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Timberline Mechanical Offers Insights on Commercial/Industrial HVAC: Signs It’s Tune-Up Time, the Benefits and Process

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10 Signs Your Commercial/Industrial HVAC System Needs a Tune-Up

Boulder, June 14, 2024 – A properly functioning HVAC system is essential for the comfort and productivity of any commercial or industrial space. Ignoring signs of wear and tear can lead to energy waste, higher heating and cooling bills, costly breakdowns and an uncomfortable environment.

Periodic tune-ups are crucial to avoiding these issues, but how do you know when it’s time for service? This article answers that important question, providing 10 signs that you should reach out to your HVAC service provider. It also outlines what typically takes place in an HVAC system tune-up and explains the benefits of keeping your system operating at peak performance.

engineers servicing HVAC system

When To Schedule an HVAC Tune-Up

The HVAC system in your commercial or industrial building has been working fine, but then you start getting the sense that something’s not exactly right. It seems like the facility isn’t as warm or cool as it should be for the season. Or maybe there are hints of a bad odor in the air. And are your energy bills gradually increasing, or are you just imagining it?

That scenario of growing concern about the performance of heating and cooling systems is common, and the sooner you take action, the better it is for your system, your building and its occupants.

Here are 10 signs your HVAC system might need professional attention:

  1. Inconsistent temperatures. Do some areas of your building feel too warm or too cold? Or does any particular area seem to cycle between comfortable and uncomfortable throughout the day? Uneven temperatures or an inability to maintain a temperature setting are indicators of HVAC problems. They can be due to failing thermostats, furnace or air conditioning unit issues, ductwork leaks or other causes.
  2. Unusual noises. Commercial and industrial HVAC systems should operate relatively quietly. If you hear banging, grinding, squealing or other unusual noises, it’s a sign of trouble. Loose parts, failing motors or worn-out bearings are potential culprits.
  3. Decreased airflow. When the airflow from vents starts to weaken, that’s a sign you have a problem. The condition could be caused by a clogged air filter, blocked ductwork or a failing blower motor. Reduced airflow not only affects comfort but can also strain the system, leading to further damage.
  4. Bad smells. Musty or unpleasant odors coming from vents often indicate mold growth within the system. This is a health hazard and requires immediate attention. Other odors, like burning smells, might indicate electrical issues that can be dangerous if not addressed promptly.
  5. Higher energy bills. The cost of energy tends to rise over time. However, if your bills are increasing without explanation, the cause may be problems with your HVAC system. Inefficient operation due to issues like worn parts, failing components or refrigerant leaks can cause energy consumption to rise.
  6. Frequent on/off cycling. A system that continually cycles on and off (called short cycling) is struggling to keep up with demand. Many issues can cause this condition, leading to additional problems like increased wear and tear and higher energy bills.
  7. Humidity problems. If your building feels more humid or drier than usual, it’s likely because the HVAC system isn’t managing humidity levels properly. This can be due to things like malfunctioning humidifiers or dehumidifiers or inadequate ventilation.
  8. System age. The lifespan of commercial and industrial HVAC systems varies based on the type of equipment, the environment and other factors. But if your system is approaching what you were told would be its expected maximum age (often 15-20 years), it’s a good idea to schedule more frequent tune-ups to prevent breakdowns, optimize performance and get a “heads up” when it’s time to upgrade or replace it.
  9. Water leaks. Any sign of water leakage around your HVAC unit requires immediate attention. Leaks can indicate clogged condensate lines, cracked drain pans or other issues that can cause water damage and promote mold growth.
  10. Visible dust and debris. Material around vents or on the heating/cooling equipment itself can be a sign that your system isn’t filtering air effectively. This can contribute to poor indoor air quality and put additional strain on the system.

One More Sign It’s Tune-Up Time

It’s crucial to pay attention to the indicators above that your HVAC system requires attention. However, the clearest sign it’s time for a tune-up is a recommendation from an HVAC pro who knows your system. Regular inspections and preventative maintenance visits can reveal issues requiring attention before they cause significant discomfort or high repair bills.

Developing a relationship with a trusted HVAC provider like Timberline Mechanical gives you an ally in your efforts to keep your system operating efficiently and effectively.

What Does a Typical Commercial/Industrial HVAC Tune-Up Entail

A comprehensive tune-up by a qualified HVAC technician typically includes the following:

Inspection

A thorough visual inspection of all components, including the condenser, evaporator coils, blower motor, ductwork and electrical connections.

Cleaning

Cleaning of coils, drain pans, blower assemblies and other components to remove dirt and debris that hinder efficiency.

Filter replacement

Replacement of air filters to ensure optimal airflow and indoor air quality.

Lubrication

Using appropriate materials to ensure parts can move freely and reduce friction and wear.

Electrical testing

Testing electrical connections, motors and controls to identify potential problems.

Refrigerant check

Checking refrigerant levels and addressing any leaks or low refrigerant.

Thermostat calibration

Ensuring thermostats are accurate and properly calibrated.

Safety checks

Verifying safety controls are functioning correctly.

Having this work performed regularly is essential for keeping your commercial or industrial HVAC system running correctly.

Benefits of Regular Tune-Ups Matter

Regular HVAC tune-ups provide numerous benefits. Improved efficiency is one of the most important as it can save you money. Tune-ups also enable technicians to spot minor issues before they become major problems, which extends the life of an HVAC system and saves you even more.

Periodic tune-ups also help ensure occupant comfort. From better temperature and humidity control to improved indoor air quality, people are happier working in buildings where the HVAC systems operate as they should.

Schedule a Commercial or Industrial HVAC Tune-Up Today

One call to Timberline Mechanical is all it takes to check the box on your to-do list for the critical item “Get service for the HVAC system.”

Having one of our technicians inspect and service your system keeps your energy bills down, protects your heating and cooling system investment and ensures building occupants enjoy a comfortable, healthy work environment.

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