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What is Wrong with Your Commercial HVAC System?

by Kenneth Eres on Feb 25, 2020

A malfunctioning HVAC unit is a building owner’s headache that typically gets worse the longer it’s ignored! Because of HVAC systems heat and cool commercial buildings including your office area, production facility, and warehouse, they must work optimally at all times. Figuring out what’s wrong with an HVAC unit is a challenge, and it’s often hard to decide which commercial HVAC contractor to call when your system needs servicing. To better understand your HVAC system and what you might be facing by way of repairs, not a few things that might be wrong with your commercial HVAC system.

What Should You Keep Your Commercial HVAC Good Repair?

Even if you don’t occupy a commercial building you own, the HVAC system must stay in good working order year-round. If a building’s HVAC system fails, employees are often sent home; in turn, your tenants might lose money due to a work stoppage which means they’ll probably be shopping for a new building to occupy before long!

A well-working HVAC system in good repair also saves energy, lowering a tenant’s or your utility costs. Buildings that save energy also improve the environment, so much so that government agencies might give tax breaks to owners who run energy-efficient buildings. Note, too, that a  well-maintained HVAC system has a longer lifespan. Since an HVAC system is a huge investment, it’s vital to keep it in good repair as long as possible.

Common Commercial HVAC  System Problems

Commercial HVAC systems will have problems from time to time, no matter the quality of the brand or age of the appliances. Note some of the most common problems to watch for in your HVAC system.

Over time various parts of your HVAC system simply break. Belts, bearings and motors age and wear down and need repairs or replacement.

If your AC trips the HVAC system circuit breaker, the unit could be overheating. Also, if something is blocking the airflow around the compressor, this makes the unit work overtime so that it trips the circuit breaker.

Dirt builds up on the AC system’s coils. A layer of dirt prevents proper airflow over the coils so that heat won’t flow through them. If the building isn’t staying cool,  which is a common and serious issue, a dirty condenser could be the problem.

Commercial HVAC filters must be changed routinely. In the summer, they need replacing every month, but some commercial buildings’ HVAC system filters should be changed monthly all year round.

Over time, burners, flame sensors and pilot lights age and break down or simply wear out. These features should be checked regularly for signs of aging.

Water pooling around an HVAC unit is a bad sign. Leakage is often a sign of a clogged or cracked drain line. Water leaks could also be a problem with the collector box, heat exchanger or evaporator.

Unusual noises coming from a commercial HVAC means trouble. A screeching, popping or banging noise should be checked by professional HVAC services right away, as they often indicate worn bearings, broken belts, and other serious issues.

A low battery is a problem for a commercial thermostat. Check the batteries in the unit’s thermostat regularly to be sure they’re fully charged. Change the batteries at least annually or as often as indicated by your HVAC system’s manufacturer.

How To Keep Your Commercial HVAC  System Running Efficiently

As a commercial building owner, you need reliable maintenance personnel to oversee the care of your building. Your on-site building engineer can typically troubleshoot HVAC system problems to keep the system running well. Here are some tips for keeping your commercial HVAC system running well:

  • Change the filters regularly. Dirty filters affect an HVAC system while clean filters allow proper airflow and better circulation which helps your HVAC system to heat and cool quicker.
  • Pilot lights, igniters, and other electrical parts need replacing periodically.
  • Thermostats can be the source of many HVAC system problems. If the settings are wrong, it can upset the way the system works. Newer, digital controls alert you if there’s a problem, making regular maintenance easier.

Check all the seals of your HVAC system to see if they’re working correctly.

What Type of Commercial HVAC  System Works Best?

Several commercial HVAC systems work well in office buildings and commercial sites. Note a few differences between them so you can choose the best one for your business.

  • Most large office buildings use chiller for cooling only. A boiler provides heat in the winter.
  • A mini-split system is often used in a small, dedicated area, often a computer equipment room or for areas without ductwork, such as a guard shack, warehouse, and the like.
  • A single split system is best used in smaller businesses like cafes, shops, and small offices. In a single split system, the unit is self-contained inside the building with an exhaust coil running outside an exterior wall.
  • When a building contains multiple indoor units and a single larger outdoor unit, this is called a multi-split system. Doctor’s offices, retail shops, and larger office spaces all use multi-split HVAC systems. Hotels also use multi-split systems, allowing each room to have its cooling system and controls.
  • A heat pump system uses Freon, a type of refrigerant, in the heating and cooling lines. Heat pumps also transfer heat from one space to another, to help control indoor temperatures.
  • Variable air volume systems use a single-duct supply and return. This appliance can increase or decrease airflow to a specific zone depending upon heating and cooling needs.

Despite its warm summertime weather, winter temperatures can be in the lower to mid-40s. In this type of climate, it’s important that your commercial HVAC system cools and heats your building properly year-round. Whatever your choice of a commercial HVAC  system, ensure it’s always working and ready to respond to your demands for a comfortable interior environment!

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