Subtle Signs Of Problems With Your Building's AC

Air conditioning is a vital part of any modern work environment. Employees expect their offices and workspaces to be kept at a cool and comfortable temperature year-round. Climate control is generally considered a perk of working in any indoor environment, so morale can quickly begin to fall when the AC system isn't working as it should be. Unfortunately, AC problems can sometimes be time-consuming to diagnose and repair, leaving your employees sweating out their days in the meantime. Being aware of some of the more subtle signs of impending failure can allow you to deal with the problem quickly and with minimal downtime.

Unusual Odors

One of the earliest signs of trouble with any forced-air system is an odor emanating from the ductwork. A musty or mildew smell often indicates that mold is beginning to take hold in the ducts. It may also only be a sign that your filter needs replacement, so it's always worthwhile to check that first. If your filter is in good condition, however, then the problem is likely moisture in the system. It is usual for condensation to appear on the outside of the ductwork as water condenses on the cold metal, but moisture inside the ductwork is generally a sign that the evaporator is not cool enough to remove water from the air.

Cycling Issues

Cycling in an AC system refers to a condition where the compressor engages and disengages too quickly. Hearing the compressor turn on and off from inside a large building can be difficult or impossible, but this doesn't mean that short cycling has to go unnoticed. Instead, pay attention to the airflow from the vents. Cold air should be flowing reliably from every vent until the room has roughly reached the temperature set on the thermostat. If the vents seem to stop blowing cold air while the room is still warm only to turn on a short while later, then you likely have a short cycling issue with your system.

High Humidity

The moisture carrying capacity of warm air is higher than that of cold air. Because of this, moisture will condense as air is cooled and your AC system will naturally reduce your building's humidity. If you notice that your humidity levels seem to be high even when the system is running, then there is likely a problem. High humidity can be caused by warm refrigerant failing to remove enough heat from the air as it passes through the evaporator or it can be due to moisture entering the system. In either case, humid air moving through your ducts can lead to mold growth and other serious issues.

Paying attention to your building's AC performance is an excellent way to notice small signs that can point to much more significant issues. Once you see a problem, it is crucial to have a commercial air conditioning repair technician diagnose it as soon as possible to avoid costly failures and downtime.