Most Common Problems with Commercial HVAC Systems

Posted - February 27, 2023
Technician repairs a Commercial HVAC system in Dallas

Your commercial HVAC system is crucial to ensuring that your customers and employees can interact efficiently. Keep them happy and comfortable, and you’re sure to earn their goodwill. That’s why regular maintenance checks are so important. They keep your HVAC system running the way it was built to run. The goal is to make sure its operating at top efficiency by spotting problems before they can develop.

When a problem crops up, there’s often a variety of reasons your HVAC system isn’t working properly. It’s up to HVAC repairmen like us to isolate and solve the problems with the equipment. But for your peace of mind, here are some of our best trade secrets to help you stay on top of your commercial HVAC system.

Air Filter

First, check the filters and the outer housing. Filters should be replaced on a regular schedule as dictated by your installer. The outside of the unit should have no bent or missing panels. Note that this applies to both the indoor and outdoor components of your system.

Damaged or missing outdoor air filters may also be the culprit. Remember to check your filters first, every time. The air filter basically protects the evaporator coil, along with the rest of the interior, which means inefficiencies and eventual failure if it gets dirty.

Oil Leak

Look for oil around service ports, valves or fittings, which can indicate refrigerant leakage. A condenser leak can also produce leaking oil.

Faulty Compressor

A compressor in trouble can run much louder than a normal one. Listen for a hum, which could indicate a locked rotor, or for the rapid cycling of a compressor that’s having refrigerant charge issues.

Condenser Coils

You can check whether condenser coils are dirty or clogged with the naked eye. HVAC coils should be professionally cleaned on a semiannual basis to keep them in working order. A system with dirty or non-working filters will often show the stress with breakdowns in your condenser coils and the two fans.

Strange Noises

Noises and short cycling (turning on and off rapidly) can indicate further issues with the condenser and evaporator fans. There may be excessive vibration throwing the fan off, accumulated dirt, or deteriorating wiring or connections.

Outside Temperatures & Equipment

If the outside temperature drops below 55 degrees and the HVAC doesn’t automatically kick on, your economizer isn’t working. The economizer is often found on the roof, containing dampers that open and close depending on the outside temperature. Excessive dirt and buildup can  inhibit the economizer’s dampers, gears and controls.

Drain Pan

Below the condenser, the condensate drain pan may not be running easily, because it’s clogged or incorrectly placed. This can lead to rusting, water damage, and issues with air quality due to the slime, junk and other debris that collect.

Evaporator Belt

Loose evaporator belts can be seen with the eye, and will slow the fan down which inhibits efficient operation and costs you money.

Faulty Electrical

If your power is spotty or not working, electrical issues can arise from overheated connections, failing contractors, or bad wiring.

Heat Exchanger

The burner itself can get covered in soot and rust from the heat exchangers, leading to poor combustion or causing the pilot to go out.

Advanced Home Comfort for HVAC System Repair

So there you have it: a top-to-tail look at the most common issues your commercial HVAC may experience. If your HVAC system malfunctions, contact us to schedule HVAC repair service.