Installation and maintenance of an HVAC system are one of few essential features of any building. This system plays a significant role in maintaining a comfortable indoor climate in any residential or commercial building. This being said, industrial HVAC systems are a lot more complicated as compared to home systems. As they take higher loads and face some diverse challenges when it comes to heating and cooling indoor air. Before we move on to the basic problems faced by commercial HVAC systems and commercial HVAC maintenance & repair methods, let us first understand the basic differences between a commercial HVAC system and a residential HVAC system:
Residential HVAC systems vs Commercial HVAC systems:
Some of the key differences between commercial and residential HVAC systems are:
The main components of commercial systems include a condenser, condenser fan, compressor, evaporator, and drainage components. All these components come in self-contained cabinets which are pre-packaged. Residential HVAC systems come in two parts, one being the indoor unit containing the evaporator coils. But the outdoor unit contains condenser and compressor coils.
Commercial HVAC systems are installed on the roof. Because they can create some unwanted noise pollution if fitted inside a commercial building. Residential HVAC systems are fitted partly inside and partly outside as they have separate indoor and outdoor units. Air conditioner maintenance becomes easier when the unit is installed at a convenient location.
This is one of the main differences between these two systems. Residential systems come with a set heating and cooling capacity in a fixed size. So you cannot go above or below the set capacities as they are locked by the manufacturer. Commercial systems are different, and they can be modified as per the requirements. By adding or removing heating/cooling components to make the building air more comfortable as per the climate. You can also add furnaces but furnace maintenance is a bit complicated so you should read some furnace maintenance tips before attempting it. Furnace maintenance cost can also go high.
Commercial HVAC systems require extensive drainage systems as produce large amounts of moisture during condensation. A thorough drainage system helps in removing that moisture away from the building for disposal. Residential systems do not produce a lot of moisture so a small pan can also be used to collect the moisture.
Residential HVAC systems usually release the exhaust into the open air through their outdoor units. But commercial systems have special elements to handle the massive exhaust emitting from the powerful heating and cooling components.
Also Read – Top 9 Benefits Of A Humidifier
Some HVAC Troubleshoot that owner face in common!
If you are a commercial business owner, a large part of your monthly and yearly expenses must be towards the maintenance of your facilities or factory. Energy costs are a major component of this maintenance cost as commercial HVAC repair is important and requires huge investments. Regular inspection and maintenance of commercial HVAC systems is a must if you want to maintain a comfortable atmosphere inside the building.
Problems that cause AC compressor failure:
Since the systems are completely different, the design and types of equipment used in the commercial counterparts are also different. There can be many issues which can make you think that you need to call a commercial HVAC repair technician for AC maintenance. But it is advisable to first identify the issue. Some of the common commercial HVAC problems and troubles include:
- Failure of the system to turn on
- Loss of capacity
- Loss of air flow
- Reduced output temperatures.
These are the significant issues normally encountered with commercial HVAC systems. But there can be many other small problems which can be repaired by a certified HVAC technician easily at a nominal cost.
Major causes of common commercial HVAC problems:
The thermostat is the main control element of the HVAC system. And is often the most common cause of many commercial HVAC issues. It is fairly inexpensive as compared to the whole HVAC system so your problem might just get solved either by repairing the thermostat or replacing it with a new one. The screen of the thermostat should be functioning properly and displaying correct temperatures.
Lack of regular maintenance
If regular maintenance is skipped at times or ignored altogether, your HVAC system can develop severe problems in the long run. As regular maintenance keeps the system working smoothly and efficiently. Preventive maintenance is done by a certified HVAC technician once a year can bring down your commercial air conditioning repair costs significantly. Sign an agreement with a local HVAC agency for air filter maintenance and make things easier as it is very common to forget about these maintenance inspections.
Lack of refrigerant
Some HVAC systems can lose their efficiency if the liquid that cools the air is absent or is leaking through escape. This liquid is called a refrigerant, and lack of it can make the system work harder to make for the lost cooling.
Clogged air filters
Another common issue encountered in commercial systems is blocked air filters. Air filters collect the impurities in the air and clean the indoor air for maintaining the health of people working or living inside the building. A clogged filter can reduce the efficiency of the system significantly and quality maintenance is absolutely essential. It also increases your repair and maintenance costs over time as the air cannot flow freely through the filters thereby reducing the amount of air needed by the system to work efficiently.
This is a major cause of inconsistent heating or cooling in a commercial HVAC system as air leaks through the ductwork can put additional load on the system to heat or cool the building in an optimum way.
Some other not so common reasons include a broken door switch or a faulty fan motor which can also lead to issues in the working of the HVAC system.
Commercial HVAC repair checklist:
We have compiled a commercial HVAC repair checklist for commercial building owners. Those who want to maintain their HVAC systems to cut down on huge repair costs and optimize the energy consumption. This checklist will help you diagnose the problems occurring in your HVAC system and help you understand how to solve at a minimal cost.
WHEN TO SCHEDULE ANNUAL MAINTENANCE:
The main steps you should follow when you want to diagnose the problem with your commercial HVAC system are:
- Make sure that your thermostat has working batteries. Place it in a place where direct sunlight does not shine on it as this can alter the HVAC temperatures.
- Upgrade your old system to a high-efficiency system to cut down on costs significantly. Save on repair costs of old equipment which need regular maintenance.
- Check the coolant/refrigerant level in the system and get it refilled if the level is low or the liquid is not present at all.
- Clean the air filters and remove all the dirt and dust particles trapped inside to maintain an uninterrupted air flow inside the building.
- Check if any air return duct is blocked by any furniture, boxes, or big machines and remove the items to allow continuous air flow in the system.
- Check for trapped ducts or crimped portions of a duct. If your ductwork is crimped, it can be repaired easily. If parts of the duct are sucked into the air conditioning unit, stop the complete system immediately as this can be a fire hazard.
- An overheated compressor due to overload is another common issue encountered in central heating and air conditioning systems. Reducing the usage for some time can solve this problem easily, but if it doesn’t, it is time to change the compressor.
- Check the fuse or circuit breaker if your ac unit just stops working abruptly or does not start at all.
- Inspect all the ducts, blowers, and filters to check for obstruction.
- Install a zone control system in the building if one area of the building is not used as much as the other area of the building to cut down on repair issues arising because of an increased load.
So these are some of the basics of commercial HVAC systems and the major problems you can encounter with these systems and their causes. This commercial HVAC repair checklist will help you diagnose the issue so that you can cut down on repair and hvac maintenance costs significantly and carry out your annual AC maintenance comfortably.