Why regular maintenance is imperative for PTAC efficiency


This article is the final part in a three-part series on PTACs. Here is part one and here is part two.

To prevent costly repairs, regular cleaning of packaged terminal air conditioners is imperative. PTAC units need to be cleaned, disinfected and deodorized on a regular basis.

“Preventative maintenance allows owner-operators to see problems in advance and save energy,” said Don Wojcik, national hospitality manager, air conditioning for LG. “This allows the unit to stay up and running and hotels don’t lose revenue on the room, waiting for spare parts to come in.”

“You should never lessen the recommended cleaning schedule, only increase it based on your hotel’s environment and the room usage,” he said.

Cleaning the filters should be incorporated into a hotel’s regular housekeeping schedule. LG would normally recommend cleaning the filters monthly but in the high-use summer months, Wojcik recommends cleaning them weekly. “Just having housekeeping rinsing them off and putting them back in the PTAC will help keep the machine running optimally,” he said. “They will last longer and operate at a high efficiency level.”

Douglas Mackemer, national director of parts, supplies and specialized equipment for Carrier Enterprise, also recommends changing the filter consistently. “The time frame is dependent on the traffic in the room,” he said. “It is proportional to something like replacing the carpet, tile or other flooring.”

Wojcik also recommends flushing the evaporator coil regularly. In addition to allowing the PTAC to work more successfully and efficiently, it will remove the moldy smell that can sometimes occur. Mackemer said a few times a year, maintenance should completely clean and rinse the drain pins as well as the coils.

Deep cleaning the evaporator and condenser coils of PTAC units removes the dirt, debris and mold that is embedded inside that inhibits the exchange process, creates poor indoor air quality and reduces the life of the PTAC unit. The cleaning process enables the coils to return to their originally designed performance capacity by increasing airflow and optimizing efficiency.

“I’ve seen four-year PTACs that look worse than decade-old PTACs, all because they weren't properly take care of,” Mackemer said. “Proper cleaning and maintenance is crucial.”