Preventative Maintenance HVAC Checklist


Maintaining a good preventative maintenance program for a piece of equipment will allow the equipment to last longer and save on expenses. The heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) industry has a basic preventative maintenance checklist available for every type of equipment used in the industry. Most manufacturers even provide supply a preventative maintenance program after installing the equipment.

Preventative Maintenance Schedule

  • Scheduling preventative maintenance (PM) on the equipment will depend on the use of the heating and cooling system. The cooling system needs PM before the equipment is to be used such as in the spring before it begins to get hot outside. The heating system is just the opposite, it should be checked in the fall before it will be used to heat the building or residence. Scheduling a PM is important before start-up of the equipment in order to find problems before they arise.

Cleaning Procedures

  • Every heating and cooling unit needs to be cleaned on a regular basis. This removes all the dirt from the working or movable components that will damage the units. The drain pans need to be checked and cleaned as well as the drain hole to ensure nothing is blocking the path. The fan and motor requires cleaning before use in order to remove the dirt and grime that accumulates during use or over the course of non-usage. All electrical boxes, contacts, breakers or other electrical components require a thorough inspection and cleaning before start-up.

During Operation

  • Operational PM is required to prevent stoppage of the equipment. All heating and cooling units must be inspected during use and should be part of any PM checklist. If a piece of equipment goes down during use it can cause undo hardship on the residents of a building or business. During use the checklist includes monitoring refrigeration levels, inspecting components, looking for unusual noises or odors as well as periodic cleaning of ventilation systems such as filters or vents.


  • Every good PM checklist is documented. This documentation makes it easier to determine when a piece of equipment needs to have PM performed. Items documented include the last findings on the oil levels, cooling levels and when the filters or vents were cleaned. A periodic review of all the documentation enables a maintenance person or homeowner to identify possible problems before they occur.

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