Your HVAC system is the circulatory system of your commercial building. It moves clean air or water through your building, keeping the inside of the building comfortable and healthy while working smoothly with the other systems to create a harmonious working or living climate. When it isn’t functioning properly, any number of problems can arise throughout your building that extends beyond a simple fix such as replacing an air filter. Even the top-of-the-line HVAC systems will begin to fail at some point, so it’s important to know the warning signs before your system breaks down altogether.

The Signs

1. Your utility bills are higher than normal . If you see a sudden rise in your heating and cooling costs, it could mean there’s a faulty thermostat, leaks in ductwork, clogged filters, an inefficient unit, or a number of other causes.

2. Temperatures are too hot or too cold. Commercial HVAC systems are designed to keep the temperature inside your building at a consistent, comfortable temperature no matter what the weather outside. If you find that you’re too hot or too cold throughout the day, your system may be having difficulties maintaining that constant temperature. It could be problems with your thermostat or that your system can’t keep up anymore.

3. Your system makes unusual noises. Your HVAC system should be a silent partner. It works quietly in the background keeping the building’s occupants comfortable and breathing clean air so they can go about their business without distraction. Hearing sounds that you didn’t hear before, like grinding or squealing, could indicate that your equipment is failing.

4. You detect unusual smells. The nose knows. If you smell unusual odors coming from your system, you could have a serious problem. Aside from heating and cooling, your HVAC system is designed to filter out pollutants, bacteria, and airborne diseases. A system that is not functioning as it should could pose a serious health risk to all of those people living or working within the building.

5. It’s predicted lifespan is up. When your system was originally installed, it was given a life expectancy in years that your system should last. If this time is up, even if you have followed all maintenance protocol to the letter, it may be time for a replacement. Technologies are constantly being developed that make commercial HVAC systems more efficient and less costly to run. If it’s been many years since you installed your system, odds are that a replacement one will save you more money in the long run.

6. You see moisture. If you begin to see excessive moisture on walls or windows or rust forms on pipes or mold beginning to grow, your system could be causing a real hazard. Too much moisture can cause microorganisms to thrive and contribute or even cause allergies and asthma. Dust mites and other insects love humid environments, and expensive electronic equipment does not.

7. A circuit breaker trips. If this happens once, it may not indicate a problem, but if it continues to happen, it could be a real hazard. It could cause damage to the equipment or even fire. While it could be something as simple as a clogged filter, it could also mean that you’re facing costly repairs to the motor or compressor.

8. Your system is constantly being repaired. If you see your HVAC repair person more than you see your spouse, it may be time for an upgrade.

Why you should look for these warnings.

If you are forced into replacing your HVAC system because of an emergency situation, you may endure a costly shutdown of your entire building. By heeding the warnings that your system is giving you, you can plan accordingly. At Jarrell, our expert engineers can design a replacement that meets the specific needs of your building. We believe in Value Engineering, which means you’ll get the right system for your building for the right price. Replacement may not need to include new ductwork; we can often retrofit a newer, more efficient system to your old one to save you money while still providing you with a more energy-efficient unit. If your system is showing signs that it’s reaching the end of its days, call Jarrell at (314)291-0100 and see how much you can save with a more efficient HVAC system.