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Protecting Your Equipment is Easy With These Regular Maintenance & Upkeep Tips 

article Published on 2020-03-06

A well-maintained system will be reliable and more energy-efficient. With regular preventative maintenance, your Heatcraft equipment will run like the workhorse we designed it to be. Do you know the recommended service times?

How often should you perform preventative maintenance on your units?

Depending on the equipment, a technician should service your equipment every three, six, or twelve months. To simplify this schedule for you, we summarized the basic maintenance steps for some of our most popular product lines.

For Unit Coolers, including reach-in, step-in, walk-in, refrigerated warehouse, glycol, and CO2 unit coolers - a maintenance call is advised every six months, or sooner if there are signs of clogging. During this bi-annual maintenance, a visual inspection should be completed. After this overall assessment, we recommend cleaning the evaporator coil and blades, verifying all of the fans have unobstructed airflow, inspecting wiring and electrical components, and observing the refrigeration cycle.

Air-Cooled Condensing Units should be serviced every three, six, and twelve months. A high-level visual inspection should be performed every three months. Twice a year, the condenser coil and blades should be cleaned, the condenser fan checked for normal operation and unobstructed airflow, an electrical inspection of all the wiring, and a review of the refrigeration cycle. Additionally, once a year the technician should submit an oil sample for analysis and inspect the suction accumulator.

Air-Cooled Condensers / Fluid Coolers: Every six months, or sooner if there is clogging or fouling of air passages, routine maintenance on an Air-Cooled Condenser or Fluid Cooler should include: a visual inspection, condenser coil and blade cleaning, an airflow check of all fans, and an electrical wiring and component inspection.

For contractors and service technicians, these maintenance tasks are routine. By hiring a Heatcraft Certified Contractor, the end-user can ensure equipment is receiving optimal care by a qualified professional.

As a reference, we are providing this simple visual aid which clarifies the maintenance schedule:


As the qualified technician performs your scheduled maintenance, he/she will be carefully observing, testing, cleaning, and analyzing your system.

Visual Inspection

Check for signs of corrosion on fins, cabinet, copper tubing, and solder joints, excessive or unusual vibration of fan blades or sheet metal panels. Look for oil stains on headers, return bends, and coil fins. Check any suspect areas for leaks with an electronic leak detector. Check drain pan to ensure that drain is clear of debris, obstructions or ice buildup and is free draining.

Clean evaporator coil and blades

Periodic cleaning can be accomplished by using a brush, pressurized water or a commercially available evaporator coil cleaner or mild detergent. Never use an acid based cleaner. Follow label directions for appropriate use of cleaning agents. Be sure the product you use is approved for use for your particular application. Flush and rinse coil until no residue remains. Pay close attention to drain pan, drain line and trap.

Check the operation of all fans and ensure airflow is unobstructed:

Check that each fan rotates freely and quietly. Replace any fan motor that does not rotate smoothly or makes an unusual noise. Check all fan set screws and tighten if needed. Check all fan blades for signs of stress or wear. Replace any blades that are worn, cracked or bent. Verify that all fan motors are securely fastened to the motor rail. Lubricate motors if applicable.

Inspect electrical wiring and components

Visually inspect all wiring for wear, kinks, bare areas and discoloration. Replace any wiring found to be damaged. Verify that all electrical and ground connections are secure, tighten if necessary. Check operation/calibration of all fan cycle and defrost controls when used. Look for abnormal accumulation of ice patterns and adjust defrost cycles accordingly. Compare actual defrost heater amp draw against unit data plate. Visually inspect heaters to ensure even surface contact with the coil. If heaters have crept, decrease defrost termination temperature and be sure you have even coil frost patterns. Re-align heaters as needed. Check drain line heat tape for proper operation.

Refrigeration Cycle

Check suction, discharge and net oil pressure readings. If abnormal, take appropriate action. Check operation of demand cooling, liquid injection or unloaders if so equipped. Check pressure drop across all filters and driers, replace as required. Verify that superheat at the compressor conforms to specification. (30°F to 45°F). Check pressure and safety control settings and verify proper operation.

Oil Samples

In addition to quarterly and semiannual maintenance checks, your contractor will submit an oil sample for analysis. Look for evidence of acid or moisture. Change oil and driers until test results read normal. High metal concentrations should be analyzed and diagnosed.

Inspect suction accumulator (if equipped)

If the accumulator is insulated, your technician will likely remove insulation and inspect for leaks and corrosion. Pay close attention to all copper to steel brazed connections Wire brush all corroded areas and peeling paint.

By scheduling your equipment’s recommended maintenance in advance and hiring a Heatcraft Certified Contractor, your investment can operate more efficiently, conserve more energy, and even help save on energy costs. When is your unit due for service?