As we head into the spring season, we realized that many of our customers will begin to make heavy use of their HVAC system. We asked some of our experienced technicians what they think about annual planned maintenance for professional kitchen HVAC systems in commercial kitchens.

Why is commercial kitchen HVAC planned maintenance important?

Planned maintenance (PM) will help reduce costly and unplanned system breakdowns. When a commercial kitchen HVAC system breaks down, the timing is usually when you need it most. Those emergency services are more expensive and getting the right parts can delay a repair.

PMs will improve temperature consistency in the building, which will create a comfortable experience for customers and a better working environment for employees. This will improve the overall air quality inside the building.

The proper PM will reduce energy consumption and help your system operate at peak performance, which will extend the life of your equipment. Proper preventive maintenance can extend the life of your system by 4-6 years by reducing overall stress on the unit.

What is performed in a spring checkup?

Many aspects of your commercial kitchen HVAC system are checked, including all belts, filters, and screens. In an annual PM service, replacing these should be a priority. Mechanical components should be lubricated, condensing coils cleaned and control systems verified to be operational. Making sure all wiring connections are secure is also completed, as well as checking for damaged ductwork, proper ventilation and airflow, and cleaning drain lines. A complete checklist is available by consulting your General Parts location.

How quickly and how often should PMs be scheduled?

Waiting for the first hot day may be too late to perform a PM on your system. When the outside temperature is at least 60 degrees for several consecutive days, that is the best time to schedule service. This allows the oil in the compressor to warm up and any moisture in the oil to dissipate. To get the best schedule, work with your local General Parts Location ahead of time so that annual PMs can be planned.

Initially, your first service should be six months after installation. This is to ensure that your system is operating at optimal performance. In an annual performance plan, Spring’s service should be based on your location and the environmental conditions that exist. In southern regions, annual service may arrive in early February. In northern climates, April may be the best time.

Some environmental factors to consider are frequency of use, location of the unit (near a busy street or dusty area), and high pollen or poplar. There are many conditions that can lead to early spring service and regular monthly services. Visit where you will find lots of useful information about HVAC.

How much does it cost?

PM costs can vary with all factors considered. We mentioned environmental and regional impacts, and the frequency of PM will determine the overall costs of an appropriate program. Certainly, the cost of a preventive maintenance service will be much less than the cost of a repair service. General Parts can work with you to fit your needs and budget.