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What Is a Typical Building HVAC Maintenance Schedule?

by Patti Althoff - Siwicki | May 15, 2019 | property management maintenance, Facility Maintenance, Rooftop Unit, HVAC Maintenance, HVAC Repair | 0 Comments

what is typical hvac maintenance

Properly maintaining your HVAC system can keep your heating and cooling bills low and extend the useful life of your unit. In order to complete all the preventative maintenance tasks needed for your commercial HVAC unit in Chicago, you’ll need to have a maintenance checklist. If you aren’t sure where to start, we recommend starting with ASHRAE’s Standard Practice for Inspection and Maintenance of Commercial Building HVAC Systems, which will give you a list of quarterly, seasonal and yearly HVAC maintenance tasks. If you aren’t sure what types of preventative maintenance your HVAC unit needs, we would be happy to help you create one and perform all the needed preventative maintenance.

Creating Your Preventative Maintenance HVAC Checklist

When it comes to HVAC system operation and performance, many commercial and residential building owners, property managers and superintendents don’t give it much thought until it stops working or the indoor conditions become uncomfortable. This is because HVAC systems work in the background while everyone goes about their day.

In order to ensure all the maintenance for your heating and cooling equipment is performed in a timely manner, it’s important to create checklists. Most businesses and large residential buildings will want to break the tasks down into daily and weekly tasks, monthly tasks, quarterly and seasonal tasks and yearly tasks.

  • Daily and Weekly Tasks: Daily and weekly tasks usually consist of monitoring the system, especially if you have a Building Automation System (BAS) that helps control and monitor your heating and cooling equipment and taking care of any HVAC maintenance requests from your residents, such as low air flow or air that is too cool or too warm. In some instances, the maintenance tickets may require the services of an HVAC technician. In other instances, your building’s janitorial or maintenance staff may be able to correct the problem, especially if it’s as simple as changing an air filter or thermostat.


  • Monthly Maintenance Tasks: Monthly tasks typically consist of performing light maintenance, like changing air filters and checking registers and air intakes for excessive dust, dirt and debris, which could indicate that your air filter is clogged or that your air ducts need cleaned. It also typically involves checking thermostats to ensure they are set and the proper temperature for days, nights and weekends.


  • Quarterly and Seasonal Tasks: When it comes to quarterly tasks, these can typically be performed every three months, but some of them can also be performed every six months, especially in the fall and spring. These items tend to be geared toward health and safety and unit operation and energy efficiency. They include things like having your HVAC system professionally inspected in order to ensure it’s ready for the heating or cooling season, preventing mold and bacteria contamination and preventing pipe corrosion.

  • Yearly Tasks: These tasks only need to be performed once a year. Typically, they involve checking internal and external components for damage, cleaning the inside and outside of the unit, cleaning and sealing air ducts and comparing your heating and cooling bills with the previous year to determine if any energy-efficient upgrades are needed. If your unit is nearing the end of its expected useful life, this is also a good time to develop a replacement plan.

A Typical HVAC Preventative Maintenance Checklist

If you’ve like to create your own HVAC maintenance checklist for your commercial HVAC unit or your rooftop unit, there are lots of guides and sample checklists available. You may even be able to find one for your specific unit by asking the manufacturer of your HVAC system. If you can’t find a maintenance checklist, our HVAC technicians would be happy to create a maintenance schedule for you.

Daily and Weekly Maintenance Tasks

Daily and weekly HVAC preventative maintenance tasks are performed as needed. If you notice odd noises or smells coming from your unit or any other oddities while it is in operation, it’s important to investigate those items as soon as possible in order to prevent extremely high repair bills.

  • Complete HVAC Maintenance Tickets

  • Check BAS reports and note ant Warnings or Functions Operating Outside of Normal Parameters (If Building Has BAS System)

Monthly HVAC Maintenance Tasks

Monthly Maintenance tasks help keep your unit operating safely and efficiently and can help improve indoor air quality and comfort for all the occupants in your building.

  • Check Air Filters for Clogs and Dust Accumulation, Change if Needed

  • Check Air Intakes and HVAC Registers for Dirt and Dust

  • Check Thermostats for Proper Setting and Operation

Quarterly and Seasonal Maintenance Tasks

Quarterly HVAC maintenance tasks are designed to ensure comfort, air quality, safety and a healthy environment. Ignoring to delaying these items could result in an increase in indoor allergy symptoms, illnesses and a loss of efficiency.

  • Apply Anti-bacterials and Anti-Corrosion Treatments to Chillers or Water Towers if Needed

  • Change Air Filters

  • Check Electrical Components and Wires

  • Clean Dirt, Leaves and Debris from Around Outside Unit

  • If the HVAC Unit Is Equipped with UV Lamp, Ensure Proper Operation

  • Inspect Air Handler P-Trap

  • Inspect and Program Thermostats (Seasonally)

  • Inspect Drain Tube and Pan for Moisture, Mold and Bacteria Growth

  • Inspect HVAC and/or Boiler Piping for Leaks and Signs of Corrosion

  • Make Sure Dampeners are Operating Correctly

Yearly HVAC Maintenance Tasks

Yearly preventative maintenance tasks are designed to prevent catastrophic failures by finding problems in a timely manner. If fans, motors and other moving parts are showing signs of wear or corrosion, they can be replaced. Regular chiller, water tower and drain pan maintenance and cleaning can prevent legionnaire’s disease and other bacterial illnesses. Not to mention, keeping your HVAC unit well-maintained can save you money on your heating and cooling bills.

  • Check Coils for Corrosion and Damage

  • Check Fan Motors and Other Moving Parts for Wear and Tear

  • Disassemble Cooling Tower Screens

  • Examine Heating and Cooling Bills and Compare Them with Previous Year

  • Have Air Conditioning Unit Professionally Inspected (Prior to Summer)

  • Have HVAC Unit Professionally Cleaned

  • Have HVAC Vents Cleaned and Inspected for Mold

  • Inspect BAS System or HVAC Control System for Proper Operation and Function

  • Inspect Fans Belts for Wear and Tear

  • Inspect Heating Ignition and Heat Exchanger (Prior to Winter)

  • Inspect HVAC Unit for Bacterial Growth, Especially Chillers

  • Inspect Internal Components for Moisture Accumulation and Mold

  • Make Sure HVAC Ducts are Properly Insulated

  • Consider Performing Energy Efficient Upgrades

Preventative HVAC Maintenance with Althoff

Here at Althoff, serving Chicago and the surrounding areas, we can perform all your HVAC maintenance in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines. If there are no guidelines or recommendations available from the manufacturer, we can create a maintenance schedule that complies with ASHRAE’s guidelines and standards in order to ensure that your unit is operating efficiently and reliably.

To learn more about HVAC maintenance checklists and to have your HVAC system inspected, give us a call at 800-225-2443.

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