The process of maintaining an HVAC system for peak efficiency is part art and part science. Thankfully, there are more and more diagnostic tools in the market today that give the advantage to science. When combined with rigorous training and field experience, these diagnostic tools enable technicians to use quantitative data and measurements to adjust and repair HVAC units.

Proper maintenance of rooftop HVAC units provides a number of benefits, ranging from energy efficiency to improved air quality. It’s important to note that changing or cleaning filters is just one piece of the annual maintenance — technicians with the right equipment can also measure and correct airflow or refrigerant charge. By providing advanced services, technicians are helping unit owners save money as well as reduce their impact on the environment.

A properly maintained commercial air conditioning unit not only optimizes performance but also keeps building occupants comfortable and safe. Inspecting and maintaining an a/c unit makes it run efficiently, reduces energy costs, extends the lifespan of that unit, and decreases risks and costs for emergency service calls and repairs. A clean, optimized system also minimizes risks of airborne contaminants, mold, mildew, and dust.

Because the operating environment can have such a major impact on the efficiency of any climate control system, diagnostic tools help to identify and account for those factors in a way that makes the analysis more reliable. The availability and implementation of these tools have helped to level the playing field for technicians, giving them a way to provide consistent service in any location or situation.

The best diagnostic tools are not cheap, but they are definitely worth the investment. In some programs, the tools and training may be provided at no cost, or the cost may be offset with incentives. For example, in New York, the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) offers an HVAC Partner program that supports the efforts of HVAC contractors, manufacturers, and distributors to improve the availability of energy-efficient HVAC equipment and maintenance services. As part of that program, qualified service and maintenance companies are provided incentives for an advanced diagnostic tool and the associated training is provided at no charge.

When technicians leverage the best tools and knowledge to service commercial HVAC units, everyone wins. By increasing efficiency, reducing energy consumption, and improving air quality, professionals provide their clients with outstanding service. Good old-fashioned experience, coupled with advanced diagnostic tools, allows HVAC technicians to take maintenance to the next level and vastly improve the efficiency of commercial rooftop units.