning, will have grease build-up. If so, it will need to be cleaned with a heavy-duty degreasing coil cleaner. If the unit serves a retail space, such as a clothing store, the coil may appear relatively clean and  just need a light rinse.

Once the evaporator coil is clean, the condenser coil will need to be inspected. This is the coil you can see when looking at the unit. It releases heat outside of the building during the air conditioning cycle. The technician will use the proper coil cleaner and a water hose to wash the condenser coil.

The technician should also inspect other components that may need attention. This could include things such as the thermostat, bottom of the unit, heat exchanger, compressor, heat-pump, or the inside of the condenser coils. They will ensure that there are no loose wires and that everything appears to be in good working order. They will also inspect the blower motor,  checking that it is clean and that the belt, if it has a belt, is in good condition and does not need replacing.

Once the technician confirms everything is in its proper place, clean, and safe, they will prepare to turn the unit back on. While the unit is running, they will check the electrical draw, or amperage, at all components. This will ensure that none of the electrical components are drawing too much power, indicating there could be an issue.

And finally, once the unit has been cleaned, dried, electrically checked, and has run for long enough to fully cycle the refrigerant, they will check your refrigerant levels. A quality company will review the superheat and subcooling of the system as well as the pressures to confirm proper operation. This will ensure that your unit is working as it should.

When to change filters?

If you are wondering how often commercial HVAC filters should be changed, you will need to consider a few different things. Again, if your commercial property is a restaurant, the filters will need to be changed more often than if your property is a retail store. 

However, a good rule of thumb would be to change 1 or 2-inch thick filters every three months or at the time of each season change. We recommend changing 4-inch thick filters every six months and 5-inch filters once a year.

It is essential that you not only change your filters regularly but that you inspect them while doing so. An excessively dirty filter will signify that you should change your filters more often.

How often should commercial HVAC ducts be cleaned?

Having your commercial HVAC ductwork cleaned will not depend on a time frame as much as it will depend on the condition of your heating and cooling system. For example, if you notice odors or visible dirt and dust coming from your vents, that would be an excellent time to clean your ducts. Another example would be if something has gotten into your ducting, such as an animal, excessive water, or any other substances that could potentially cause harm later. That said, this may not need to be done on a set schedule like your maintenance.

How often should commercial HVAC units be serviced?

Typically a commercial heating and air system will need to be serviced at least twice a year. If your unit has unique circumstances, it may need to be serviced more often. But, usually, an HVAC system would only need to be serviced twice a year.

A schedule will allow the maintenance technician, in the spring, to clean all coils and ensure that all of the air conditioning components are working correctly, keeping your indoor air clean and cool for the summer. The same will go for the fall. The technician will make sure everything is clean and working properly so the system will heat all winter.


If you are the owner or manager of a commercial property, we highly recommend that you have a quality and certified HVAC specialist service your system at least twice a year. This will ensure you maintain an efficient unit, extend your equipment’s life, and cut down on future unexpected issues. Call us today, and let’s get your next commercial HVAC maintenance scheduled.

Experiencing any of these problems or have other questions?

Call us today at 301-943-0833