FAQs About Commercial HVAC Systems You May Not Have Known

FAQs About Commercial HVAC Systems You May Not Have Known

HVAC systems are crucial to the comfort and air quality of commercial buildings and homes alike. Whether you’re looking to install your first one, make an upgrade, or optimize your existing unit, it’s important that you know as much as possible so that you can make informed decisions. Continue reading to find out some things you probably didn’t know about commercial HVAC systems. 

What Are the Different Types of HVAC Systems? 

There are many different types of commercial HVAC systems, including single and multi-splits and VRFs, and while they all do the same thing (heat, cool, and ventilate), they do it in different ways. 

  • Single split systems are  used in small commercial buildings. As the name suggests, they have a single indoor unit connected to an outdoor unit, similar to a residential system.
  • Multi-split systems are used in larger spaces because they have multiple indoor units that can be adjusted independently
  • Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) or Variable Refrigerant Velocity (VRV) systems use refrigerant instead of water as the cooling and heating medium. They’re “variable” because both the motor speed and the refrigerant flow can be continuously controlled and adjusted
  • Roof Top Units or Packaged Systems are used in commercial buildings. These are systems that have both heating and cooling in one piece of equipment, instead of two and typically found on the roof of a building.

How Often Should Air Filters Be Changed?

We recommend changing air filters in your HVAC system at least once per quarter . Air filters in commercial HVAC systems must be switched out regularly if you want to prevent your unit from failing. This is because clogged filters force the HVAC system to work harder, resulting in reduced efficiency, less airflow, and higher energy bills. In our experience, clogged filters is one of the primary reasons for unit failure. 

So how do air filters get clogged in the first place? In HVAC systems, air filters trap all the dust and particulates in a room in order to improve air quality. When they’re left to do this over time, dust accumulates and clogs the filters – so regular cleaning and changing is crucial if you want your unit to stay efficient. Outside air quality also plays a large part in clogging filters. For example if the building is in an area with high concentration of cottonwood trees, the floating cottonwood can cause major issues with coils and filters getting clogged. 

Do You Need to Clean HVAC Coils?

Yes, you should clean your HVAC coils. Commercial HVAC systems use refrigerant-packed coils to absorb heat and move it between the indoor and outdoor units. This process can lead to a lot of dirt accumulating on the coils, preventing them from absorbing heat efficiently.

In fact, if the heating and cooling coil has as little as one millimetre of dirt on it, the performance of an HVAC unit can decrease by more than 20%. To avoid this (and the hefty energy bills that come with it), coils should be cleaned at a minimum of once a year. 

How Can You Save Money With Your HVAC System?

There are several ways for you to save money with your commercial HVAC system. First and foremost, schedule regular preventive maintenance. Waiting for a problem to occur will just cause unnecessary strain on your system and drive your bills up. Preventive maintenance ensures the ongoing health of your unit, saving you time and money.

Another way is to ensure your commercial building has adequate insulation because this prevents the unit from having to constantly alter the temperature of a poorly insulated room. You could also turn your thermostat down by just 1°C, making this the easiest way to slash your energy bills while maintaining a good level of comfort.

Should You Close Your Vents?

No, don’t close the vents on your HVAC system! While many people think that closing the vents in an HVAC system can redirect the airflow to other vents and help cut AC costs, the bottom line is that all this will do is strain your unit.

When your unit has added stress, it has to work harder, and this leads to components (particularly the compressor) deteriorating faster than they would otherwise. What does this mean for you? Expensive repairs and, despite popular belief, increased energy bills. 

How Do You Know If Your HVAC System is Failing?

There are some key indicators you can look for to ensure your commercial HVAC system is healthy. It’s actually pretty rare for a unit to fail out of nowhere – usually, there will be signs that it’s on its way out. These include:

  • Discrepancies between thermostat temperature and room temperature
  • Inconsistent temperatures, especially with air coming out of the vents
  • Unusual noises, such as grinding, or new noises that weren’t there before

If you notice anything out of the ordinary with your commercial HVAC system, always call a professional – and this brings us to our final FAQ!

Should an HVAC Technician Be Licensed?

There’s no beating around the bush on this one: absolutely! Your technician should always be trained and licensed to work on HVAC systems. This not only demonstrates that they have the education and skills to perform critical work, it also shows that they’re up-to-date with best practices, which are constantly evolving in this industry.

At DMC Service, our technicians are trained in all aspects of HVAC, from climate control service to maintenance and installation. 
If you’re in the Kansas City metro area and would like to chat about your commercial plumbing or HVAC system, contact us today for your customized quote.

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Founded in 2004, DMC Service, Inc. is proud of our decades-plus service to the Kansas City Metro and beyond. Based out of Olathe, we are a 100% woman-owned business with Karen Crnkovich at the helm as President and “Chief Hand-Shaker.” Karen leads the DMC Service team with unwavering passion and enthusiasm to fulfill our purpose: To keep people comfortable, safe and healthy.