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Common Commercial HVAC Problems & How To Avoid Them

Commercial HVAC systems are taxed to the max keeping up with the extreme temperatures of the summer and winter. If they fail during these critical seasons, not only does a business face costly expenses, but they could also take a hit to their bottom line if they’re forced to close while commercial HVAC contractors conduct a repair or install a replacement. 

These repair and replacement expenses are some of the costliest a business faces. In fact, according to FacilitiesNet, businesses that defer maintenance and wait for something to go wrong could wind up paying 30 times more than if they had a preventative maintenance strategy in place. Meaning, you might spend $500 per year on HVAC facilities maintenance, or $15,000 when something goes terribly wrong. These issues are compounded when you get into major unbudgeted expenses and your business’s capital approval process. Not a position any facilities manager wants to find themselves in! 

Here are some of the most common commercial HVAC problems and how to avoid them.

Dirt, Dirt & More Dirt

Dirt, dust, pollen, mold, and other pollutants are the archenemies of any HVAC system. Dirt can destroy nearly every component of an HVAC system, and yet it’s one of the easiest things to control.

While the filter’s job is to catch most of it, accumulation still occurs throughout the ductwork, vents, returns, and evaporator coils. Likewise, economizers and condenser coils located on the outside of the building are naturally exposed to the elements and can become clogged with dirt and mold. The result is that airflow is restricted, the air is not properly filtered and indoor air quality is poor, and the system simply can’t cool and heat efficiently. 

In addition to higher energy bills and uncomfortable employees and customers, a system that has to work harder is at risk of breaking down or failing completely.

The solution is simple: change air filters on the manufacturer’s recommended schedule, and don’t skip an annual cleaning of your HVAC to keep the system in top performance. When completed during routine maintenance, a cleaning by a skilled property maintenance company conducting facilities services can also identify and fix potential problems before they become costly repairs. 

Compressor Problems

The compressor is critical to the performance of your commercial HVAC system, so when something goes wrong it can cripple the system. There are many common problems that affect the compressor, including dirty coils, leaking or blocked suction lines, incorrect refrigerant levels (too high can be just as bad as too low!), low lubricant levels, and electrical problems. 

Small compressor issues are generally pretty simple and affordable to fix when caught early. When ignored and a compressor fails completely, it can cost thousands to replace. In many cases, a complete HVAC system replacement is the only option when the compressor fails on an aging system. 

The solution is simple: don’t skip bi-annual preventative maintenance, which can catch many of these compressor issues and fix them before the component fails. 

Preventative vs. Reactive Maintenance

The easiest – and most affordable – way to ward off these problems is with an HVAC facilities maintenance contract and regular preventative maintenance. Just as you change the oil, rotate the tires, and check the spark plugs on your vehicle, your HVAC system also needs maintenance. Not only does preventative maintenance and basic building maintenance services keep your HVAC running as it should, it also extends its useful life, improves energy efficiency, and finds and fixes minor issues before they become major problems. 

However, some businesses practice a reactive strategy with HVAC maintenance. Meaning, they wait until something goes wrong before fixing it. This could be on purpose to save money, or the facilities manager simply may not have the time or forethought to manage preventative schedules. These businesses may in fact save money in the short-term, but they are almost always hit with more extensive and costly repairs in the future. 

Take The Hassle Out Of HVAC Preventative Maintenance 

A preventative maintenance schedule is an easy and affordable way to keep your HVAC in tip-top shape. What’s more, when you work with Trillium Facilities Solutions, we schedule service on your behalf, giving you a true set-it-and-forget-it peace of mind. When you don’t have the hassle of remembering to schedule service, negotiate with vendors, and manage payments, you’re freed up to take care of more important tasks.

Get in touch with any of our amazing team members who are standing by ready to serve! Call (844) 818-5713 to learn more. 

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