What You Should Know About Your Commercial Air Conditioner
Commercial air conditioners are a necessary part of most businesses. They keep employees and customers cool and comfortable in the summer months and help to maintain a productive work environment.
It is important to keep your commercial air conditioner in good working order, and that means scheduling regular maintenance checks. Let’s discuss some of the things you should know about your commercial air conditioner.
If you’re looking for a commercial HVAC Washington DC provider call us 301-417-9772.
Components of a Commercial Air Conditioning Unit
Before we get into how to take care of your commercial air conditioner, it’s important to understand the HVAC components.
- The condensing unit connects to the evaporator coil. It’s filled with refrigerant gas that is cooled into liquid by the heat exchange. Then, the condensing unit pumps that liquid to the evaporator coil where it is turned back into a gas.
- The compressor takes the refrigerant gas that results from the evaporator coil’s work and reduces its volume, turning into a hot, high-pressure gas.
- An evaporator coil does the opposite job as a heat exchanger. It cools air when you set the thermostat to a lower temperature.
- The air handler circulates and “conditions the air.” It usually contains a blower motor, heating and cooling elements, filter racks, sound attenuators, and dampers. Air handlers are connected to ductwork that circulates the conditioned air around the building and returns it to the handler.
- The chiller takes heat from a liquid via a vapor-compression or absorption refrigeration cycle. As the cooled liquid travels through the building pipes and through coils in air handlers, it is cooling the air in the building. Chillers can be air-cooled or water-cooled.
- Ductwork is the system that carries warmed or, in the case of an air conditioner, cooled air through the building.
Now that we’ve dissected a commercial air conditioner for you, now it’s time to find out what you need to do to keep yours in tip-top shape.
Servicing Commercial Air Conditioners
Most commercial air conditioners need to be serviced at least twice a year, but quarterly is optimal. This is because they work hard to keep large spaces cool, and they can develop problems more quickly than smaller units.
In addition, the filters in commercial air conditioners can become clogged with dirt and dust more easily than those in residential units. Regular maintenance helps to keep your air conditioner running smoothly and prevents major problems from developing.
Here is a list of the things that need to be done to keep a commercial air conditioner functioning properly:
- Regularly replace filters – every three months, or after 1500 hours of operation. Consider purchasing an air filter monitor that will tell you when the filter needs replacement.
- Keep HVAC vents clear of debris – dirt and other debris can build up on HVAC vents and degrade air quality.
- Don’t block off outdoor condenser coils – coils are responsible for dissipating heat from the unit’s refrigerant. When build-up occurs, coils are less efficient. Keep them clear for easy cleaning.
- Clean the heat pump – you might want to hire a professional for this. Here is a handy checklist:
- Turn off the power at the main breaker
- Shut off the unit’s water supply
- Clean the filters inside and outside the building using a brush attachment on a vacuum.
- Use a strong household cleaner mixed with water and a stiff brush to clean grease and debris off coil fins
Warning Signs with Commercial HVAC Washington DC Systems
Commercial air conditioners have a big job. They work hard and need regular maintenance. If you have any of the following warning signs, call a professional right away:
- The system is short cycling – this means that there is a problem that’s hindering your air conditioner from cooling air. You’ll know it’s short cycling if it turns on and off for very short periods of time.
- It’s noisy – rattling, screeching, or clanging are all signs of a problem. If it’s noisy, get it checked out.
- The air isn’t as cool. Obviously, this is the opposite of what you want and something you want to get looked at right away before the problem gets worse.
- The airflow is weak. There could be issues with ductwork, fans, or something else. This could also mean that your system is working harder than it is meant to.
- It’s smelly. A musty smell can mean a clogged condensate drain.
- Your energy bills are through the roof. If it’s way higher than usual, your bill could be impacted by an inefficient system.
Scheduling Commercial HVAC Washington DC Maintenance Checks
It is best to schedule commercial air conditioner maintenance quarterly so you don’t end up with no AC on a 100 degree Washington DC Area summer. This will help to ensure that it is in good working order when you need it most.
However, if you have not had your air conditioner serviced in a while, it is not too late. You can still schedule a maintenance check and get your unit ready for the summer season.
Regular maintenance helps to keep your air conditioner running smoothly and prevents major problems from developing.
Contact us today if you need help with your commercial air conditioner!