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Commercial Air Conditioning Maintenance

commercial air conditioning

A fundamental method of avoiding expensive and uncomfortable air conditioning break-downs is to apply pre-emptive or proactive maintenance. Poorly maintained air conditioning units that are low on refrigerant or are operating with dirty condenser-coils will tend to cost property owners/managers much more in energy losses than a simple quarterly maintenance schedule would cost. Inefficient operating conditions result in reduced cooling capacity and higher energy costs to compensate for inefficient operations.

Air-conditioner efficiency is rated using the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) and EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) metrics. Essentially, the higher your SEER and EER numbers are, the more efficient your commercial air-conditioning performance will be—and the more efficient your comfort-dollars will be in providing you a strong return on your energy investment.

Intelligent Comfort Solutions services all makes and models of commercial air-conditioning units and systems. Commercial air conditioning technologies include chillers, packaged rooftop-units, and emerging technologies such as chilled beams, convection HVAC systems designed to cool large commercial spaces.

There are two primary types of air conditioning systems:

Unitary Air-Conditioners

The most common air-conditioning equipment is the unitary system. ‘Unitary’ means that all of the components necessary to cool, dehumidify, filter, and move the air are included in one assembly. Unitary equipment is available as a single package or as split-systems (or one system).

High-efficiency unitary air-conditioning units provide the same space-cooling as standard efficiency models, but they use up to 25 % less electricity. Single-package units include all of the components in one package that is installed externally, usually on a commercial building’s roof system. Split systems are made up of an indoor unit (fan and cooling/heating coils) and an outdoor unit (condenser and compressor). Unitary equipment includes heat-pumps and air conditioners with integral or separate gas or electric heating systems.

Evaporative Cooling Systems

Evaporative coolers provide cooling by blowing hot, dry air over a wetted pad and cooling the hot air through evaporation. The humidity of the air entering the conditioned space is increased. The most common form of this technology is direct evaporative cooling otherwise known as a ‘swamp cooler.’ Another evaporative form is indirect evaporative cooling that eliminates humidity through a heat-exchanger.

Air Conditioning System Components

Air-conditioning systems include more than just the cooling unit itself. A system also includes the air-distribution system—dampers, grills, and registers—as well as the temperature and schedule-control systems. Each of these components makes an important contribution to the performance and efficiency of the system as a whole.

To operate efficiently, a system needs to be properly sized and installed. Oversized units cost more to operate and perform poorly; poor installation reduces a system’s efficiency. Quality installation and maintenance ensures that ductwork is properly sized and sealed to reduce air leakage and provide balanced airflow throughout the building’s envelope, with the appropriate refrigerant charge and airflow. A system’s controls are also integral and should include programmable thermostats and timers, at minimum, for the scheduling of air-conditioning equipment, or there should be a computerized energy management systems (EMS) implemented.

System Disruptions and Breakdowns

System breakdowns typically occur during peak-use times. Routine maintenance reduces the risk of breakdowns. Implementing an appropriate, customized maintenance plan, Intelligent Comfort Solutions technicians discover worn and naturally failing parts before a system seizure or shutdown can occur. Don’t neglect your system: air-conditioning system failures primarily occur because of poor maintenance and overloaded equipment—and they nearly always fail during peak-use conditions when service and repair is difficult—and costly—to obtain.