5 Common Commercial AC Problems and How to Fix Them


Commercial HVAC systems do more than keep workplace temperatures consistent; they create comfortable and productive environments for tenants or customers. But when your system starts acting up, you need to act fast.

Often, the problem is as simple as replacing the batteries on your thermostat. Other times, the issue is much more serious, like a clogged drain line.

Unbalanced Air

Unbalanced air makes your commercial HVAC system work twice — or five times — harder than it should to keep your building at the desired temperature. That extra strain causes energy bills to rise and can damage equipment over time.

A basic form of air balancing involves adjusting dampers on duct lines. Depending on how your ducts were fitted, these may have small metal levers that can be flipped open or closed to direct airflow into different rooms.

You can also troubleshoot this problem by looking for signs of uneven air flow. If doors slam or rattle on their own or vents blow warm air even when the thermostat is cranked down, these are signs of air balance issues that need fixing.

Clogged Drain Lines

Commercial air conditioning systems create condensation that is carried away through drain lines. Over time, these can become clogged with dirt and algae, damaging your unit. Periodic inspections and cleaning can prevent this.

Odd indoor noises from your HVAC system may indicate an issue with the AC unit. These are often caused by ductwork components that must be repaired or replaced. Timely commercial AC repair Massachusetts can prevent this from becoming a major problem.

A power drill can clear the clog if the drainage line is clogged. Plug in the drill, remove water from the drain pan and feed a few feet of cable down the pipe. Please turn on the drill’s motor and move it back and forth through the clog until it is cleared.

Unresponsive Thermostat

The thermostat regulates and monitors air temperature, so it’s no surprise that it’s an important part of any commercial HVAC system. When a thermostat stops functioning properly, it can cause problems for the people inside your building.

When a thermostat is unresponsive, it usually means that the sensors are giving inaccurate readings. This can be easily fixed by replacing the batteries, which should help your unit start responding to commands again.

Another possible problem is a tripped circuit breaker, which can be remedied by flipping it back on. It’s important to note that electrical issues should never be handled on your own, so you should always seek the assistance of a professional if you want to fix your unit.

Frozen Coils

An AC unit works hard to keep your building cool. Unfortunately, this can cause it to wear out prematurely if the thermostat doesn’t work correctly or you have too much refrigerant. This problem can lead to frozen coils.

Luckily, this is an easy fix. Start by turning off the AC system at the thermostat and breaker box to allow the coil to thaw. Then, switch the thermostat setting to ‘fan’ only. This will push air over the coil and speed up defrosting.

Then check the air filter and replace it if necessary. Clogged filters restrict airflow and can lead to coil icing. This can be an especially serious issue during the summer when ice on coils prevents your AC from cooling properly. An air conditioning specialist can check your system for clogged air filters and other problems preventing proper airflow. They can also provide preventative maintenance to keep your AC in tip-top shape.

Strange Noises

Commercial HVAC systems are designed to cool large areas and can have various issues that need attention. Faulty systems can cause restaurants, hotels to lose clientele and businesses to miss out on potential revenue.

Strange noises like hissing sounds can indicate a gas leak. This serious problem should be dealt with immediately by an experienced professional.

A broken fan belt may also cause hissing sounds. A squealing sound could mean an issue with the blower motor, while a thwapping noise indicates an obstruction in the air duct system. A decrease in airflow and temperature usually accompanies these sounds. An HVAC technician should inspect the entire system to find the source of the problem.


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