Is It Time for Commercial HVAC Repair? Here’s How to Tell

If your residential HVAC goes out, you're in for an uncomfortable couple of days until it can be repaired. But if your commercial HVAC dies, you have a lot more than comfort to worry about.

A broken commercial HVAC system can make your building unbearable to employees and unacceptable to clients. If that happens, business will halt, losing you the thousands of dollars you would have made that day.

That's money you already have plans for, that you depend on. Even after the necessary commercial HVAC repair, you'll still have quite a mess to salvage, replanning, recalculating, recovering from your loss.

Fortunately for you, there's a better way. This can all be avoided by getting the commercial HVAC repair you need before the system shuts down completely.

And for that, we offer you this guide. Below are the signs that you need commercial heating system or air conditioning repair very soon. Read the guide, follow the signs, and get the help you need before it's too late.

1. Your System Is Old

Before we look at anything else, let's look at the age of your HVAC. This could determine if the other problems on this list are worth repairing at all.

When was the system installed? We ask because, if it's over 15 years old, it's probably on it's way out, anyway. Generally, at this age, repair is no longer a practical option.

And that's only if you've been keeping up on maintenance. A well-maintained HVAC system should last about 15 years. But if it's been consistently neglected and/or overused, it should be replaced after 10 years.

Too Old to Repair

The reason for this is that it's simply not worth putting any more money into a worn-out system. While immediate problems can be repaired, they happen more frequently the older the system gets. It becomes more expensive to keep it running than to simply replace it.

Too Expensive to Use

Not only this, but an old system works far less efficiently than it did when it was new. Even after repairs, the system will never work as efficiently as a new system.

What's more, commercial HVAC technology continues to advance. Inefficient systems are discontinued in favor of far more efficient technology. So, if your system is 15 years old, there's a good chance it's an inefficient, obsolete model that's very expensive to use.

Have an Old System Checked

If you experience any of the problems listed below, and your HVAC is already 10 years old, have a professional come and look it over. He/she can audit how efficient your current system is and compare this to the efficiency of a new system. Then they can determine if it's more cost-effective to repair or replace it.

If your system is less than 10 years old, the following problems are better off repaired.

2. High Energy Bill

A notably large spike in your monthly energy bill is your next clue that there's a problem with your HVAC system. Now, obviously, a lot goes into how much energy your company is using. But if you're bill has gone up a lot, or keeps steadily rising, a faulty HVAC could be the cause.

Have there been any recent changes in your company's energy usage habits that might account for the increased bill? This includes the installation/use of new appliances, equipment, lighting, windows, offices—basically any new additions to the building. Or is the higher bill happening during a change in seasons, when HVAC usage increases due to hot or cold weather?

If neither of these is the case, an inefficient HVAC is a very likely cause of your energy bill increase. Have a professional HVAC contractor come and inspect your system.

3. The Building is Never the Right Temperature

Is your building always too hot or too cold no matter how often your HVAC is running? That is a definite sign of an HVAC problem.

Your system shouldn't have to run constantly to control the indoor temperature. If it never stops running (with the fan set to "auto"), that means it's working as hard as it can all the time. And it never gets a break.

HVACs aren't meant to handle this much constant use. There may be a blockage, a compressor failure, or a refrigerant leak, or some other problem with your system.

In any case, it's a sure sign of a dysfunctional HVAC. Even worse, if this constant use still doesn't properly heat or cool the building, it's an advanced sign. That is, this problem has been happening for some time.

Not only that, but it also puts a lot of strain on the system. It wears the system out much faster snd decreases it's lifespan.

Thus, it's imperative that you call this problem in right away.

4. Weak Airflow

Weak airflow from the supply vents is another sign of HVAC malfunction. As with poor temperature control, it might be caused by a blockage, refrigerant leak, air leak, or compressor failure. (It's worth noting, by the way, that a refrigerant leak is poisonous.)

That being the case, you should check to make sure the air filters and return vents aren't clogged up with dust and other pollutants. If that's not the problem, call it in.

5. Strange Noises From the HVAC

Your HVAC isn't designed to be loud and clunky or to scare the daylights out of you when it comes on in your quiet office. When it's working correctly, you shouldn't notice it unless you're specifically listening for it.

Now, it's possible that the noise level of your HVAC system has increased so gradually that you never noticed it. Still, if you have to shout over the noise when your HVAC comes on, call for professional HVAC repair.

 

6. Odd Smells From the HVAC

The following odors could (but never should) come from your HVAC system.

If it smells like something's burning when you operate your HVAC, this is a dangerous sign. It may mean burning wires, burnt out insulation, or an overheating compressor. It could also smell like a metallic or chemical odor.

Regardless, it could be a fire hazard. Shut the system down and call for emergency commercial HVAC repair.

Moving on, musty smells often indicate a mold or mildew problem. Or your air filters are maxed out with filthy pollutants. (Check them and see if they need changing.)

Lastly, a rotten egg odor could indicate a gas leak! Shut down your HVAC and your gas supply and have a professional sweep the building for the leak.

 

7. Moisture Around the System

If you notice puddles/pools of moisture around your HVAC unit, call it in. It may only be that the condensation that naturally forms on the system is overflowing out of a clogged drainpipe. But it may also be a toxic refrigerant leak.

8. An Increase in Humidity Levels

You may not know this, but one of your HVAC's standard features is the dehumidification of indoor air. If your system seems to be running, yet the indoor air is very humid, the system is almost definitely malfunctioning. Call a professional to resolve the matter.

Do You Need Commercial HVAC Repair?

If you noticed any of these signs in your building, you have some options. First, you can have an HVAC professional diagnose and fix the problem, saving you thousands of dollars. Or, you can procrastinate until the system breaks, plunging your business into a horrible fate.

For your sake, please don't just sit there. Contact us now to get the commercial HVAC repair you need.

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