Now that spring is here, office parks, restaurants, and warehouses are using their air conditioners. We know because we start getting calls from Sicklerville, Washington Township, and all over South Jersey.
Some common commercial HVAC problems we address every spring and summer are:
- The system is noisy
- The AC doesn’t cool enough
- Strange smells
- Inconsistent airflow
- Poor air quality
Now, this is a good time to mention the importance of commercial air conditioning service. Before you begin using your AC, have a certified professional look over your entire system.
This way, you get ahead of problems before they happen. You’ll save yourself time, money and headaches.
But, even if you’re already noticing things going wrong, don’t worry. There’s still plenty we can do to get your system back in excellent working order.
Symptoms of common commercial HVAC problems
Recognizing the signs of a problem with your air conditioner helps you get them repaired faster. When you know what you’re looking for, you’ll know when to call your HVAC contractor.
Let’s take a closer look at those symptoms we mentioned earlier.
The system is noisy
This includes thumping, scraping, humming, pops and bangs, rattles and vibrations you may hear coming from your vents.
Some aren’t too bad. For instance, there may be some small debris in the ductwork somewhere. As air moves through the ducts, those little pieces move around. You’ll hear them strike against the metal.
However, scraping sounds can mean there’s a big problem. It’s possible a component on your system has come loose. What you’re hearing is it bang against other parts.
The AC doesn’t cool enough
As the weather gets warmer, your air conditioner will work harder to maintain the temperature you want. If the unit’s worn out or broken, it won’t be up to the task.
At that point, humidity often becomes an issue. Remember, an air conditioner also removes moisture from the air. If it’s not working correctly, the air inside can get sticky.
And, as the humidity rises, the area feels warmer than it actually is. You’ll notice people start fiddling with their thermostats more often without getting results.
This one may sound strange, but it comes up more often than you may think. We get calls because there’s a burning smell or something like a rotten egg.
Then there’s “dirty sock syndrome.” That’s a musty, stale smell not unlike an old gym bag.
Each of these odors has a different cause. We’ll get into the specifics a little later. But, in general, you need to call in a professional quickly. In some cases, your health or safety could be at risk.
This is when not every area of your property gets the same amount of air circulation. Or, you notice the system pushing less air than it should sometimes.
The result is uneven cooling or hot and cold spots. Even though the entire building should have the same temperature, some areas are warmer than others.
Poor air quality
Are your tenants complaining about seasonal allergies flaring up at work? Are more employees calling out sick? Are sore throats, itchy eyes and other symptoms becoming common?
The problem could be your air conditioner. After all, it circulates air through your property in the summer. If that air is full of allergens and contaminants, people inside will feel their effects.
What are the causes of common commercial HVAC problems?
Any number of things can cause the symptoms we listed above. Some common causes of commercial HVAC problems are:
- Dirty components
- Clogs in the drain line
- Water leaks
Dust and debris can build up throughout your system. This can cause airflow problems and prevents the system from cooling properly.
In some cases, it’s an easy fix. For instance, if you haven’t changed your air filter in a while, it’s probably clogged. That prevents air from flowing the way it should.
A dirty condenser can cause similar problems. But, you’ll need a professional to get in and clean it. You don’t want to risk damaging the system or hurting yourself.
Clogs in the drain line
This can cause the “dirty sock” smell we mentioned. It can also affect airflow.
As the system pulls moisture from the air, that water vapor cools and becomes liquid. The drain line removes that water.
But, if there’s a blockage, the liquid builds up. Eventually, you’ll notice the odor from the standing water. And, it reduces your system’s efficiency.
A leaky air conditioner can cause a whole host of problems. Overall, the system may not work as well. That means weak or uneven heating.
This can also affect your air quality. If water collects somewhere, so does bacteria and other pollutants. These pollutants can then circulate through the building.
Leaks form for all sorts of reasons. Buildup from a blockage, a break somewhere in the system and loose connections are common culprits.
This one’s simple: As your unit gets older, it stops working as well as it used to. Even with proper care and maintenance, every HVAC unit eventually breaks down for good.
Fortunately, there are plenty of warning signs. If your unit is approaching 15 years old, it’s time to start thinking about a replacement.
If it’s that old and you’re noticing higher energy bills and more frequent repairs, you may need a new one very soon.
Of course, it’s impossible to know what’s wrong with your particular AC unless we come out and inspect it ourselves. And, beware of any contractor who tries to tell you over the phone what the problem is and how much it will cost without seeing it.
Commercial air conditioning service in Sicklerville, NJ
Before you begin using your AC every year, have a professional look it over. This way, you know it’s ready to work properly all summer long. Benefits of regular commercial air conditioning service include:
- Increasing your system’s efficiency
- Extending the life of your system
- Keeping the warranty valid
- Fixing problems when they’re small
In Sicklerville and across South Jersey, Bovio has been servicing air conditioners for over 40 years. With our maintenance packages, you can easily add the services you need into your annual budget. And, you can save money on some repairs.
Having your system looked over by a certified professional also keeps your warranty valid. And, your energy bills will stay under control when you make sure the system is in great shape.
Contact Bovio today to make sure your commercial HVAC unit is ready for summer.