What’s the first thing you notice when you enter a commercial building?
Chances are, you’ll immediately notice if the indoor temperature is comfortable. For example, if it’s summer in Sapulpa, OK, you may sigh in relief and say, “Oh, how nice and cool it is here.” Or, if it’s fall or winter, you may say, “This is so warm and cozy!”
You can expect people who visit or use your commercial building to say those same things. That’s if you have a properly functioning heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system.
Conversely, multiple HVAC issues can make tenants and visitors likely feel uncomfortable. It can even affect their health and, if they work in the building, their productivity.
The good news is that many common HVAC problems are preventable. We’ll tell you what they are and how to keep them at bay, so please read on.
Choose the Correct HVAC System Size
Previous studies found that 97.5% to 99% of HVAC systems are intentionally oversized. Many of these too-big systems operate only at 50% or less of their rated capacity. This alone makes them a waste of money, as the higher their capacity, the more expensive they are.
Oversized HVAC systems are also prone to a problem known as short-cycling. This occurs when the equipment heats or cools a space too quickly and shuts off just as fast.
While faster heating or cooling sounds okay, it’s not, as this makes the system work harder. The quick succession of cycling on and off also puts more strain on the HVAC system’s components. This can lead to a shortened equipment lifespan and higher energy bills.
On the other hand, an undersized HVAC system can’t heat or cool the space efficiently. This also causes it to work harder, placing unnecessary strain on components. So, it can also break down faster and lead to higher utility bills.
Those common commercial HVAC issues are preventable with proper system sizing.
So, just as you would choose the right HVAC system size for your home, do the same for your commercial building. A highly experienced, reputable HVAC contractor can assist you with proper system sizing.
Know When to Replace HVAC Filters
Filthy filters are some of the most common culprits behind commercial HVAC issues. They can cause poor airflow, temperature inconsistencies, and reduced comfort. The longer they stay in the system, the dirtier the interior components will be, too.
That can result in reduced HVAC performance and efficiency and higher energy bills.
Dirty filters can also lead to poor indoor air quality (IAQ) and Sick Building Syndrome (SBS). Both can affect your building occupants’ health and reduce their productivity.
To mitigate those risks, develop an appropriate HVAC filter replacement schedule.
If any of the following applies to your building, it may be best to replace air filters monthly:
- It’s near a busy road or industrial site
- Your occupants or tenants include animal companions
- Activities done in the building produce more pollutants
If your building mainly serves offices, you can change its HVAC filters every two or three months. However, it’s still best practice to inspect the filters monthly. These steps can help enhance the indoor air quality in your commercial building.
Schedule Professional Pre-Season HVAC Maintenance
Like residential HVAC systems, those in commercial buildings also need pre-season tune-ups. These include one in the spring (to prep them for summer) and another in the fall (to ensure they’re ready for winter).
When you hire a professional AC and heating contractor for these jobs, the pro will do the following:
Inspect and Clean the System
Many commercial buildings in Sapulpa, OK, use single-split, multi-split, or heat pump systems. These all have indoor and outdoor units that house other critical parts, such as:
- Blowers and fans
- Blower and fan motors
- Condenser and evaporator coils
- Thermal expansion valves
Other parts not within those units are thermostats and refrigerant lines. In systems that use them, air ducts lie between the indoor and outdoor HVAC units.
During a pre-season tune-up, a technician will inspect all those components. The pro will also clean the outdoor and indoor units, including the HVAC filters. Depending on your service agreement, they may also clean your air ducts.
Use the Latest HVAC Diagnostic Tools
HVAC technicians use specialized diagnostic tools like draft gauges, manometers, and combustion analyzers. These allow them to discover and diagnose problems affecting your HVAC system. During the HVAC inspection, they use these to look for issues such as air and gas leaks.
Air leaks are common in ducted systems and can lead to significant energy waste. They can also reduce HVAC efficiency and comfort while contributing to poor IAQ.
Gas or refrigerant leaks can also pose hazards as they can cause poisoning and are flammable. They can occur when the pipes that carry them develop dents or punctures.
Fortunately, a reliable HVAC technician will notify you immediately after discovering those issues. They will then discuss your options for addressing them. For example, they may suggest repairing or replacing duct leaks or busted gas lines.
Keep Outdoor Units Clog-Free
Your outdoor HVAC units, being outside, are at the mercy of environmental elements. These include dirt, dust, debris, molds, leaves, twigs, and wind-carried trash. If they build up around your outdoor units, they can severely impede the outgoing airflow.
As mentioned above, professional pre-season HVAC tune-ups include cleaning these outdoor units. However, you should at least inspect them once or twice monthly. This way, you can check for and remove debris build-up before it causes severe airflow issues.
Prevent HVAC Issues With These Strategies
Incorrect system size, dirty filters, and air/gas leaks are some of the most common HVAC issues. They can reduce system efficiency, comfort, and IAQ while driving energy bills.
Don’t let any of that happen by choosing our team of experts here at Advantage for all your HVAC needs. You can rely on our over 50+ years of experience delivering quality services.
So, if you’re in Sapulpa, Stillwater, or a nearby area, ring us up today. We’ll help identify and resolve all your HVAC (and even plumbing) woes!