The advent of spring means it’s time for HVAC cleaning and routine maintenance. Unfortunately, the unprecedented situation we find ourselves in presents logistical challenges for trade allies. At the same time, it offers a unique opportunity for you to provide added value and service to your customer—even from a distance. Here are three action items you can discuss with your customer:
- Filter inspection and replacement. A clogged filter reduces system airflow, forcing a fan to run longer than necessary resulting in energy waste and poor performance. Filter location can vary dependent on system type. While locating filters is easy for you as the trade ally, your customer may have no idea where to look. Use this time to educate them and talk them through the process. Be sure to remind your customers that if they’re going to inspect equipment, they need to turn the power off before doing so.
- Coil inspection. A clogged coil means the fan serving it has to work harder and it doesn’t transfer heat as well. This means the entire system will have to work longer to make setpoint. Like filters, your customer may not know how to access their coil and what to look for when they do. Walk them through it over the phone, videoconference or by email via photos they send. Suggest an inspection of both the indoor and outdoor coils and if necessary, and safe for you and the customer, propose a scheduled cleaning. Be sure to remind your customers that if they’re going to inspect equipment, they need to turn the power off before doing so.
- Disable constant heating or cooling. During a mild weather season there is typically little demand for constant heating or cooling. This low demand can lead to HVAC equipment regularly cycling between heating and cooling if the equipment is set in auto mode or does not have the appropriate deadband settings. To alleviate this and the energy waste that comes with it, help your customer learn to disable auto mode. Using phone or video chat, coach them through finding the right operating mode. If selecting heating or cooling only is not an option, ensure there is at least a 5-degree deadband between heating and cooling setpoints. If the unit is not responsible for providing outside air ventilation, you could suggest turning it off all together. After all, there’s no better way to save energy than not using it at all!
For more HVAC tips and best practices, search the Trade Ally Network website or contact your regional field specialist.