Commercial HVAC systems are quite reliable. However, like any other appliances, commercial HVAC systems are prone to damage. Many people realize the significance of their commercial HVAC system only when it breaks down. It is essential to understand common commercial HVAC problems and how to prevent them.
1. Compressor Problems
The compressor is one of the most critical components of a commercial HVAC system. Common problems associated with the compressor include leaks and scrambles. Commercial HVAC service contractors check for compressor problems by looking for the presence of oil in the valves, service ports, fittings, and connections.
An HVAC system with compressor problems will produce audible signs of the damage. Scrambled compressors are usually much louder during operation than standard compressors. Common signs of a scrambled compressor include a humming sound indicating a locked rotor or a clicking sound that goes on and off indicating the repeated starting and stopping of the compressor.
2. Condenser Problems
Condenser problems caused by clogged or dirty coils can restrict airflow. The best way for commercial HVAC companies to check for condenser problems is through a visual inspection of the HVAC component. Salt and chemicals can cause the coil fins of the condenser to deteriorate and restrict heat transfer.
Problems with the condenser fan can, not only affect airflow but also cause the entire HVAC system to stop working. Signs of condenser problems include bearing noise, excessive vibration of the fan blade, incorrect fan speed, and issues with the wiring and connections. The presence of oil leaks could also be an indicator of compressor problems.
3. Economizer Problems
The economizer is designed to engage when the outdoor temperature goes below 55 degrees. An economizer that fails to engage as expected is probably faulty. The economizer features OA dampers that should open or close depending on the outdoor temperature.
Excessive dirt is one of the main reasons for failing economizer. Dirt can build up in the gears, controls, dampers, and linkage of the economizer and cause it to malfunction. The economizer can also malfunction when the outside air filters are damaged or missing. Regular maintenance of your HVAC system by the top commercial HVAC companies should prevent dirt buildup and problems with the economizer.
4. Evaporator Problems
The primary function of the air filter of an HVAC system is to protect the evaporator coil. Dirty or defunct air filters can allow particulates to get into the HVAC system and make the evaporator dirty. Dirt buildup can coat the evaporator and restrict airflow, which may affect heat transfer and the efficiency of the entire HVAC system. Evaporator problems may cause the HVAC system to fail eventually.
The evaporator features a drain pan that usually slopes toward the drain. A clogged drain may cause slime and dirt to accumulate in the drain pan, which may lead to complete failure of the drain, poor air quality, and water damage. The damage may eventually cause metal drain pans to rust and start leaking.
5. Heating and Control Section Problems
The main areas of an HVAC heating and control section that are prone to damage are the burners and electrical wiring. Overheating connections can cause electrical problems, which are often exhibited by discoloration in the wiring.
Other common problems in the heating and control section observed by commercial HVAC contractors include failing contractors and poor wiring. The buildup of soot and rust in the burners can compromise its efficiency and may cause other problems such as poor combustion and pilot failure.
6. Housing Section Problems
It is quite easy to determine problems with the housing unit of an HVAC system because of their visibility. Common problems with the housing section of an HVAC system include bent or missing panel fittings. These problems are more common in older HVAC units.
Rust and deteriorated HVAC housing are more common in older units, especially in coastal areas. Regular maintenance of your commercial HVAC unit can catch such problems early and fix them before they become significant problems.
7. Clogged Filters
The primary function of HVAC filters is to trap dirt, dust, and allergens in the air. However, filters should be changed regularly to ensure their efficiency. Otherwise, the filters will become clogged with dirt, dust, and other allergens and affect the overall operation of your commercial HVAC unit.
Clogged filters cause your HVAC system to work harder and make it susceptible to increased wear and tear. Although changing the air filters does not take much time, it is often an overlooked task because many commercial HVAC systems are located in hard to reach areas that are difficult to access. In such a case, consider calling an HVAC contractor to provide maintenance.
8. Ductwork Problems
Hot and cool air travel through a network of ducts in an HVAC unit. Therefore, HVAC systems feature dampers that direct airflow. Problems with the ductwork or dampers can affect the overall efficiency of your HVAC unit. Common ductwork problems include leaks, corrosion, clogs, and imbalanced dampers.
Commercial HVAC systems are prone to wear and tear that may cause a wide range of problems. However, many of the issues can be prevented through regular HVAC maintenance. If you do not have the time to undertake HVAC maintenance, search the Internet for a list of HVAC companies in your area.