A properly functioning HVAC system helps to keep employees and customers as comfortable as possible. But when your system has issues, you can end up with an uncomfortable workspace and costly repair bills. To help you sidestep as many issues as possible, you should understand the most common commercial HVAC issues.
1. Airflow Issues
When air doesn’t move through your commercial HVAC system correctly, you end up with uneven heating or cooling throughout your building. These hot and cold areas make workers and customers uncomfortable, and if your thermostat is situated in an especially hot or cold part of your building, your HVAC system may end up running more than necessary.
Airflow issues can be caused by blocked vents, dirty condensers or coils, or clogged ducts. To prevent these issues, make sure you don’t position furniture, equipment, or fixtures too close to the vents. Additionally, you should get ductwork cleaned on a regular basis, and you may even want to switch to a ductless commercial HVAC system to help eliminate many of the biggest causes of airflow issues.
2. Dirty Filters
Dirty filters can also create airflow issues, but beyond that, clogged filters force your HVAC system to work extra hard, driving up your bill and reducing the lifespan of your heating and cooling equipment. Additionally, as all the air that blows into your commercial space goes through your HVAC filter, dirty filters can also increase the amount of dust and allergens in your commercial space and have negative effects on the health and wellness of your employees.
3. Wrong Capacity
Surprisingly, many commercial buildings have HVAC units that are too large. At one point, many business owners made this mistake because they assumed bigger was better. When an HVAC system is too large for your space, it cycles on and off too frequently, which increases the wear and tear on your system. Frequent cycling also doesn’t remove humidity, which makes the space feel stuffy. Consult with a contractor to make sure that your commercial HVAC system has the right capacity and, if not, consider upgrading to a new system.
4. Malfunctioning Thermostat
Sometimes when an HVAC system seems unresponsive or cycles on and off at the wrong times, the problem isn’t with the HVAC equipment. Rather, it is with your thermostat. Luckily, replacing a thermostat is fairly straightforward, and if you want to save money in the long run, you should consider investing in a programmable thermostat which allows you to set temperatures in advance and change them remotely.
5. Improper Air Balance
If you have a ducted commercial HVAC system, inconsistent heating throughout your building can also be a symptom of improper air balance. As air moves through the ducts, dampers help to direct the air from one area to another. If the dampers aren’t balanced correctly, you may end up with overly hot and excessively cold areas. A commercial HVAC contractor can balance the dampers for you, or they can help you make the switch to a ductless system so you don’t have to worry about ducts or dampers.
6. Lack of Zones
Ductless HVAC systems also feature a modular design that lets you control the temperatures in different parts of your building separately. This setup allows you to accommodate the changing needs of your business, while saving you money because you don’t have to heat or cool areas that aren’t in use. Without zones, commercial building owners have to control the heating or cooling throughout their entire building with a single thermostat.
7. Nonstop Blowing
Your blower should cycle on and off based on the temperature settings on your thermostat, but in some cases, you may hear the blower running constantly. Usually, this happens because your fan is stuck; a commercial HVAC repair professional can help you address that issue.
8. Water Leaks
Water may pool around commercial HVAC units due to clogged or cracked drain lines, but leaking water can also indicate issues with the heat exchanger, evaporator, or collector box. Ideally, you should monitor your HVAC equipment regularly for leaks, drips, and excessive condensation, and if you see water, you should contact a professional as soon as possible.
9. Expensive Bills
Small businesses spend a lot of money on energy — annually, commercial energy bills total more than $60 billion in the United States, and many of these costs are for heating and cooling. If your commercial heating and cooling bills seem too high or if you experience an unusual spike in your bill, you may need a repair, some routine maintenance such as cleaning the filters, or a new HVAC system.
To keep your costs as low as possible, you need a quality HVAC system and an understanding of the key HVAC issues faced by small businesses. At N.E.T.R., Inc., we work closely with our commercial clients to help ensure they have the best HVAC system for their needs and that they have access to the maintenance and support they need.
To learn more, to set up a repair for a common commercial HVAC issue, or to talk about upgrading to a new commercial ductless system, contact us today.