The most common types of commercial HVAC systems are refrigerant-based. The rooftop units that often provide climate control for commercial facilities operate using powerful compressors that put the refrigerant under pressure so it circulates to move heat from one location to another—either heating or cooling the interior. The compressor is the most important component of these commercial HVAC systems: it draws on the most power and it serves as the literal heart of the system. A failed compressor is a serious problem since the cost of replacing one often makes it more cost-effective to replace the entire HVAC unit instead.
If you know what to watch for, you may be able to detect a compressor that’s starting to fail and call for professional repairs in time to stop a bigger problem. Below we’ll look at some of these warning signs of compressor trouble.