Why Your Commercial HVAC System May Be Malfunctioning
If you run a business in Madison, FL, you understand the importance of your commercial HVAC system. Effective temperature management is critical to the comfort of both employees and customers. Here are several factors that can affect HVAC performance and may cause your system to malfunction:
The first item on the list isn’t an HVAC system component, but it’s one of the primary reasons for system malfunctions. Periodic HVAC maintenance is a critical requirement for commercial HVAC systems to function effectively.
Regular maintenance prolongs the life of an HVAC system and catches potential issues before they become emergencies. Delaying preventive maintenance allows smaller issues to develop into more significant problems.
HVAC maintenance isn’t top of mind for most people. A good option to overcome the tendency to forget about it is to enter into a maintenance agreement. A licensed service technician will schedule your maintenance for you so you don’t have to keep track of it.
If you receive frequent calls about spaces in your business being too hot or too cold, you most likely have a problem with the airflow in your system. Blocked air returns, which don’t allow air to return to the air handler, are likely culprits. Another cause could be leaking air ducts that don’t deliver the conditioned air to the desired location.
If your HVAC system seems to run a lot for short periods (a phenomenon called short cycling,) your HVAC system may not be the correct size. Oversized systems operate inefficiently, while undersized systems fail to provide effective temperature management.
Both undersized and oversized systems lead to increased utility costs and contribute to premature failure. The only correction to fix an improperly sized unit is to replace it with one that’s exactly the right size for your building.
If you notice oil around the connections and fittings of the compressor, there’s a good chance you have a refrigerant leak. As refrigerant evaporates from the leak, your system loses the ability to effectively cool, leading to a potential system failure.
A scrambled compressor will appear to function normally but gives audible cues that there’s a problem inside. Scrambled compressors run much louder than normal ones. They will emit a loud hum and short cycle as they run.
A condenser may also leak refrigerant. To identify a leaking condenser, look for oil around the condenser fittings and lines.
The condenser coils may clog, reducing airflow through the coils and the cooling effect. A visual inspection will determine the condition of the coils. Clogged coils reduce airflow and lead to diminished system performance.
The condenser fan is another critical part of the system. If the fan is failing, it’ll impede system operation. To check the condition of the fan, conduct a visual inspection of the wires and listen to the fan while it’s running. If you hear bearing noise, short cycling or excessive fan vibration, consider replacing the condenser fan.
The purpose of the air filter is to filter contaminants before they can get to the evaporator coils. If the air filter is dirty or the wrong size, airflow into the evaporator may contain dirt and other contaminants, clogging the evaporator and reducing airflow.
The economizer should engage when the outdoor air temperature drops below 55 degrees. Dirt buildup or faulty outside air cleaners may be responsible for a faulty economizer.
If you have concerns about your current commercial HVAC system, reach out to Waller Heating & Air Conditioning today. Our service techs will review your current system and discuss your options at a time that’s convenient for you. Don’t let a pass on routine maintenance today turn into costlier issues down the road.
Image provided by iStock