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Signs of a Failing Compressor in Your Commercial HVAC Equipment


Technician is checking air conditioner

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.

Lack of cooling/heating

This depends on what mode the HVAC system is supposed to be running in. If the air coming from the vents in your facility are not the temperature you expect, it may indicate that the compressor isn’t able to circulate enough refrigerant for the necessary heat transfer. 

Odd noises from the vents

In most facilities, the compressor is located where the noise it makes won’t disrupt regular operations. However, you may detect odd sounds coming through the vents. Clicking sounds are the most common warning of a compressor that’s having trouble starting and may soon fail.

Circuit breakers tripping frequently

The compressor uses so much electrical voltage that if it starts to draw on more than usual from the electrical system, it will trip its circuit breaker. When tripped breakers start becoming common, it may warn that the AC is overheating and the compressor is in danger of burning out. 

Constant running

Do the HVAC units for your facility seem to run all the time? HVAC systems are designed to cycle on and off regularly (usually in cycles around 15 minutes), and if the cycles are going much longer, it means something is wrong—possibly a compressor on the verge of failing. 

High humidity

A rise in humidity levels inside the facility can also indicate that the compressor is struggling to circulate enough refrigerant, resulting in lower absorption of moisture from the air that’s a natural part of the heat exchange process. 

As soon as you think you need commercial air conditioning repair in Toronto, ON, or elsewhere in the Greater Toronto Area, call our team. We offer 24/7 emergency service for situations just like this. We’ll investigate your HVAC units to find the source of the problem. If there’s a compressor in danger of failing, we’ll see if we can rescue it and keep it running effectively for several more years. In the case of older HVAC units, we may recommend upgrading the equipment rather than sinking money into temporary repairs. 

Advantage Airtech Commercial Ltd. is the Double “A” Name with the Triple “A” Rating. Reach out to us any time of the day or night for your commercial HVAC repair needs.

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