Extend the Life of Your Cooling System

Key Points
  • Continuous maintenance helps to keep cooling systems operating efficiently all summer long.
  • Replace filters, check for leaks and adjust settings to match changing needs and schedules.
  • AirCare Plus provides low-cost HVAC maintenance services to eligible PG&E customers.

Cooling accounts for nearly 14 percent of annual electrical use in commercial buildings, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, and increased consumption for summer cooling can add a considerable amount to peak demand charges. While an annual inspection and cleaning of your cooling system is important at the beginning of the season, proper operation and maintenance is critical to optimizing performance. The following checklist will help to ensure that your system operates at peak efficiency all summer long:

  • Check the time and temperature settings on programmable thermostats or energy-management controls and adjust to current cooling needs and occupancy schedules.
  • Adjust dampers and vents to make sure the system is properly balanced.
  • Determine if window treatments are being used correctly to block out solar heat gain; especially in areas with varying occupancy.
  • Listen to the system operate for a few minutes and determine the cause of any unusual sounds.
  • Check air filters monthly and replace if necessary.
  • Examine instrumentation to ensure that the oil pressure and temperature match the manufacturer's specifications.
  • Check for unusual compressor operations, including continuous running or frequent stopping and starting.
  • Inspect the tension and alignment of all belts and adjust as needed.
  • Determine if the air conditioning economizer is working as designed and repair faulty dampers.
  • Check for and repair refrigerant and oil leaks around equipment seals, pipe joints, valves and other instrumentation.
  • Listen to the fan and determine the cause of any unusual noise or vibration.
  • Check the fan belt drive and motor to make sure they are aligned properly and lubricated.
  • Examine refrigerant levels and adjust if necessary.
  • Look for evidence of mold and mildew. Indoor humidity levels of 70 percent and higher, combined with temperatures above 70ºF, provide an ideal environment for the growth of mold.

AirCare Plus is an energy-efficiency heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) program designed specifically for PG&E commercial electric customers. Eligible participants receive comprehensive diagnostic and tune-up services that will help save energy, improve equipment performance and enhance building comfort.

"PG&E" refers to Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation.
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