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Need Help with Your Commercial HVAC System Repair Issues?

There are multiple issues that can adversely affect your commercial HVAC system and keep it from running at optimal performance. Your HVAC unit consists of a complex assortment of parts that relies on regular maintenance to keep all components working in seamless cooperation.

While you may not know all of the issues that prevent your system from working properly, you do know when something is wrong, whether it’s a temperature issue, a noise or an odd smell, and it’s important that you have a frame of reference to properly diagnose and repair the issue.

Here are some of the most common commercial HVAC system repair issues of which every building owner or manager should be mindful.

Age-Related Breakdown – Even the highest-end commercial HVAC systems are subject to age-related wear and tear as time goes on. The average lifespan of a system is between 15-25 years, depending upon frequency of use and maintenance.

Along the way there are numerous issues that can affect performance, including failure of belts, bearings and motors, leaks and more. If left unaddressed, these relatively minor issues can lead to more serous problems that can be significantly more expensive to repair. Regularly maintaining your system every six months can keep these problems from getting out of hand.

Overworked or Broken Blower Motor – There are many issues that can prevent the blower motor in your commercial HVAC system from starting, shutting of or working properly, including but not limited to a bad ground connection, failed motor, faulty control module or a failed power supply.

Blower motors can also fail if they’re overworked, which can happen when dust and debris builds up in your system. This can also wind up tripping your circuit breaker. A blower motor issue is best diagnosed and repaired by an experienced, reputable and qualified HVAC repair and installation specialist.

A Clogged Condenser – In general, dust build-up and debris is an HVAC system’s worst enemy. It could turn little issues into big problems. In addition to significantly reducing your commercial HVAC system’s efficiency, a dirty or clogged evaporator coil can cause other more expensive issues down the line. The evaporator coil absorbs the heat from the air in your home. Even a minor amount of dirt or debris can hinder an air conditioner’s performance.

It is generally recommended that the evaporator coil in your system be cleaned at least once per year. Signs of improper function include insufficient cooling and a frozen coil.

Dirty or Clogged Filters – This is one of those “easy wins” to keep your commercial HVAC system running on at top performance year-round. Your HVAC filters are your last line of defense between the inner components of your system and harmful particulates that can contaminate air quality. They are the workhorses of your system and should be changed frequently.

Dirty or clogged filters obstruct air flow, trick your sensor switches and blower motors into over performing and have system-wide impact that can shorten its overall life. Filters should be changed at least every quarter. During the summer they should be changed every month. HVAC system filters in restaurants, factories and other “dirty-air” environments should undergo more frequent filter changes.

Ignition Sensor Issues – Faulty ignition sensors (or pilot lights) are one of the most common issues associated with the inability of heating systems to turn on. This problem is easily diagnosable, and relatively easy to fix.  If you can hear your system click, but it doesn’t turn on, you’re probably looking at a faulty ignition sensor.

These issues are actually more difficult to diagnose and fix in commercial HVAC systems, where it can be difficult to isolate the clicking and other tell-tale sounds in noisier environments. It is highly recommended that you enlist the help of an experienced and qualified HVAC repair technician.

Damaged Thermocouple – A thermocouple is a device in your heating system that consists of two wires made from different metals that measures your pilot flame and prevents gas from flowing into your building unless it knows that pilot light can be lit. They are exposed to extreme temperature fluctuations, which can lead to cracking or dirt build-up over time.

A damaged thermocouple will not be able to accurately read your pilot light flame, which can cause future ignition problems. It can confuse the overall system, causing it to misfire. This can also lead to safety issues that can put you and your building’s occupants in harm’s way.

Thermostat Issues – Your thermostat is the command center and central regulator of your commercial HVAC system. When they’re not working properly, it can throw your unit’s operations completely out of whack. Your unit relies on temperature indicators to know when to turn on and shut off, and your thermostat sends the signal that essentially says the room has reached the temperature and it’s time to either “wake up” or “go to “sleep”, so to speak.

Your commercial HVAC system’s thermostat can malfunction for all sorts of reasons, from something as simple as a dead battery to something a bit more complicated like faulty wiring or bad installation. It is recommended that you change the batteries in your commercial HVAC thermostat on an annual basis. Some of the more common tell-tale signs of a bad thermostat include:

  • Failure of Room to Reach Desired Temperature
  • “Short-Cycling” (Abruptly turning on and off)
  • Continuous Running of the Blower Motor
  • Sudden and Permanent System Failure

A professional commercial HVAC technician will be able to properly diagnose and repair thermostat issues to ensure proper system regulation and optimal function.

Fluid Leaks – Your commercial HVAC system’s AC unit relies on liquid refrigerant to stay cool and dehumidify indoor air. These fluids are contained within the unit’s coils, and when there isn’t enough to regulate air temperature, it can stop your unit from blowing cool air.

Refrigerant leaks not only inhibit your commercial AC unit’s ability to do its job at full capacity, it can exert undue pressure on other components leading to system-wide malfunctions. Inadequate refrigerant flow makes your office or commercial space hot an uncomfortable while also posing significant risks to overall air quality.

Duct Work Issues – The duct work in your commercial HVAC system represents the channels through which air flows and regulates the temperature of your commercial space. There are multiple duct work issues that can inhibit proper air flow throughout your space, including:

  • Improperly Designed or Installed Systems
  • Leaks and Cracks in Housing
  • Dirt and Debris Build-Up
  • Inadequate Sealings in Registers and Grills
  • Twisted or “Kinked” Tubing that Obstructs Even Air Flow
  • Poor Insulation of Duct Work
  • Improper Air Balance

The United States Department of Energy reports that In a typical building, about 20 to 30 percent of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks, holes, and poorly connected ducts. The result is higher utility bills and difficulty keeping the house comfortable, no matter how the thermostat is set.

While it may seem less important or technical than something like an electrical issue, the duct work in your commercial HVAC system is critical to proper function and performance. If you suspect that there are issues with your duct work, contact a professional HVAC technician.

Why Is My Commercial HVAC System Making That Sound?

The need for commercial HVAC system repair may be detected through a variety of alarming and usual sounds, including banging, clicking, popping and stalling and sputter of air flow and more. These sounds can indicate a variety of issues, and it’s best to have them examined and diagnosed by a professional to mitigate the risk of further damage to your system.

Remember that any unusual noise from your commercial HVAC system represents a deviation from normal function, and it’s only a mater of time before these problems get worse and start costing you and your business real money, and perhaps jeopardize the safety of your building’s occupants.

What’s That Smell?

Another indicator of the need for commercial HVAC system repair is the emission of unusual odors. These smells can include anything from “burning” to “mildew” to “mold” to “must”. These scents very often indicate a serious issue with your system, whether it’s a vulnerable thermo or electrical component or the build-up of potentially harmful mold that can impact the health of your colleagues, tenants or customers. It’s also possible for dead animals to get caught in your system’s duct work, which can lead to unpleasant odors.

No Matter What the Problem May Be, UMG Has You Covered

If your NYC or NJ commercial HVAC system is acting up, or needs to be replaced, Universal Mechanical Group is ready to help. Our experienced, licensed and qualified technicians offer quick, clean and error-free installation at the most competitive prices in the New Jersey area. Get the peace of mind and assurance you deserve that comes from a perfectly functioning system, and ensure that your building’s occupants are safe and comfortable.

Call us today at 973-866-5445 to schedule a free, no-obligation estimate on your NJ commercial HVAC system. We have over 30 years’ experience and are available 24/7.

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