AirTight FaciliTech Company Blog

How to Avoid two Common Commercial HVAC Repair Scenarios

Published: September, 12 2017

Written by AirTight FaciliTech

As a busy commercial building owner or facility manager, the idea of an unexpected emergency repair or downtime scenario might very well keep you up at night. We totally understand. After all, downtime is costly in more ways than one, and any sort of system outage that lasts longer than a few minutes can lead to frustrating issues with inconvenienced tenants who may even be losing money right along with you.  

To help you sleep peacefully, we’d like to offer this quick, practical guide to identifying three common Charlotte commercial HVAC repair scenarios you’re likely to run into at some point, based on the complaints you or your tenants may have, and show you how to avoid them and the downtime they cause:

Commercial/Corporate building

Common Complaint: “There’s a strange noise coming from the vents.”

Noisy ventilation can be annoying and can even affect how a business runs. Just imagine trying to concentrate while loud clangs and rattles echo through the vents behind you.

Fortunately, noisy air flow usually has one of several simple causes:

  • Loose/broken fan blades
  • Cracked/broken air ducts
  • Loose air vents

Doing a visual inspection of the system, starting with these three categories, you’ll likely be able to find the offending part and either repair or replace it. First, though, check the heating and cooling units themselves just to make sure the sounds or vibrations aren’t coming directly from the unit, which could mean a more serious issue is presenting.

How to Avoid it: Planned maintenance and scheduled inspections

If there is an actual mechanical issue causing the noise, (or if you don’t have the time or staff needed to perform a thorough visual inspection of the ventilation system,) it’s best to contact your commercial HVAC service provider so they can send an experienced technician to help. The best option for long-term protection is to sign a planned maintenance program contract with your provider that includes routine scheduled inspections. Having a trained technician on-site to perform a system inspection each quarter will likely allow them to identify and repair problem areas before they become bad enough to annoy your tenants.

Common Complaint: “Something smells odd.”

If tenants in one isolated section of the building complain about the quality of the air, it’s a pretty good chance maintenance or cleaning is needed on one or more of the air ducts in that area. However, if most or all of the building has an air quality issue, the mechanical equipment itself is likely to blame.

Some common causes of poor air quality include:

  • Air filters that are in need of cleaning or replacement
  • Leaks or condensation resulting in standing water
  • Debris melting on the elements of the heat exchanger
  • Overheating parts inside one or more system motor

How to Avoid it: Planned maintenance

In all these cases, a well-planned and strategically scheduled planned maintenance program is likely to catch these issues before they progress to the point that air quality is adversely affected. Periodic visual inspections of the ductwork and equipment, in conjunction with electronic diagnostic testing, can help catch developing issues before they escalate.

Of course, there are many other scenarios that could result in commercial HVAC repairs for your building. Prevention and avoiding problems is always the best option, but when emergency repairs in your Charlotte building become necessary, they need to be handled quickly and effectively to minimize downtime. If you’d like to discuss any of these tools and recommendations, and learn more about how we can help you avoid these repair scenarios, contact AirTight FaciliTech today.

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