The Case of the Banging Fan

HVAC/PM

The Problem:

“We can barely hear ourselves eating over here.”

“What is that BANGING?”

“We didn’t come here for the noise.”

But noise was the dominant theme in one restaurant.  Customers described it as like eating in a metal shop, on a submarine or in a very old Pontiac.

The Restaurant’s store manager called SLM and reported that the HVAC was making such loud noises that the customers were complaining. She requested a technician be sent out, stat.

A certified HVAC technician was dispatched by SLM to inspect the HVAC unit.  As reported, the unit was making loud clanking and buzzing noises. To the tech, this was a sure sign of an unbalanced part.

The tech investigated further and discovered that the compressor had loosened over time. It also turned out that the restaurant had never done any scheduled preventive maintenance on their HVAC unit. Over time, the compressor and the fan blades worked themselves loose and shifted out of balance.

As the tech dug deeper, they discovered that the HVAC’s air filters were old and encrusted with dirt, dust, and other debris which hindered the filter for performing its job. An old filter can affect the quality of the air you breathe and should be changed quite frequently.  A/C units are designed to work with a certain amount of internal airflow. If that minimum isn’t met, the A/C could malfunction and ultimately fail as well as affect your energy bills, which could rise sharply as your system struggles to take in the air.

The Solution:

If the restaurant had been on an HVAC preventive maintenance program, the compressor and blades would have been tightened and the filters would have been changed during a scheduled maintenance visit. With an HVAC preventive maintenance program in place, there would have no rattling or banging, no upset customers, a lower monthly energy bill, and above all, there would have been no need for an emergency technician to be dispatched.

This example service call encapsulates the importance of implementing and keeping current with an HVAC preventive maintenance schedule.

Calling out an HVAC tech can cost around $85 per hour, plus possible travel charges. If parts must be replaced due to lack of maintenance, those costs can quickly skyrocket. Maintaining your HVAC system once each quarter is more cost effective than waiting for something to break down. Many companies make a large investment in an HVAC system, yet fail to properly maintain that system to guarantee peak efficiency and head off malfunctions before they begin.

A properly functioning HVAC system is one that will keep your location comfortable, cool and quiet for years to come. Most HVAC units may need emergency repairs from time to time, however, well-kept units are less likely to fail during the months of hard use. Keeping a unit up-to-date on all inspections and maintenance checks means less hassle and fewer unnecessary expenses.

BOTTOM LINE: Scheduled HVAC Preventive Maintenance results in:

    • Lower Utility Bills
    • Cleaner Air
    • Longer System Life
    • Increased Efficiency
    • Fewer Emergency Repairs

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