The Top Building HVAC System Problems (And How to Solve Them)
If you’re the owner of a building with a central HVAC system, you know it’s important to keep that system running smoothly. A broken or malfunctioning system can lead to many problems, from uncomfortable temperatures to high energy costs.
To ensure your building systems are operating at their peak performance, please read on to learn the most common commercial HVAC issues and how to solve them.
Unsuitable Building Pressurization
One of the most common HVAC issues commercial buildings face is unsuitable pressurization. This can be caused by various factors, including leaky doors and windows or a poorly designed ventilation system. If your building experiences this issue, you’ll likely notice that certain areas are too hot or too cold, drafts near doors and windows, or humidity problems.
The first step to solving this issue is finding the source of the leaks. You can do this by conducting a building pressurization test, which will help you identify where the air is escaping from your building.
Once you’ve found the source of the leaks, you can seal them with weatherstripping or caulking. You may also need to adjust your ventilation system, such as increasing the amount of outside air being brought in.
Poor Indoor Air Quality
Another common issue commercial buildings face is poor indoor air quality (IAQ). This can be caused by dirty HVAC filters, humidity problems, or off-gassing from building materials.
If your building experiences these issues, you’ll likely notice that the air feels stuffy or stagnant, there’s an increase in dust and allergens, you witness mildewy ducts, or there are strange odors from the HVAC system.
The first step to solving this issue is to make sure that your HVAC filters are clean and changed regularly. You may also need to adjust the humidity levels in your building or install an air purification system.
If it’s something worse, like black, it might be time to contact a professional as this can be a very dangerous environment for your team to be in.
Improper Use of Setbacks
One energy-wasting mistake commercial buildings make is the improper use of setbacks. This occurs when a building’s HVAC system is turned off or set to a lower temperature during periods when the building is unoccupied, such as at night or on weekends.
While this may seem like a good way to save energy, it can lead to several problems, such as higher energy costs, drafts, and temperature fluctuations.
The best way to avoid this issue is to use a programmable thermostat that’s properly programmed for your building’s occupancy schedule. This will ensure that your HVAC system is only running when it needs to be and that it’s not wasting energy when the building is empty, but not overworking when people are back in the building.
Wrong Input Overrides
One of the most common problems with commercial HVAC systems is wrong input overrides. This occurs when someone (usually a tenant or building occupant) manually changes the temperature on the thermostat, overriding the set point programmed by the building manager. This can lead to several problems, such as uncomfortable temperatures, drafts, and high energy costs.
The best way to avoid this issue is to ensure that only authorized personnel have access to the thermostats in your building. You may also consider installing lock boxes or covers over the thermostats to prevent unauthorized tampering.
Excessive ventilation can be caused by poorly designed ventilation systems or building occupants who open windows or doors too often. If your building experiences this issue, you’ll likely notice that there’s an increase in dust and allergens, or the HVAC system is running more often than usual.
The best way to solve this issue is to ensure that your ventilation system is properly designed and installed. You may also want to consider installing automatic doors and windows or using occupancy sensors to control when the HVAC system is turned on and off.
Faulty sensors can lead to several problems, such as inaccurate temperature readings, drafts, and high energy costs. If your building experiences these issues, you’ll likely notice that the temperature in your building fluctuates frequently or that the HVAC system seems to be running more often than usual.
The best way to solve this issue is to ensure that your HVAC system is properly calibrated. You may also want to consider replacing the sensors in your system if they are old or damaged.
Incorrect HVAC Ductwork Sizing
Incorrect ductwork sizing is another problem commercial HVAC systems have. This can lead to drafts, high energy costs, and uncomfortable temperatures. If your building experiences this issue, you’ll likely notice that the air in your building is not circulating properly or that the HVAC system seems to be working harder than usual.
The best way to solve this issue is to make sure that your ductwork is properly sized for your HVAC system. Depending on the season, you may also want to consider installing additional insulation around your ductwork to help keep the air inside cool or warm.
HVAC systems are essential for maintaining comfortable temperatures in commercial buildings. However, these systems can often face problems, such as drafts, temperature fluctuations, and high energy costs.
The best way to avoid these issues is to have a well-maintained and properly designed HVAC system. You may also want to consider installing automatic doors and windows or using occupancy sensors to control when the HVAC system is turned on and off.