Warm air is the last thing that a building owner wants to feel coming out of an air conditioner. However, this problem is fairly common. Small businesses spend an estimated $60 billion per year on energy, according to ENERGY STAR. A bulk of this energy is consumed in the form of electricity from major appliances like air conditioners. As one of the most important and costly expenses within a business, building owners expect their commercial AC units to continue blowing cool air throughout the summer months. Unfortunately, without regular maintenance, problems can occur that cause an AC to blow warm air. Many times, this problem can be fixed by an experienced HVAC technician who will quickly diagnose and correct the issue.
Reasons Why A Commercial AC May Be Blowing Warm Air
Below are some of the more common reasons why a commercial ac system may be blowing warm air, which also may indicate a need for commercial AC repair or replacement.
Thermostat Is Incorrectly Set Or Malfunctioning
One of the first things that an HVAC technician will look at when a commercial AC system is blowing warm air is the thermostat. In some cases, a thermostat will be incorrectly set by an employee or knocked by an object that caused it to change its settings. In the summer, a thermostat should be set to ‘cool’ and the fan should be set to ‘auto’.
If the thermostat is indeed set correctly, the problem may be due to a malfunctioning thermostat. Aging or faulty wiring, an accumulation of dust, extreme temperature changes, and similar problems can sometimes cause a thermostat to malfunction. When a thermostat experiences these types of problems, it becomes unable to properly communicate with the cooling system. This can interfere with the air conditioner’s ability to regulate the temperature within the building. If a thermostat is malfunctioning, it may need to be replaced.
Restricted Unit Airflow
Restricted airflow is another common cause of an AC unit blowing warm air. When the airflow to and from an air conditioning system is blocked by dirt, dust or debris, it can prevent air from effectively traveling through the vents and into the building. If there is a large accumulation in the air ducts, delayed travel can cause the air to cool down which can make it feel warm as it exits the vents.
When airflow is restricted, it can also cause the compressor in the air conditioning unit to freeze. The compressor is an important component of an AC unit and is responsible for moving the refrigerant. When it freezes, the refrigerant is no longer able to cool down the air efficiently before it enters the building. A compressor can freeze up due to an excessively dirty air filter or from lack of maintenance, resulting in dirty coils.
Lack Of Refrigerant
In some cases, an AC will blow warm air when it does not have enough refrigerant. However, despite popular belief, refrigerant or “coolant” does not deplete over time. Instead, a lack of refrigerant within an air conditioning unit is usually caused by a refrigerant leak. When an AC unit develops a leak, refrigerant levels can slowly deplete over time. This is more common in units that are more than ten years old or have been frequently experiencing problems.
To diagnose a refrigerant problem, a HVAC technician will check the lines to determine if there is a leak source. If a leak is found, the cracked or broken components will need to be replaced to prevent further leaking. In addition, the air conditioning system will need to be restocked with coolant. Staying on top of maintenance issues in the future can help ensure that any problems with leaks or low refrigerant are found quickly.
Insufficient Power Supply
While it may seem obvious, power issues are fairly common in buildings. If a power issue is suspected, first check to see if the air conditioner is still plugged into an outlet or if it has come loose. Also, examine the power cord to ensure that it has not been tampered with by rodents or accidentally damaged by employees. If the cord or outlet is damaged, they will need to be replaced to prevent a fire hazard.
If the cord and outlet are in good working order, the issue could be with the electrical panel. Air conditioning systems put out a large surge of energy that can sometimes overload an electrical panel. When this happens, the surge of power could cause a fuse to blow or a breaker to trip. An HVAC technician will look at all of these things during an inspection and recommend the proper measures to prevent similar events in the future.
Call The NYC Commercial HVAC Contractors
It is not always easy to determine why an air conditioning unit has stopped cooling and is blowing warm air. There are many reasons why AC systems stop working efficiently and only a licensed HVAC technician can provide a safe and reliable diagnosis. For more information or to speak with a certified HVAC professional, schedule a service with Cool Works Co today.