Maintenance Guide

PTAC Preventive Maintenance Checklist

PTACS | Last Updated on December 08, 2020

Direct Supply PTAC mounted to a wall

PTACs , or packaged terminal air conditioners, are an important part of Senior Living and other healthcare facilities. Keeping PTAC units in peak condition offers many benefits, including:

Protecting residents from dangerous temperature extremes . Elderly residents have a limited ability to adapt to rapid temperature changes, so it’s important to provide steady temperature levels. F-Tag 257 states that facilities “must provide comfortable and safe temperature levels,” and goes on to recommend a “temperature range of 71° to 81°F.”

Well-functioning PTAC units save energy and money . Properly maintaining your PTAC units can curb heating and cooling costs. This can result in annual energy savings of $40 to $50* per PTAC. Properly maintained PTAC units are also less likely to make unnecessary noise.

Proper maintenance extends equipment life . Catching small problems before they impair the PTAC’s operation can reduce the need for replacement parts and expensive service calls, while benefiting your HVAC system overall.

*Numbers based on national energy price average

PTAC Monthly Maintenance

PTAC Front Filters

Clean PTAC air filters at least once each month, or more often in a new facility or one with new carpeting. Clogged filters can cause major damage to your PTAC system components. In fact, dirty filters can decrease HVAC operating efficiency by as much as 20% while reducing energy costs.

To clean the PTAC filter:

1. Turn off and unplug the PTAC unit.

2. Remove the PTAC filters (for some PTACs, you may need to remove the front panel to access the filters).

PTAC filter being removed from the unit

3. Vacuum accumulated dust and dirt off the filters.

PTAC filter being vacuumed to remove dust and dirt

4. Discard damaged filters.

Damaged PTAC filter being discarded

5. Rinse filters under running water.

PTAC filter being rinsed under running water

6. Return filters to the PTAC and replace discarded filters with new ones. Complete this before plugging in and turning on the PTAC.

PTAC filter being returned to the unit

Keeping extra filters on hand will reduce potential heating and/or cooling downtime. You can trade them in to replace the dirty filters and have your PTACs running right away. Afterward, clean your dirty PTAC filters so they are ready for the next replacement cycle.

PTAC Room-Side Front Cover

Cleaning the room-side front cover of your PTAC unit on a monthly basis prevents dust and debris from settling on it. Dust can cause operational problems in the PTAC unit.

To clean the PTAC’s room-side front cover:

1. Turn off and unplug the PTAC unit.

2. Remove the room-side front cover.

3. Remove dust and dirt from the cover with a vacuum and soft brush attachment.

Dust and dirt being removed from PTAC front cover using soft brush

4. Clean the exterior of the cover with a mild soap and water solution.

PTAC exterior being cleaned with mild soap and water

5. Allow the cover to dry completely and reinstall before turning the PTAC back on.

PTAC cover being placed back onto the unit

PTAC Outdoor Vent Filter

If your PTAC unit operates with the outdoor vents open, clean the vent filter monthly to ensure it operates as efficiently as possible. This will keep air flowing freely. If the vents are closed, cleaning is not needed.

To clean the PTAC’s outdoor vent filter:

1. Turn off and unplug the PTAC unit.

2. Remove the room-side front cover.

3. Pull the PTAC from the sleeve and remove the filter.

4. Vacuum accumulated dust and dirt off the filter.

5. Rinse the filter with running water and allow it to dry completely.

6. Remove any dirt or debris from the bottom of the PTAC.

Dirt and debris being removed from the bottom of the PTAC unit

7. Replace the filter and slide the PTAC back into the sleeve.

PTAC filter slid back into the unit

8. Reattach the cover, plug in the PTAC and turn it on.

PTAC Seasonal Maintenance

PTAC Indoor Evaporator Coil

An air filter with dust and dirt on it can cause operational problems. To clean the PTAC:

1. Turn off and unplug the PTAC unit.

2. Remove the room-side front cover.

3. Inspect the evaporator coil for debris.

PTAC evaporator coil being inspected for debris

4. If PTAC cleaning is necessary, use a vacuum and soft brush to remove dust and debris.

Dust and dirt being removed from PTAC using soft brush

5. If more PTAC cleaning is needed, use a spray bottle with a mild cleaner and vacuum the liquid with a wet/dry vacuum. Completely cover the electronic control box and knob area with plastic, held securely with duct tape.

PTAC being cleaned with mild solution

6. Let the PTAC dry completely before reattaching the cover and turning it back on.

PTAC Blower Wheel

Keep your blower wheel clean to keep your PTAC unit operating efficiently. To keep things running smoothly, use the following cleaning process:

1. Turn off and unplug the PTAC unit.

2. Remove the room-side front cover.

3. Use a vacuum with a soft brush attachment to clean off each blower wheel blade.

PTAC blower wheel blade being cleaned with a soft brush

4. Run the vacuum brush along the blower scroll surrounding the blower wheel to clean out additional debris.

PTAC blower scroll being cleaned with a soft brush

5. Reattach the cover, plug in the PTAC and turn it on.

If you are worried about fungus or debris falling into a coil, insert a piece of cardboard between the blower wheel and the opening in the blower scroll.

PTAC Outdoor Condenser Coil & Base Pan

Dirty outdoor coils can increase your heating and cooling bills while decreasing the life of your PTAC units. PTACs located on lower floors tend to get dirtier than PTACs on upper floors and should be checked seasonally.

Outdoor coils on these PTACs may need to be cleaned more often to prevent premature failure of the compressor. This is especially true if the PTACs are exposed to construction sites, freeways, flowering trees and other pollutants.

To conduct this PTAC maintenance:

1. Turn off and unplug the PTAC unit.

2. Remove the room-side front cover.

3. Pull the PTAC from the wall sleeve and move it to an area with a service drain.

PTAC unit being pulled from wall sleeve

4. Remove plastic shroud to access the PTAC coils and base pan. Check the inside of the condenser coil for dirt or soot buildup.

PTAC coils and base pan being accessed

5. Vacuum debris from the base pan using a wet/dry vac.

PTAC base pan being vacuumed

6. Apply a mild coil cleaner to coils and base pan with a spray bottle and rinse out using a hose with a spray attachment.

Mild cleaner being applied to PTAC coils and base pan

7. Vacuum remaining moisture with a wet/dry vac. Reattach plastic shroud after PTAC has dried completely.

Remaining moisture in PTAC being vacuumed

8. Return the PTAC to the room and reinstall into the wall sleeve. Reattach the cover, plug in the PTAC and turn it on.

PTAC Wall Sleeve

Checking your wall sleeve can be done while completing any of the other seasonal PTAC maintenance steps when your PTAC is removed from the wall.

This includes:

1. Check the caulking around the sleeve to ensure the air and water openings are properly sealed. Caulk on all four sides, both inside and outside. Recaulk as necessary.

Caulking being checked around PTAC wall sleeve

2. Check the level of the wall sleeve. It should be slightly tilted to the outside – about ¼ of the level of the bubble – or exactly level if an internal drain system is used. Relevel as necessary to ensure proper drainage.

A level should be used to ensure proper PTAC drainage

PTAC Post-Maintenance Check: Clearance and Operation

After performing maintenance on your PTAC unit, verify it is operating properly.

1. Ensure indoor intake air and outdoor discharge air paths are not restricted or blocked. For proper operation, an 8-inch clearance is recommended between the PTAC and furniture or other surroundings.

PTAC unit mounted to a wall with enough clearance

2. Check the front cover for proper mounting. Inspect the cord and secure the electrical connections.

PTAC power cord being inspected

3. Verify the push buttons and knobs are in place and operational. The PTAC should work properly in heating and cooling modes.

PTAC modes being checked for proper operation

Keeping Track of PTAC Maintenance

It is important to keep track of the maintenance performed on each PTAC unit in your facility. That way, when responsibilities or staff change, other members can see what has been completed and what is next on the list.

Download the PTAC maintenance schedule to track each unit .

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