How to Detect Compressor Failures in Commercial HVAC Systems

September 6th, 2017
How to Detect Compressor Failures in Commercial HVAC Systems

How do you detect a possible compressor failure in your commercial HVAC systems?

As summer ends and fall begins, every building owner and property manager should know when their commercial HVAC systems are in need of repair. The compressor is the core element of a commercial HVAC system and an air conditioning unit. A breakdown might lead to costly repairs. Avoid these repairs by preventing compressor failures by asking yourself this – how will you know when the compressor is about to fail?

Compressor Won’t Start

The first problem you might notice is that your building is too hot. Then, when you check on your commercial HVAC systems, you find that they aren’t operating at the temperature that you set. Even if the indoor unit seems to be working fine, there might still be problems with the system as a whole. For instance, perhaps the compressor won’t start. If the compressor doesn’t start up at all, try adjusting the thermostat to coax the compressor back to life. When the compressor still doesn’t start, that could indicate several other systemic problems. You’ll need the expertise of an HVAC repair professional to figure out what is happening and what needs repairing.

Distribution of Warm Air

Another sign that compressor failure is imminent is if your commercial HVAC system is distributing warm air. While warm air might be a blessing once the colder weather arrives, if it happens too early, it’s a sign of trouble. Your compressor might be struggling to cycle enough refrigerant, so it doesn’t reach its full cooling potential. Don’t forget about another likely cause of this issue: refrigerant leaks. If you have noticed that your commercial HVAC system or AC unit have gradually been losing effectiveness, it could be due to such a leak. Once you have determined that there is a refrigerant leak, you should arrange to have it addressed as soon as possible.

Circuit Breaker Problems

Does the circuit breaker cause unexpected problems? The compressor could be overheating, causing more strain on your commercial HVAC system. Pay attention to the circuit breaker, which is only doing its best to prevent a fire hazard.

Vibration During Startup

If you notice vibration during startup, this is a sign of a hard-start, which indicates that the compressor struggles to activate. Any hard-starting means that the compressor is just about to fail. Turn off your system and have a professional come to inspect it.

Odd Condenser Noises

Condensers and compressors are essential components in commercial HVAC systems and air conditioners. If your external units are much louder than normal, or the condenser is making odd noises, it could be another sign of impending failure. While electrical components on the brink of failure could be the culprit behind these noises, another cause could be a faulty blower motor.

Crockett Facilities Can Help!

Crockett Facilities Services, Inc. (CFSI) is committed to helping building owners, property managers, engineers,  and facility professionals lower their operating expenses through HVAC preventive maintenance. We can develop a cost-effective, customized preventive maintenance plan for your commercial building that will provide you with peace of mind, improved comfort, and energy savings.

Click Here to Request a Quote

To learn more about the importance of HVAC Preventive Maintenance, please contact us at 202.600.2787 or sales@crockett-facilities.com. Our PM contract customers receive priority service with 24/7 emergency service in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC.

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