Air Conditioning Heating Failures


Air Conditioning (AC) system failure can lead to a sense of panic that forces Facilities Managers (FMs) to make last minute calls to contractors.  The result is the cost of premium call out charges, as well as the potential expense associated with ordering one-off spares at short notice. When you consider this scenario across multiple sites, the benefit of proactive maintenance procedures, and routine check-ups between service schedule dates, become very clear. A proactive approach keeps outlets open for business, companies functioning efficiently and customers happy.
This week, we help FMs manage the risk of heating problems by highlighting the 5 main causes of AC heating failure. Breakdown is an unfortunate reality, but a proactive approach to avoiding the issues described below minimises the risk and icy consequences of AC heating failure in the winter season.

Here are the 5 main causes of air conditioning heating failure and how FMs can prevent them:

  1. Faulty thermostats - Faulty thermostats can cause insufficient heating levels or, worse still, no heating at all. It can be difficult to locate the cause of improper climate control and engineers may misdiagnose the problem by overlooking the thermostat positioning and overall condition. Make sure that your engineer checks that thermostats are clear of dust and dirt to avoid incorrect temperature readings and heating issues. Also, remember that your thermostats will require periodic calibration as accidental bumping or dirt can cause thermostats to lose calibration.

  2. Compressor issues – The compressor is the heart of the system. Tripped breakers or fuses might be early warning signs that your compressor could be the cause of heating failure. Certain compressors have internal switches that disable the unit in case of the unit being overworked. Prevent this by ensuring that your equipment is configured optimally and not simply turned up to maximum to warm the premises quickly. Compressor repairs are costly and may incur significant downtime, so always include them in your routine check-ups.

  3. Blown fuses – Fuses regulate the flow of electrical currents to your AC unit, so are critical in preventing serious damage to your kit. Make sure that you have regular checks on the status of fuses and that older ones are replaced. This is another preventative measure that could save you considerable expense.

  4. Dirty filters – Anything that prevents the free flow of air through your system poses a threat to the optimal performance of your equipment. Dirty filters will cause the system to overwork, blow fuses and other critical parts in your system to malfunction. Be sure that filters are regularly replaced or cleaned and remember that dirty air filters also pose a health risk to occupants.

  5. Improper drainage – A malfunctioning condensation pump will cause your AC unit’s overflow safety to turn your equipment off as a protective measure. The condensation pump is activated by a float switch when the water reaches a predetermined level. Be sure to check the status of your condensation pumps and also that the float switches are not obstructed from enabling the pump. Water overflow in an AC unit can cause FMs considerable headaches.

Prevention is better than cure

So, the keys to success are: manage your maintenance schedules and perform routine check-ups on critical components to keep your HVAC equipment functioning. Ignoring early warning signs will inevitably lead to costly emergency repair calls.

AC systems have their unique set of elements that need consideration to ensure that the heating runs smoothly each winter. Your service contractor should have a comprehensive checklist when performing scheduled maintenance. Taking a preventative approach to your equipment upkeep will save you time, money and considerable pressure in the long term. Businesses and retailers can ill-afford downtime on climate control equipment. Breakdowns are not only costly, but could lead to unhappy customers taking their business elsewhere.