During the period before summer, it’s common for businesses around Madison, WI to get in touch with Southport Home Services about maintaining their HVAC systems. If you have a commercial HVAC setup, you should have a pre-summer checklist ready each year. Add the following items to your checklist to ensure that your commercial HVAC will run as well as possible.

Replacing the System’s Air Filters

Quality air filtration matters for a host of reasons. Foremost, you and your customers probably don’t want to breathe dirty air. Also, a clean air filter permits better airflow. If your business is using high-efficiency filters, you need to replace them regularly to ensure that they let enough air through. Most filters require at least seasonal replacements, so the pre-summer period is a good time to do the job.

If you are uncomfortable changing the filters or don’t have the time, a technician from Southport Home Services would be happy to assist you. We also can show your business team how to replace commercial HVAC filters.

Inspecting and Cleaning the Condenser and Coils

The condenser system and its coils are where a lot of the heat exchange happens in an HVAC unit. Even a light accumulation of dust on the coils can significantly inhibit this process. Particularly at the scale of commercial HVAC, dirty coils can potentially cost a business thousands of dollars. Annual cleaning is a good way to stay ahead of the problem, and the time before summer is great for checking the condenser’s condition.


Many HVAC systems have numerous moving parts. Especially in a commercial setting, these components can be big. Consequently, they produce lots of friction. Sufficient lubrication, though, can limit annual wear and tear. Ask one of our qualified technicians to identify the moving parts in your company’s HVAC units. If a part requires removal and cleaning for lubrication, then they’ll know how to disassemble and reassemble the system correctly. Our technicians can also make sure that the lubrication is the right one for the job.

Verify the Thermostat’s Settings

A thermostat can slowly fail, and you might not notice it year after year. It is wise to test that the thermostat is still working as expected. Run it up and down to verify that everything is hitting the right temperatures. Also, note how long the thermostat takes to turn the system off.

You should check that the setting is at the right level. People often set thermostats differently, and then others just assume that’s the right setting. Verifying the thermostat’s settings is a good way to avoid a small error that can be costly.

Similarly, it is wise to verify that the system is hitting the temperatures that you desire. Even if the issue isn’t with the thermostat, performing a test can help you determine that something is going on.

Check the Refrigerant Levels

Notably, this is a job that’s exclusively for a qualified technician. Anything involving the refrigerant is professional work, even if it just means checking the levels. A technician will know how to find the level of the refrigerant to determine whether it’s running low or high. If someone needs to add or remove refrigerant from the system, a technician can handle the situation.

Checking the refrigerant levels can offer an early warning about potential problems. If the levels are unexpectedly low, that fact may indicate that the system has a leak somewhere. A technician can then run a trace on the lines to see where there might be a problem.

Airflow and Pressure Testing

The goal of any HVAC system is to get conditioned air to the right parts of a building. To that end, the airflow and pressure levels need to be right. Fortunately, our technicians have meters that allow them to quickly test every section of the system. They can monitor the airflow to see if one space is getting too little or too much air. Also, a technician can determine if the airflow is balanced enough to prevent drafts from one part of the building to another.

If there’s a problem with the system, we can find a solution. In many cases, we use dampers and fans to distribute air better throughout a commercial HVAC system. We also can test the ducts to see if there’s any leakage. Our goal is always to verify that your company’s HVAC is running as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Draining and Cleaning the Condensation System

All commercial HVAC units generate significant amounts of condensation. Most of this will follow the lines out of the system, but there’s always the risk of dirt and corrosion building up in the lines. A technician can drain and inspect the lines. If there’s anything wrong, our technician can also clean the lines. This is also a good opportunity to check the condensation lines for leaks.

Check for Outdoor Debris

Commercial HVAC setups typically have large outdoor components. These systems can attract dirt, old leaves, and even animal nests. Anything affecting the exterior portions of the system can reduce HVAC performance. Before summer hits, you should ask a technician from our team to check all of the outdoor components for debris and to clean the system.

Inspect the Sensors

If you have a large commercial building, your HVAC may use a lot of sensors. This is a good time for one of our technicians to inspect the sensors and replace any that might not be operating correctly.

Tuning the System

A little bit of variation is inherent to running any HVAC system, and that can lead to performance drift. Even if the system appears to be working perfectly, a small percentage of drift can cost you lots of money. Our technicians can run the system and check how efficiently it’s operating. They can then tune the settings to minimize inefficiency.

Check the Safety Controls

Most commercial HVAC units have a series of safety controls. These exist to prevent adverse events like electrical shorts and fires if a component fails. Typically, the controls use electrical relays to send signals. Checking the safety controls will provide you with peace of mind that everything will respond quickly in an emergency.

Another benefit of checking the safety controls is that it can flush out problems. Suppose that the system has been short cycling. Running a check on the safety controls could catch the cause if a shutoff is triggering the short cycle.

Test the Backup Power System

Your HVAC likely integrates with some type of backup power supply, such as a battery or generator. We can have our technician verify that the switches in the HVAC for the backup power are still operating properly.

Review the HVAC Logs

Ideally, your people are maintaining written logs of the HVAC’s operation. Likewise, the system should store codes for faults. Our technician can check the logs to see if there’s a pattern or something unexpected.

Southport Home Services does all kinds of HVAC and plumbing work for customers in and around Madison. This includes heating and air conditioning installation, maintenance, and repairs, as well as work with water treatment and indoor air quality. If you’re ready to go over your pre-summer commercial HVAC checklist, call us today to arrange a technician’s visit.

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Thomas Suchla
Thomas Suchla


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