When the weather is too hot or cold, the last thing anyone wants is a malfunctioning HVAC unit. But time can catch up with even the best systems, and wear and tear can wreak sudden havoc on your business if you aren’t careful. That’s why it’s best to stay ahead of such issues before they become a problem.
If you think your commercial HVAC unit might be heading off a cliff, or you’re just trying to minimize potential issues before they occur, these are some things to look for.
A Change in Air Flow
If the air coming out of your company’s vents is weak or the flow is poor, something could be wrong with your system’s compressor. The compressor motor is what pulls air in from the outside in split-unit systems, treats it with coolant, and sends it through ducts and vents inside the building. Another sure sign of problems is when different parts of your facility feel cooler or warmer than others. This could be a sign your ducts or vents are clogged. If so, it’s probably time to get your ducts cleaned.
If your HVAC system starts making grinding, grating or squealing noises, it’s not something to ignore. It could be as minor as a loose belt, or it could signal the system is wearing out. Depending on the sound, this also could mean the metal components in the HVAC system need to be lubricated. The best way to find out is to call a professional to check out the system. Otherwise, routine maintenance should catch this issue before it becomes a problem.
Most HVAC systems have a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years. The older the system, the more prone it is to having problems—or breaking down altogether. However, more modern systems work more efficiently because they use less energy and can lower your utility costs. So if your company’s HVAC system is getting old, you should consider replacing it as soon as your budget allows.
A common problem in many HVAC systems is when the condensing unit becomes blocked. In outdoor units, this can be a buildup of leaves or other debris around the condenser. In mechanical rooms, units can be obstructed by other equipment or items being stored in the area. Whatever the reason, a blocked condenser can overheat if it doesn’t have enough air flow.
Often, the coils on a condenser unit can get so dirty they can’t release heat. This means your HVAC system has to work harder, overheating and causing air flow issues throughout the building. Coils should be cleaned once or twice a year to avoid this problem.
A sure sign of low refrigerant levels is when an HVAC system has poor air flow or isn’t cooling as well as it used to. Older systems are prone to this, often because they haven’t been maintained well and they begin to leak coolant.
If your HVAC system breaks or malfunctions frequently, it might be better to replace it than paying for costly repairs. It’s important to weigh this against the efficiency you’ll gain by having a new one installed.
We Can Help
If you would like to replace your HVAC system or need preventive maintenance services, give us a call or visit our website. Brandt Companies has more than 65 years of experience in mechanical, electrical and other services.