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Essential Retail Services - FAQ's

Why Do We Need HVAC Preventive Maintenance?

Manufacturers require PM Servicing in order to maintain their Warranty. PM Service minimizes breakdowns and extends equipment life!

Imagine not providing oil or fluids in your car, and then the engine fails.

OSHA requires Preventive Maintenance and all owners must demonstrate compliance.


In HVAC, failure is much sooner. It can cause damage almost immediately. Dirty filters, a loose belt, or low freon can cause water leaks. Dirty Coils can cause your compressor to fail 60% earlier, and cost you 30-60% more in energy consumption. 1 degree of Thermostat adjustment can increase energy consumption by 10%! Low Freon Levels will reduce cooling and cause your compressor to run longer. Any small failure will easily work itself into a big failure.

Manufacturers usually require PM Service frequently each year, based on your hours of operation, and geographical area.

Can We Purchase Filters Which Last Longer?

Yes. There are many types of filters, but most will specify Glass Fiber as the most inexpensive. Pleated Filters are the most requested when you are trying to extend filter life. The cost is usually two-three times, but delivers a much improved air quality with much longer lasting results.

When Should I Change Out The Unit?

Typically, the components of an HVAC Unit will begin to fail after 5 years. The compressors, however, should last 8-12 years. Units should be considered for replacement after 12 years, or sooner, if they experience hardship or lack of servicing.

A unit can be considered like your car. When the engine fails, it is like the compressor on the unit. It is a large single cost and it must be weighed against the age of the Unit. If your Car has other subtle problems or is getting older, you would probably want a new car. The same is true for your HVAC Unit.

What Is A Good PM Program?

A PM Program is designed to meet several needs such as:

1) Equipment and Condition

2) Operating Location & Hours

3) Your Budget

The manufacturer wants to provide you with uninterrupted use and maintain optimum operating performance. The frequency of a PM Service is usually determined based on operating hours. Therefore, the following recommendations are made:

  1. Commercial/Retail - should seek 4 times per year, as a minimum.
  2. Residential - should seek 2 times per year, as a minimum.

Programs can include basically 3 types:

Inspection: Check, calibrate, lubricate, adjust, and filter replacement. Belt Replacement, Condenser & Evaporative Coil Cleaning are optional.

Labor Coverage: Includes the Inspection Services, plus all repair labor. This allows the customer to have one price for all labor!

Full Coverage: Includes the Labor Only Services, plus all materials and parts. All maintainable HVAC Equipment is covered for one price!


Am I Required To Maintain HVAC Systems?

OSHA Regulations require Preventive Maintenance on HVAC Systems!

FEDERAL OSHA REGULATIONS stated the following:

OSHA, therefore, believes that is necessary to require maintenance of the HVAC system components that directly affect IAQ, since failure top do so results in the degradation of IAQ. Standard of HVAC maintenance vary and sometimes are deficient where untrained personnel are designated to maintain complex systems.

Essential Retail Services believes OASH requires HVAC maintenance to comply with manufacturer requirements, at a minimum. Although manufacturers will vary, we find service to be required at a minimum of quarterly inspection and service, combined with Annual Services. We believe that these services provided by a "Verifiably Trained" Technician, with credentials showing their qualifications.

OSHA can levy extensive fines where compliance has not been adhered. Personnel injury cases will trigger a routine investigation and proof of compliance will be requested.


The HVAC System shall be inspected at least annually, and problems found during these Inspections shall be corrected within a reasonable time.

Inspections and maintenance of the HVAC system shall be documented in writing. The employer shall record the name and individual(s) inspecting and/or maintaining the system, the date of the inspection and/or maintenance, and specific findings and actions taken. The employer shall ensure that such records are retained at least five years.

The employer shall make all records required by this section available for examination and copying, within 48 hours of a request, to any authorized representative of the Division (as defined in Section 3207), to any employee of the employer affected by this section.