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10 common commercial HVAC problems

If you are a property or facilities manager or you simply have the task of looking after your premises allocated to you, people will most likely have come to you at some point that the temperature is too hot or cold.

HVAC stands for Heating, ventilation and air conditioning

Psychology of Temperature to Work in

Research shows that when it is too cold it can affect our attention as our body temperature drops as more energy is used to keep warm rather than concentrate. It can also lead you to believe people are acting coldly and in a less open manner.

When it is too hot, it showed that it can make you lethargic and unfocused. Heat stress can cause the body to lose water and electrolytes causing low mental performance and decreased motor skills. It can also increase how quickly you get aggravated and irritated with those around you.

Legal Requirements for Temperature in the Workplace in the UK

“During working hours, the temperature in all indoor workplaces must be reasonable. There is no law for minimum or maximum working temperatures.”(Read more)

The approved code of practice suggests the minimum temperature in a workplace should normally be at least 16 degreed Celsius. If the work involves rigorous physical effort, the temperature should be at least13 degrees c. The employer has a duty to determine what reasonable comfort is.

Commercial HVAC systems are much larger than domestic systems but just like at home, they have a range of sizes and features including

• Multiple thermostats

• Wiring and complex parts

• Modular system to allow for fluctuating company needs

While the idea of heating and cooling is similar, the make-up of a building and its requirements, differ from business to business.

Commercial HVAC Problems – What Can Go Wrong?

1. AGE- HVAC systems have a lifespan. They need maintenance to reach that life span. Belts, bearing and motors begin to fail.Regular maintenance and repair can keep these in optimal condition for as long as possible.

2. CIRCUIT BREAKER- If something blocks the airflow, your unit’s blower may work overtime and end up tripping the breaker.

3. DIRTY CONDENSER- Clogged or dirty evaporator coils can significantly reduce efficiency.

4. DIRTY FILTERS- Commercial filters should be changed regularly.

5. IGNITION – Normal use and age can degrade burners, flame sensors or the pilot light.

6. MINIMAL MAINTENANCE- You can avoid problems when you ensure you have regular maintenance. Your technician will check, inspect and test your system to ensure it is ready for the next season.

7. NOISES- Strange noises coming from your HVAC unit is it’s way of calling for. Investigate noises straight away. A technician can diagnose and repair the problem.

8. NONSTOP BLOWER -If the thermostat is set to the ‘auto’ position and you hear the blower non-stop, your fan may be stuck.

9. THERMOSTATS- Drained batteries are often the cause of commercial thermostat problems. If you haven’t replaced your batteries in a while, it may be time. Manufacturers recommend replacing the batteries once per year, or sooner.

10. WATER LEAKS – if you notice water pooling around your nit, call your HVACProfessional right away! HVAC drain lines can clog or crack. Water leaks canal so indicate trouble with the collector box, heat exchanger, or evaporator.

Planned Preventative maintenance (PPM) is the best approach. Emergencies can often take longer to fix and cost more, than regularly scheduled, professional maintenance.

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