Common Commercial HVAC Problems and How to Fix
During the use of commercial HVAC systems, it is normal to deal with undesirable problems that come with it. This article will analyze common commercial HVAC problems and offer solutions for troubleshooting.
1. Common Commercial HVAC Problems
1.1. Short Cycling
When an air conditioner or furnace cycles on and off too frequently, it’s referred to a short cycling situation. The length of time that your HVAC system is actually operating is referred to as a “short-cycle,” and the shorter this cycle, the more effort your system must put forth.
Typically, the compressor runs continuously until the thermostat instructs it to stop. Short cycling can occur for a number of causes, such as a simple air filter blockage, a malfunctioning thermostat, or even low refrigerant levels brought on by leaks. If the short cycling situation is ignored, the HVAC system’s health may gradually deteriorate, costing more money in the long term.
1.2. Leaking Refrigerant
Refrigerants are liquid substances that enable air conditioning. Refrigerants are substances that cool and dehumidify interior air and are found inside the coils of HVAC systems. In commercial HVAC systems, refrigerant leaks are the most typical problem. Insufficient refrigerant prevents your unit from working properly and results in less-than-cold air produced.
If you find oil around the valves, service ports, or connections, or if it just isn’t blowing cool air, your air conditioner may be losing refrigerant. If refrigerant leaks are not repaired promptly, they can damage your HVAC system and cause more serious issues. This problem causes the condenser to work extra hard, which results in other – and more expensive – system difficulties in addition to making the interior of your building too hot (with unpleasant occupants).
1.3. Dirty Filters
Filters that are dirty or worn out make the air conditioner work harder, raising energy expenses and reducing the system’s lifespan. The lack of air movement through a clogged filter will cause the negative air pressure to draw air through gaps, fissures, and holes, dirtying the coil. A dirty coil must work twice as hard to heat or cool the building’s air and is unable to perform its duty effectively.
Your filters will work at their best when they are regularly checked and changed every three months. It will help improve your building’s indoor air quality by reducing dust, allergies, and other air pollutants.
1.4. Dirty Condenser Coils
An air conditioner’s capacity to produce cool air may be reduced if the condenser coil is dirty. A dirty condenser coil will be less efficient at transferring heat to the outside air, which will result in a less efficient cooling system. Utilizing an air conditioner with a dirty condenser coil could cause the machine to stop providing appropriate cooling for the building.
Take a split-system commercial HVAC unit with the evaporator coil on the inside of the building and the condenser coils on the outside for example. For packaged rooftop systems, both coils are together in the containment, often on the roof. The condenser coils assist in releasing heat outside. When they are dirty, which can be caused by a buildup of dust, trash, grass, leaves, animal hair, and other things, the heat transfer is diminished. According to an EPA study, condensing coils with as little as 0.042″ of dirt on them can lose 21 percent of their cooling capacity.
There may be a symphony of noises coming from your commercial HVAC system. These should be regarded as auditory warning signs that something is wrong. Possible noises include, but are not limited to, squeaking caused by a lack of lubricant in the motor, vibration from an unbalanced fan, thudding from an occupied fan, rattling from the blower or due to loose ducts, buzzing or hissing caused by a refrigerant leak, booming from a pilot light failing to ignite the furnace, and whistling from a boiler denoting trapped air or a blockage. If you hear something odd, it’s crucial to turn off your commercial HVAC system and immediately contact a technician.
1.6. Malfunctioning Economizer
An economizer aids in lowering cooling energy usage. A damper opens to gather the air for circulation into the business HVAC system when the outside air is dry and cooler than the interior air. The air temperature sensors in the economizer may malfunction or the dampers may become jammed if it isn’t operating at a specific external temperature. How prevalent is this issue? Nearly two-third of the 500 RTUs analyzed in a study by the New Building Institute had broken economizers.
1.7. Clogged Drain
Moisture is gathered on the evaporator coils and generates condensation as the refrigerant is changed from a liquid to a gas in the coils. The water is then intended to drain down a pipe. Slime accumulation could clog the drain if sufficient care isn’t taken to prevent it. If this occurs, you will smell musty or moldy air coming from the vents, your air quality may decline, and the water will corrode the building or cause damage.
1.8. Loose Evaporator Belt
Low fan rotation speed can result from loose evaporator belts, which is a typical issue. A loose belt puts strain on the pulley, slows the fan, and finally causes the coil to freeze. Your evaporator belt won’t last as long if it’s loose. If there is noise or a reduction in airflow, the belt on your industrial air conditioner may be loose.
2. How to avoid troubles with commercial HVAC systems?
Entering troubles when using commercial HVAC systems is unavoidable. So how can we avoid all these problems? The answer is getting commercial HVAC maintenance. A typical HVAC maintenance checklist below might be helpful for you.
- General monitoring for noises or smells
- Replacing air filters
- Checking thermostat settings and operation
- Getting rid of dirt, dust, and debris – especially on registers and air intakes
- Inspecting wires and other electronic equipment
- Cleaning pans and drains
- Checking to pipe for corrosion or leaks
- Checking seals
- Inspecting air ducts and insulation
- Comparing heating and cooling bills from the year before
- Checking and cleaning all components, inside and out
- Scheduling professional maintenance
>> Read more: Why Do Businesses Need Commercial HVAC Maintenance
You are striving to achieve the qualification to work in the HVAC industry? Practice for the exam with our HVAC online practice test. The tests are designed with topics that make your revision easier. Try the test now!