What You Should Know Before You Turn on Your Commercial Heating
It’s that time of year again – the weather is getting colder, and businesses are starting to turn on their commercial heating systems. However, buildings can encounter problems that make commercial HVAC and other commercial heating systems go batty.
These issues can cause inefficiency, inconsistent airflow, and, sometimes, cripple systems entirely. Here’s what you should know about your commercial heating system – what can go wrong and what you can do to keep the air nice and warm all winter long.
Usually, we save the “call an HVAC professional ” until the end of a post, but we’re going to put it at the top because of all the funky things that can happen if you don’t.
Get That Heating Unit Serviced!
You’ve been running AC all summer, and it’s time to flip the switch. Have your commercial heating system unit serviced by a professional before you turn it on for the season. This will help you get out ahead of any problems your unit has in store for you.
A professional can check for mechanical problems, change air filters, clean ducts, and more. Here are some other commercial heating woes a professional can help you sort through and avoid.
HVAC Systems That Go Bump in the Night (and Day)
Strange noises in your heating system mean trouble. This is a serious situation to address quickly – as the causes of noises in the commercial HVAC can spell catastrophic damage. Rattling noises from deep in the bowels of the system could mean a fan belt is loose.
This compromises the system’s efficiency and keeps the unit working overtime. Buzzing noises point to a bad condenser or compressor. Something may be stuck in the system, which is no good and can cause damage to the unit or cause it to shut down. Clanking sounds could mean something in the ductwork is loose, damaging it.
Better to have the unit serviced before listening to what your commercial heating system is telling you.
Can You Smell That Smell?
When you turn your heat on for the first time at home, it has that musty “just turned the heat on” smell. It doesn’t go away, and you’re the only one that must deal with it. That’s not really a luxury you have in a commercial building.
Bad smells can mean anything from mildew growing in the ductwork to something stuck and burning out on a part of the HVAC unit. If you smell odors after you’ve had a professional service your unit, pay close attention to what the smell is like and when it happens, report that to your commercial HVAC professional so they can diagnose the problem quickly.
Pro tip – keep an eye on your drip pans. They can get funky with algae. Does something smell off every time you’re heating the building? It can be something that’s growing in your ductwork. Mildew commonly grows in ductwork because of the dark spaces it provides.
The Woes of HVAC Duct Leakage
Commercial HVAC leaks are common. Leaks mean your treated air is escaping, which is the opposite of what you want your heating system to do. Cracked pans, clogged drain lines, frozen evaporator coils, and more can cause leaks. Furthermore, these leaks can cause damage to your commercial HVAC system in the form of rust and other bad news.
In other cases, refrigerant can leak in a commercial HVAC system. This compromises your unit’s ability to heat your building because your heat pump needs that refrigerant to treat the air. A lack of refrigerant causes your system to be undercharged, which can cause failure in the compressor. Your technician will be able to check for this ahead of time.
Heating System Shutdown!
Failing HVAC systems can experience unexpected shutdowns, which is inconvenient and troublesome, especially when the weather is cold. Something as simple as a capacitor issue can cause a shutdown. That can be fixed with a simple trip to the circuit breaker.
Broken fuses can also cause the system to shut down, as can filthy filters that don’t let air pass through the unit. All these conditions, and more, will be caught by your commercial HVAC professional.
Before you turn on the heat for the winter, contact us today! We can help troubleshoot and diagnose problems and find the best solution to keep your building warm through the season.