Commercial HVAC Maintenance: The Types of Alerts HVAC Contractors & Building Owners Receive to Stay Proactive

Technician examines air conditioner units with the help of digital technology. He is using his tablet to record results and check for alerts

Every company wants to do what’s best for their customers, and the HVAC industry should be focused on providing the most value for their clients. When clients are happy and pay for only what they need, the total cost of ownership of a piece of HVAC equipment stays under control. According to ACHR News, Building owners care greatly about the profitability of their building, which means they want a good return on their investment.

One of the most straightforward ROI’s is a monitored, building control system and digital management platform. Let’s consider a few things about how alerts from a connected solution turn a digital transformation into cost savings.

Equipment Installed So You Can Monitor and Get Alerts

The first key to leveraging alerts necessary for proactive, predictive maintenance, lies in using the right equipment to connect and share data on performance. While the industry continues its digital transformation, the application of information must follow suit. Without the ability to collect data, alerts are nothing more than arbitrary timers.

For example, a connected smart thermostat that’s designed for light-commercial HVAC equipment can help with providing insights into runtime, energy demands, system wear, and more.

Next, a suite of remote sensors allows for monitoring of the supply air supply, the condensate switch, changes to the pressure and temperature in the refrigerant line, and more. The opportunities to connect sensors to an IoT-enabled thermostat are almost endless.

Taking those examples alone affords an opportunity to further understand the actual demand on each unit. In turn, the condensate switch can help prevent damage due to clogged drains or unexpected unit downtime. Refrigerant line temperature sensors can provide insight into how well, or poorly, a unit is performing. This information all contributes to maintenance decisions and when a technician is necessary. Contractors can focus on playing offense, using a predictive strategy, and correct problems when data indicates an issue is on the horizon. The days of trying to put out endless fires due to malfunctioning equipment are coming to an end.

Alerts to Measure Equipment Performance (Roll Truck Alerts)

Since any strategy for implementing predictive commercial HVAC maintenance must focus on reducing the number of critical truck rolls, it is imperative that alerts measuring equipment performance be explained in greater detail, such as fault detection alerts, which include:

  • Supply Air Heating & Cooling – This alert often reveals a stress on the unit and helps to plan for maintenance needs in the coming period or simply notify of unplanned downtime so a truck can roll immediately, reducing the time the unit is down.
  • Condensate Alert – As already noted, condensate alerts reduce risk of a minor clogs causing severe water damage. Additionally, like at Bethany Christian School, an entire day’s worth of learning was saved by dispatching a technician to clear a clogged condensate drain line before teachers or staff were in the building.
  • Fan Filter Change – This might be the most obvious alert, but the way it’s revealed can be surprising. Overcomplicating this alert with measuring negative pressures is unnecessary and a gimmick; changing filters based off of runtime hours and collected data for a space gets the job done.

Meanwhile, two additional commercial HVAC maintenance alerts can notify HVAC contractors of high-priority service needs. These include:

  • Imminent Downtime – An alert indicating a serious fault could happen soon that will cause the unit to shut down.
  • Maintenance Alert – A generalized alert about the need for maintenance based on a culmination of data from multiple sensors and algorithms.

Alerts to Keep Building Owners and HVAC Contractors Informed

Alerts can be further refined to help building owners and HVAC contractors stay informed of what’s happening with a facility’s units. For example, sensors to track high and low temperature variances can reveal the performance of a unit. Loss of communication alerts avoid returning to an analog maintenance scheduling. Refrigeration monitoring can help alleviate concerns over maintaining guest comfort and even food safety for walk-in coolers or freezers.

In terms of impact to guest health and comfort, the indoor air quality can be measured and transformed into an alert as well. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports how ASHRAE recommended indoor relative humidity remain at or below 65% to reduce mold growth. That has a direct effect on guest health. So, alerts that notify managers and commercial HVAC maintenance contractors when these values go beyond prescribed ranges effectively allow for timely intervention and avoids disruption to the facility.

Deploy a Full Picture-Generating Series of Commercial HVAC Maintenance Alerts

Reactive maintenance is a run-until-it-breaks method of putting out endless fires and constantly responding to extra service calls. Planned maintenance is better but involves the commoditization of HVAC contractors and a higher risk of delaying maintenance in favor of finding a better deal on pricing. However, contractors are pivoting to HVAC predictive maintenance—where technicians can see the performance, receive automated alerts, and work together with building owners and managers to reduce maintenance altogether and save resources. It’s the ultimate win-win for HVAC maintenance strategies. Find out how to get started by contacting HYTECH 24/7 online today.