Common Commercial HVAC Problems

commercial HVAC issues
crawfordmech February 28, 2022

Whether you run a warehouse, office or retail store, clean air is essential for the comfort and safety of your staff. A commercial HVAC system that isn’t functioning correctly can affect the efficiency of your business, and you’ll want to have a professional look at it right away. Technicians can inspect commercial HVAC systems for heating and cooling issues as well as any system problems that might affect your facility’s indoor air quality.

It’s best to understand the common problems associated with HVAC, how they arise, and how to fix commercial HVAC problems.

What Causes Common Commercial HVAC Issues?

Many factors could be causing your commercial HVAC issue. It’s essential to learn about potential system issues to prevent lasting damage.

Common causes of industrial HVAC problems include:

  • Lack of regular maintenance: A professional technician should inspect your HVAC system one to two times per year. Regular maintenance can help catch common problems like leaking refrigerant or dirty filters early on.
  • Poor installation or repair: Subpar installation or repair of your HVAC unit could cause a weak system, shortened lifespan and reduced indoor comfort.
  • Bad air quality: If your workplace’s air quality is poor, contaminants might clog up your HVAC system. Have the air filters changed regularly and checked for dirt and buildup to maintain clean and healthy air.

Any of the above might lead to commercial heating and cooling problems. The rest of this section will take you through some of the common HVAC problems associated with a lack of regular maintenance or poor installation.

Thermostat Problems

When your commercial thermostat doesn’t work correctly, drained batteries or poor wiring are often the cause.

Have a technician inspect and change the batteries in your system to ensure it’s working correctly. Manufacturers typically recommend changing batteries once a year. However, if the low battery indicator appears on your digital display earlier, it’s best to have it inspected right away.

Poor wiring or installation can also cause your thermostat to lose connection with the HVAC unit. Have a trusted professional inspect your thermostat and replace or tighten any faulty, frayed or aged wires.

Strange Noises 

Hearing a strange noise coming from your HVAC system can be distracting for employees and customers. These noises also often result from a deeper issue that needs professional assessment.

A squealing or screeching sound might indicate a bad fan belt in the blower, while a thwapping sound typically signals an obstruction in the HVAC blower. You can tell if there’s an obstruction in your system if the sound comes and goes with airflow.

Ensure that strange noises are immediately investigated and fixed to ensure a well-working HVAC system. Any obstructions could result in unnecessary wear and tear — take preventative measures to protect your fixture by quickly calling an HVAC technician.

Reduced Air Quality 

The air filters in your commercial HVAC unit remove airborne contaminants moving through the system. Having a professional inspect the air quality can help promote good indoor air and prevent health issues associated with indoor pollutants.

Studies show that most Americans spend 80% of their time indoors. Clean indoor air is essential for the safety of your workers. Ensure a healthy indoor atmosphere in your facility by having professionals regularly inspect and replace your unit’s filters. They can also ensure the dehumidifier in your commercial HVAC unit is still working, maintaining your staff’s comfort and well-being.

Compressor Issues

Leaking and scrambled compressors are common causes of industrial HVAC problems.

You may notice oil forming around surface ports, valves or solder connections, indicating a refrigerant leak. Scrambled compressor signals, on the other hand, are usually audible rather than visual, as a scrambled compressor runs much louder than usual. A locked rotor will produce a loud hum, while you’ll hear continual starting and stopping if the trouble is the refrigerant charge.

Condenser Issues

Condenser issues are typically due to clogged or dirty condenser coils, fan issues or leaks.

Professionals will spot signs of a clogged or dirty condenser coil right away, as they typically lead to restricted airflow. Coil fins can also deteriorate from salt or chemicals, causing restriction and poor heat transfer. HVAC professionals can conduct semi-annual coil cleaning to assist with this problem.

Condenser fan issues affect airflow and can lead to failure. A fan issue signal may be audible, like a rattling or buzzing noise, usually caused by excessive fan blade vibration. The fan may also run slowly or in the opposite direction. If you notice problems with your condenser fan, a professional can check for loose wiring or connections or an overheating motor.

Loss of Efficiency

An HVAC system that loses its efficiency can reduce the indoor air quality of your office or warehouse.

You may notice a sudden rise in your energy bill as the system has to work harder, running more often to maintain the same temperature. If you notice your commercial HVAC system becoming weaker, an HVAC technician can inspect your fixture to diagnose and treat the problem right away.

Water Leaks

Water leaking from your HVAC system is often the result of issues with the collector box, heat exchanger or evaporator. If you notice water gathering around your unit, schedule a professional to inspect and repair it immediately to prevent clogs or cracks in the HVAC drain lines.

Having your commercial system inspected quickly will prevent future issues and ensure your system is properly working to heat and cool your facility.

What to Do if You Have Commercial HVAC Problems 

When you have a problem with your commercial HVAC fixture, you may be tempted to try fixing the problem yourself. However, commercial HVAC systems are complex and dangerous for those who aren’t appropriately trained in their repair. Always call a professional if you notice an issue with your unit. Regular maintenance is also typically more affordable than an emergency repair.

A technician has the specialized training to efficiently address the issue and repair your fixture while maintaining the terms of your warranty. Calling a professional right away allows you to focus on your business, knowing that your HVAC system is in good hands.

One of the greatest liability risks of a malfunctioning HVAC system is the possibility of an undetected carbon monoxide leak. Call a trustworthy HVAC company that has your health and safety in mind while installing or repairing fixtures. Crawford Mechanical Services uses a combustion gas analyzer to capture and record combustion levels for our fixtures that use natural or propane gas. This device ensures the safety of your staff while preventing severe health issues like carbon monoxide poisoning.

Consult with a technician at least once a year to keep your unit working when your facility needs it most.

Trust Crawford Mechanical Services, Inc. for Commercial HVAC Repair

HVAC issues can affect the well-being of your entire staff. It’s essential to have HVAC technicians annually inspect your commercial unit to prevent deterioration and improve overall air quality for your business.

Crawford Mechanical Services, Inc. is a family-owned and operated business providing com

mercial HVAC installation and repair for companies in the greater Columbus, Ohio, area. We pride ourselves on our dedication to our customers and offering the best possible service with our expert, trustworthy team.

Contact us today to get an expert HVAC custom service plan designed for you!

We're Hiring! Crawford Mech is Looking For Plumbers, Project Managers and Apprentices