Maintenance Tips to Extend the Lifespan of Your Business’ Air Conditioning System

Maintenance Tips to Extend the Lifespan of Your Business' Air Conditioning System

In the fast-paced world of business, the air conditioning system is the silent hero of workplace comfort, tirelessly slogging through heatwaves and balmy climates to keep your team cool and productive. But like all heroes, even the most robust commercial air conditioning unit requires care to continue performing at its best. 

This blog entry focuses on essential maintenance tips that promise to not only bolster the efficiency of your central air conditioner but also significantly extend its lifespan. We will walk you through a series of expert-recommended practices that are pivotal in ensuring that your air conditioning works seamlessly, saving you from unexpected breakdowns and costly repairs. It’s time to take the longevity of your business’ climate control into your own hands, ensuring a cool, comfortable environment for your employees and clients year-round.

The Lifespan of Your A/C System: What’s Typically Normal?

A typical central air conditioning system can last anywhere from 15 to 20 years when properly maintained. For commercial systems, the lifespan is generally on the higher end of the spectrum, thanks to better-quality components and less strenuous operating conditions. However, this is an average—if your business’s A/C system is not correctly serviced, its functionality and the duration of service can be greatly compromised.

When it comes to interior comfort, businesses often face unique challenges that demand consistent and effective climate control. High traffic areas that require cool temperatures throughout the day can put a significant strain on your A/C system’s functioning. 

Why Maintenance is Critical

Maintenance is your system’s most effective longevity insurance. Regular checks and minor repairs can prevent problems from escalating, ultimately delaying the need for a full system replacement. A well-maintained system operates more efficiently, translating to energy cost savings for your business while also reducing your environmental footprint.

The longer-term benefits of regular service extend well beyond financial incentives. In addition to reducing the risk of sudden system breakdowns, proper maintenance also ensures a healthier indoor air quality (IAQ) for your workspace. This is a critical factor, as poor IAQ can significantly affect the health, comfort, and productivity of your employees and the satisfaction of your clientele.

Signs Your Business A/C Needs Attention

Before we get to the nitty-gritty of maintenance tips, it’s crucial to recognize the signs that your A/C system requires professional attention. Some common indicators include:

  • Reduced airflow: If you notice weaker air blowing from the vents, it could be a sign of a failing compressor or ductwork issue.
  • Strange odours: Musty smells often indicate mold in the system, while foul odours can point to burned-out wire insulation.
  • Moisture accumulation: Leaking refrigerant, a block in the drain, or a failing compressor can all lead to moisture or water accumulating around the unit.
  • Strange noises: Squealing, grinding, or grating sounds can be red flags for a motor issue.
  • Increased humidity: If your A/C unit isn’t properly dehumidifying the air, it could mean a functional problem.

If you notice any of these issues, it’s time to call in the pros. Addressing problems early will save you from higher repair or replacement costs in the long run.

Air Conditioning Maintenance

Best Practices for Commercial Air Conditioning Maintenance

To keep your business’s A/C system running smoothly, consider these maintenance practices:

Regular Filter Replacements: Air filters are your first line of defence against dust, pollen, and other airborne contaminants that could compromise IAQ. Clogged filters not only reduce airflow but also force your system to work harder, leading to higher energy consumption. Change or clean your filters at least every three months, or more frequently if your business is in a particularly dusty environment. Understand the type of filter you have – some can last longer than others, but none are permanent fixtures.

Clear Debris from Condenser and Evaporator Coils: The condenser and evaporator coils accumulate dust and dirt over time. This buildup insulates the coils, reducing their ability to absorb heat. Clean coils assure optimal heat transfer and promote efficient operation.

To clean the coils, turn off the power to the system and refer to your system’s manual for instructions. If in doubt, seek professional help to avoid damaging the coils.

Coil Fins: The aluminum fins on evaporator and condenser coils can easily bend and block airflow. Use a “fin comb” tool to straighten out any damage. Keeping the fins in good shape is essential for efficient airflow and heat transfer. Be gentle and work slowly to avoid creating new issues while addressing this maintenance task.

Drainage: Clogged drain channels prevent the rapid drainage of condensation Trapped water can affect the humidity levels and may pool nearby your air conditioning unit, causing damage to floor surfaces. It’s best to maintain a clear path for proper drainage. Bleach can be used to clear blockages, but for consistent, proper care, you may need a professional to clean your unit’s drip pan and condensate drain.

Inspect Ductwork: Leaky ducts waste energy and can contribute to uneven cooling. Look for joints that should be connected and seal any gaps with duct-sealing mastic. Avoid using standard duct tape, as it is not effective in the long term and crumbles over time. 

Check Refrigerant Levels

Low refrigerant levels often indicate a leak or undercharging during installation—the former is likely, considering refrigerant operates within a closed loop system. Your HVAC technician will fix any leaks, test the repair, and make sure the system is at its proper charge. Remember, handling refrigerant requires a license and special tools – leave this to the professionals.

Evaluate the Thermostat

The thermostat is your control centre, and a malfunctioning thermostat can lead to problems with your entire system. Ensure that your thermostat is reading and setting temperatures accurately to reduce the likelihood of overworking your system. A misbehaving thermostat is generally something best diagnosed and replaced by a professional technician.

Lubrication of Moving Parts: Moving parts in your A/C system need to be well-lubricated to reduce friction and wear. Many modern units are designed with sealed bearings, which means they’re maintenance-free. However, older models may require periodic oiling. If you notice any unusual noises coming from your system, a lack of lubrication could be the culprit, and a professional should address this.

Electrical Connections and Capacitors: Check the electrical connections on your system’s components to ensure they’re tight and secure. Faulty connections can be hazardous and deteriorate major components. The capacitors in your system store energy and jumpstart the motors. A failing capacitor will result in a motor that won’t start or run efficiently. Electricity is dangerous and can cause severe injuries or even worse. Your safety is our #1 priority. Only allow trained professionals to handle and inspect electrical components.

Clean Around the Unit

Units located outdoors can quickly become a nest for leaves, dirt, and other debris that might force the system to work harder or become a fire hazard. Make sure to keep the area clear and clean. Power down your system and use a garden hose to gently rinse off the exterior. Don’t use a pressure washer, as the high pressure can damage the fins and coils.

When to Call in the Professionals

While there are a number of maintenance tasks you can perform yourself, some are best left to professional HVAC technicians. Here’s when to call in the experts:

  • If you notice any red flags during your initial checks, such as strange odours, loud or unusual noises, or inconsistent cooling
  • For any maintenance or repairs that involve opening the unit, working with refrigerant, or handling electrical components
  • If you’re unsure about any maintenance tasks or about the health of your AC system

Professional help can be the difference between a minor fix and a major repair or replacement. Opt for a reliable and professional service like CJ Brubacher to ensure your business’s AC system gets the attention it needs.

Why You Should Choose CJ Brubacher for Commercial Air Conditioning Maintenance

At CJ Brubacher, we understand that the comfort and productivity of your business depend on the reliability of your air conditioning system. Our team of skilled technicians is well-versed in all types of commercial AC systems, and we offer tailored preventive maintenance plans to fit your business’s unique needs. With our deep expertise and customer-focused approach, we ensure that your AC system stays in peak condition, year-round.

When you work with us, you can expect:

  • Thorough system inspections and tune-ups designed to catch potential issues before they become major problems
  • Prompt and professional service, with minimal disruption to your operation
  • Transparent pricing and clear communication throughout the maintenance process

Trust CJ Brubacher to protect your investment and keep your business cool and comfortable, no matter the season.

By adopting the practices mentioned in this article, you’ll not only ensure that your business stays cool and comfortable but also that you’ll avoid the headaches that come with unexpected AC failures.

Remember, a well-maintained air conditioning system is an asset to your business. It keeps employees happy, customers satisfied, and operating costs low. Don’t wait until summer’s at its peak to show your A/C some attention—it deserves your care year-round.

For comprehensive commercial air conditioning service, including maintenance, repair, and installation, trust the HVAC experts at CJ Brubacher. Contact us today to schedule your service and keep your business operating at the perfect temperature.