Even the most resilient and technologically advanced HVAC systems don’t last forever. Over time, the wear and tear from normal use can slowly break down important components and fluids, causing added friction, heat, and reduced efficiency. In the end, without any kind of preventative maintenance, any system will stop working as it should. Worst case scenario is a complete failure of the system to do its job, which is to make your workspace a comfortable environment. Even if you do manage to repair a broken-down system, it is usually only a matter of time before something else breaks again, requiring even more repairs and more money.
Preventing this state of affairs is what we’ll be talking about today. We’ll be taking a look at the tell-tale signs of a defective or struggling HVAC system and what can be done about it.
High energy bills
If your power expenditures are slowly rising year after year (or, in worse cases, skyrocketing), then your HVAC may be the culprit. Your HVAC system will slowly become less efficient as it ages, and any kind of sharp uptick in its power consumption could be a sign that it either needs to be repaired or replaced. It’s normal for utility bills to increase at certain parts of the year such as summer, but if you notice a rise that is not concurrent with increased HVAC use or load, then it’s best to have it checked out right away.
Noticed any strange odors lingering around your building? It’s entirely possible that your HVAC system is failing on you. It can be an indicator of multiple issues, but the two biggest ones are electrical issues and mold. Any kind of musty smell coming from your HVAC vents means there’s likely mold in the system somewhere, and blowing the spores into your building can cause them to spread and make your employees very sick. We don’t need to tell you how this will tank productivity across the board! If there’s any kind of burning smell, the electrical wiring or insulation around the unit may be the culprit. For both of these, prompt maintenance and cleaning are the ticket.
Loud or odd sounds — grinding, knocking, rattling
While a steady humming is normal when the HVAC system is in use, loud or unusual sounds are not. Listen for odd noises coming from your units. It could be a simple fix, such as a belt slipping out of place, or a more complex problem that requires an HVAC replacement. Fans and compressors break down and become unstable over time, causing them to create these sounds when they’re about to conk out. Get them fixed before a failure takes out the entire system!
For all of these issues, regular maintenance is a great help—so it’s important to have a reliable HVAC company on-call. Another option is a complete upgrade, as newer HVAC technologies have resulted in increased efficiency, cleaner air, and quieter operation. This is the option we would take if your system is 15 to 20 years old already—the potential efficiency savings could be enormous. Also in the interests of efficiency and savings, we should mention the potential of Building Automation Services, which can be integrated into almost any system to automatically monitor and regulate your HVAC. Not only that, it can potentially control almost all the systems of your workplace, resulting in a smarter, more efficient environment.
If you’d like to learn more about Building Automation Services, we at Level One HVAC are just a call away at (248) 486-6500. If you don’t have time for a lengthy phone call, simply fill out our online contact form and someone from our staff will be in touch with you shortly.