5 ways to ruin your HVAC system
Beefier and more robust than their residential cousins, commercial HVAC systems shoulder a greater day-to-day burden while heating and cooling floors full of employees. Making this happen would seem to require a system that’s much more complex than the typical HVAC systems, but the two have quite a bit in common — including which issues are most likely to appear. As a business owner or operator, there are several key problems to keep an eye out for in a commercial HVAC system, because getting as ahead of these issues as possible will make it easier to keep your commercial HVAC unit up and running longer and ensure your employees and workplace maintain a comfortable air.
1. Size Up the System
Much like a home system, it’s possible to have a commercial HVAC system that simply isn’t the right size for the space. Naturally, if the system is too small, it won’t be able to supply the heating or cooling needed to the whole space, causing the system to run much harder than it should be. And while it would seem like having a system that is too large wouldn’t be an issue, the extra size will actually make the commercial heating and cooling unit unable to run efficiently, as it won’t be able to properly accommodate for the size of the workspace its heating and cooling.
2. Air Filter Replacements
Air filters need to be regularly replaced, no matter the size or function of the HVAC system. Not replacing the air filter in a commercial HVAC system will allow the filter to get clogged, leaving the system vulnerable to airborne debris that can break down the internal components, and lead to early system failure. A clogged filter will also reduce the air quality in the office, leading to reduced cooling, odd smells, and a system that’s running much harder than it should be to perform the same daily functions.
Similar to the air filters in a residential system, the filters in a commercial unit should be checked and replaced every 90 days, or roughly every quarter.
3. Odd Smells and Gas Leaks
Speaking of odd smells, an odd smell emanating throughout the workplace could be traced back to the HVAC system. When systems aren’t checked and cleaned thoroughly and routinely, the build-up can accumulate throughout the system and in the ductwork, creating unpleasant odors. Additionally, an odor is the first tip-off of the much more serious issue of a gas leak. Whether the exhaust vent is clogged or is there is a crack creating the leak, a gas leak is an issue that requires immediate attention for the health of employees and customers, as well as the safety of the building as a whole.
4. Time for Retirement
Sometimes, the issue is simply that the commercial unit is just too old to continue running. The average lifespan for a commercial heating and cooling system is roughly 15 years. This lifespan is halved — to roughly 7–8 years — when the unit is not properly cleaned, inspected, and maintained. No matter the circumstance, there is always a point where maintenance on a unit exceeds the benefit of investing in a new system, and if the unit is consistently breaking down, and not providing the heating and cooling services it should be, then it’s time to let the unit retire, and bring in a new system for the job.
5. Maintain with Regular Maintenance
Letting a commercial HVAC unit lapse outside of a regular inspection and maintenance cycle is the fastest way to let a unit degrade. Without inspections, simple issues that could be caught and fixed easier and more cost-effectively will slip under the radar, and balloon into more serious, costly problems. Rather than waiting for a system to break down, it’s much better to stay consistent and have professionals inspect and provide semi-annual maintenance to a commercial HVAC system.
When thinking of what it takes to keep a commercial HVAC unit up and running, it’s important to remember everything that the system supports — employees, customers, and a company’s image. As mentioned before, a commercial unit will shoulder a much greater burden than a residential unit. To keep your commercial HVAC unit in the best condition possible, consider contacting the licensed professionals at Duane Blanton Family Home Services. With an impressive 30-year tenure in heating and cooling, the experts at Duane Blanton can provide informed advice and maintenance for all commercial and residential HVAC units. Give the professionals at Duane Blanton a call today at (815) 781-2567, or schedule service from their convenient online scheduling portal.
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