How to Maintain Rooftop Equipment

Like any piece of mechanical equipment, Rooftop HVAC equipment does require attention to ensure proper operation. There are some maintenance items that might need replacement and some that cleanings will be adequate solutions. Most manufacturers will have a service and maintenance manual that makes recommendations for how to maintain the unit. Many of the same principles and procedures that apply the residential systems can be used with commercial packaged products as well.

Electrically there are many checks and tests that can be made to prevent failures in equipment operation. Aside from checking all wiring and terminal connections, simply observe the condition of the contacts to any relays and/or motor starters to make certain the points are not pitted or burnt from arching that may occur when the electrical connections are made. Pitted or burnt contact may cause failures in the loads or motors they are energizing.

Another check is to test any capacitors that the motors may have. Even units that have supply voltages of 208/230/3 or 460/3 may have capacitors to run some of the motors in them. To do so, make sure the unit is de-energized. Use standard procedures with a multimeter to test microfarads of the capacitors. The meter should display the microfarad reading of that capacitor +/- the tolerance listed on the capacitor’s rating sticker. Failing capacitors may cause premature motor failure and lead to more current consumption by the motor they are connected to. Recommending replacement of burnt contactors and of failing capacitors before testing amperages would be ideal. This way we can be sure of the amperage each load is consuming if amperage is not within the specifications listed on the unit’s data tag. This may reveal issues that can’t be observed externally.

Since these units are packaged systems, meaning both refrigerant coils are contained within the envelope of the unit, cleaning of both the evaporator and condenser coils could help restore optimal performance and may prevent critical system failures. Clean coils ensure that proper heat transfer and saturation temperatures can be achieved. There are separate types of cleaners for each coil type and different manufacturers of both. Consult our Customer Assurance Team for advice on selecting the correct coil cleaner for that unit. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully and thoroughly for the cleaner to ensure no damage will occur to the refrigerant system.

The gas heating portion of the packaged rooftop units should be checked annually to establish safe operation for the heating season. Visually inspecting the heat exchangers, burners, and testing of ignition components will give possible indications of potentially unsafe operating conditions. Other tests like, temperature rise, manifold pressures, and analyzing flue gases are important checks to be performed by technicians during regular maintenance.

For more information regarding specifics of Rooftop unit maintenance and service, please call us at 800.968.3508. Our Customer Assurance members will be happy to assist!

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