5 Signs Your Commercial HVAC System Needs Repair

2 October 2014
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Commercial HVAC systems keep large buildings comfortably cool, but failure to properly maintain the system leads to a wide variety of problems. Check out these five signs your HVAC system is in desperate need of repair, so you know the right time to contact a technician.

Increasing Cooling Bills

Like most appliances, when your commercial HVAC unit isn't working properly, it isn't as efficient as it should be. As a result, it uses more power than it really needs to in order to operate. A small increase in your cooling bill when you are using the system more often is normal, but unexplained sudden spikes in your bill are a warning sign. If left untreated, your bill will continue to climb. Routine maintenance, however, identifies weaknesses and keeps it running smoothly at top efficiency to keep your cooling bills low.  

Unpleasant Smells Leaking from Vents

Not every unpleasant smell coming from your vents means there is a problem with your air conditioning system. However, the following types of odors are something that may signal a problem with your HVAC unit:

  • Pungent, sulfuric, stinging odors signal a burned out or almost burned out motor due to lack of cleaning and lubrication
  • Musty smells are a sign that the vents are not clean. The odor occurs as the air travels through the dirty vents and picks up dust and debris along the way.
  • Moldy smells may mean your condensate pan is clogged and filled with standing water, which quickly becomes dirty and moldy

Each of these situations requires a professional HVAC technician to either replace parts, clean vents or unclog the condensate pan.

Unusual Sounds from Vents

Noise from your commercial HVAC system should be low and almost unnoticeable because most systems are housed on the roof to prevent them from disturbing you, your employees and your customers. As long as the sound remains quiet, it's not a concern. However, loud and unfamiliar sounds coming in from the vents are a clear sign that something is not working properly. These sounds include:

  • Squealing
  • Screeching
  • Rattling
  • Grinding
  • Banging
  • Clicking

If you hear any of these sounds, contact a HVAC technician to help diagnose and treat the problem before it gets so bad that you have to completely replace the system altogether.

Fluctuating Temperatures

While the system is on, a properly functioning commercial HVAC unit keeps all areas of the building properly cooled at all times to create a comfortable working enviornment. However, cold and hot spots throughout the building indicate the system is not evenly distributing cool air properly. Causes for this problem include:

  • Issues with the damper
  • Faulty ductwork
  • Damaged thermostat
  • The system is struggling to properly cool the entire building

Lack of Maintenance  

The final sign that you need to contact a commercial HVAC repair technician is if you realize you haven't had the system completely maintained recently. Even if your commercial HVAC system is working properly, you need to have it routinely examined and maintained to keep it working great. An unmaintained system doesn't just create an uncomfortably hot or cold working environment. It may actually create a dangerous working environment as mold and other pollutants affect the internal air quality, putting people at risk and exposing you to a lawsuit.

A commercial HVAC system needs routine maintenance to keep it functioning efficiently. If you notice any of these symptoms or you haven't had your system inspected for over a year, do additional reading and contact a HVAC repair technician in your area today to schedule an appointment and keep your system working longer, saving you money by preventing the need to replace it.