The HVAC system is most likely the
single biggest use of energy in your
home. In commercial applications
where refrigeration is applied (combined
with the HVAC systems), huge
amounts of energy are used in the
building. In fact, over 1/3rd of the energy
used in the United States is used to heat
and cool buildings.
According to the Consortium of
Energy Efficiency (CEE) up to 50% more
energy can be saved with proper
installation, sizing, and maintenance of
commercial central air conditioning and
heat pumps. “Although the CEE study
did not measure residential systems, a
compelling case can be made that
proper maintenance can save
homeowners up to 50% as well,”
according to Larry Taylor, President of
Air Rite A/C Company, Inc., Fort Worth,
Out of Sight,
NOT Out of Mind
The old but true cliché “out of sight, out
of mind” is often the reason for
neglected maintenance guidelines for
your HVAC system. HVAC systems are
usually installed where they aren’t seen,
such as in a section of the basement, a
closet, on rooftops, or in mechanical
rooms, making them easy to ignore. The
systems are simply taken for granted,
until they fail. Decreased efficiency,
utility overpayment, discomfort, loss of
productivity, eventual premature
replacement, and higher repair costs are
Just because your HVAC system is
out of sight, does not mean it can be
neglected. Getting your HVAC system
checked twice annually is just as
important as changing the oil in your
car every 3,000 miles!
What should I expect my
ACCA technician to do
during a PMA visit?
■ Check system functions, safety controls,
and adjust the operating sequence
■ Inspect electrical components and
connections and repair/replace or
tighten as required.
■ Ensure proper airflow and change dirty
■ Inspect pumps, lubricate, and check
flow rates where appropriate.
■ Clean and lubricate motors as required.
■ Examine belts, adjust and align as
■ Inspect, clean and balance blowers as
(preparation for summer season):
■ Clean inside coil, condensate pans,
condensate traps, and condensate lines
to prevent obstructions.
■ Clean outside coil and straighten fins
for efficient operation.
■ Check refrigerant levels and if low, find
the leak. (According to many equipment
manufacturers, a 10% refrigerant
loss will result in a 20% decrease
in system efficiency!)
Fall Visit (preparation for winter season):
■ Clean the burner assembly.
■ Remove soot from fireside of burner.
■ Clean and check operation of humidifier.
■ Visually or with remote camera, inspect heat
exchanger for cracks.
■ Adjust air/fuel ratio of burner and perform combustion
analysis. (Instrumentation used for combustion
analysis is a means of fine-tuning a burner
to achieve maximum fuel efficiency and “optimum
Note: For heat pump applications, winter season inspections repeat a
number of the summer procedures plus several additional checks.
Maintaining semi-annual PMAs for heatpumps is also important.
What’s the bottom line for me?
■ Savings: PMAs typically more than pay for themselves
through higher efficiency, less utility
overpayment, and contractor discounts. PMA
customers typically receive a discount on all parts
and services performed during the entire year.
■ Peace of Mind: Predictive maintenance will mean
fewer system failures and a longer life for your
■ Priority Service: Should a system failure occur
during the heat of the summer or the cold of the
winter, customers with PMAs generally receive
■ Continuity: Many ACCA contractors are often able
to assign technicians to the specific customers. That
way, you get to see and know the same service
technician, and he or she becomes more familiar
with you and your equipment.