How Do Heat Exchangers Work, and How to Maintain Them This Winter

As part of any commercial HVAC system, a heat exchanger plays an essential role to the heating process, especially during the colder months of the year.

As we approach the winter season, NYC commercial buildings should arrange  for preventive maintenance for their commercial HVAC systems. As part of this process, a professional commercial HVAC technician will perform a thorough inspection of the entire heating system, including the heat exchanger. 


  • How Do Commercial HVAC Heat Exchangers Work?
  • How to Maintain Your Commercial HVAC Heat Exchanger
  • Winter Maintenance Tips for Commercial HVAC

How Do Commercial HVAC Heat Exchangers Work?

A heat exchanger is an HVAC component that is responsible for transferring thermal energy from one medium to another.

Heat exchangers not only aid in the heating of commercial buildings during the winter months, but they also aid in the performance of commercial HVAC machinery and building equipment by increasing their effectiveness and efficiency.

How to Maintain Your Commercial HVAC Heat Exchanger

Ensuring all of the heating-specific functions of the HVAC system, including the burner, heat exchanger, and fuel connections, are working properly prior to the onset of cold weather is a crucial task to complete as part of regular commercial HVAC preventive maintenance during the winter months.

By making sure all heating components are functioning properly, buildings will be better prepared to combat the effects of winter freezes. Below are a few ways building and facilities managers can ensure proper function of their commercial HVAC heat exchangers:

  • To achieve efficient heat exchange, all heat exchangers require clean and adequately coated tubes. 
  • Tube covers must be thoroughly checked and cleaned to ensure that there are no holes in the seals that keep the contents contained.
  • As part of standard commercial HVAC preventive maintenance, heat exchangers will benefit from multiple inspections throughout the year to ensure their life and performance. 

Winter Maintenance Tips for Commercial HVAC

When it comes to commercial HVAC for the winter months, a properly functioning heat exchanger is only the beginning to the crafting of a well-executed preventive maintenance strategy. The following are important elements that every successful commercial HVAC winter maintenance plan should include: 

  • Air filter inspection and replacement
  • Belt lubrication and replacement
  • Blower assembly inspection and cleaning
  • Compressor inspection
  • Condenser cabinet and coil inspection and cleaning
  • Drip pan, evaporator coil, and condenser line inspection and cleaning
  • Duct system inspection
  • Fan motor and blade inspection and lubrication
  • Heat exchanger inspection
  • Ignition switch cleaning
  • Refrigerant level check
  • Safety control testing
  • Thermostat check

Commercial HVAC system maintenance and tune-ups become even more important during the winter months, as the harmful effects of winter freezes can dramatically impact the performance of your heating equipment and overall building comfort. As such, it’s critical to perform routine maintenance tasks, such as lubrication of moving parts and replacement of old or broken components.

At Donnelly Mechanical, we provide a comprehensive range of preventative maintenance services for your HVAC system. To learn more about the HVAC solutions that are right for your building this winter, contact our team today

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