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How Often Do Commercial Air Conditioning Units Need Service?

January 25th, 2021

Last updated: December 19th, 2023

In modern office environments air conditioning is pretty much the norm, but this is not necessarily the case in all commercial workplaces.

Retail and hospitality often have air conditioning systems, and also modern schools and hospitals, but warehouses and manufacturing facilities are an example of businesses where it is sometimes difficult to design and install a suitable air conditioning system, despite the benefits of having one. If this is possible, however, it means the system faces huge demands.

No matter where they are situated or what sort of demand is on them, all air conditioning systems require regular maintenance and servicing. This is essential in extending the natural lifespan of an air conditioning system and maximising the asset the business has invested in. This makes commercial sense for the business, but in an operational sense, maintenance will improve efficiency, reduce energy costs and improve productivity. If you’ve ever tried getting any work done in an office where it is nearly 40 degrees you will know that it is not easy. Air conditioning can be a good investment.

Servicing Your Air Conditioning System

Most air conditioning systems are robust and reliable, but even the best systems are prone to possible breakdowns, even if you have them serviced regularly. Different air conditioning systems face different demands, but in general it is normal practice to have your air conditioning system serviced once per year. If you don’t have a planned maintenance package set-up to do this regularly, your asset can lose efficiency more rapidly, because it is having to work harder to achieve the same output and results.

Of course, it is possible that your air conditioning system will require more frequent service visits than simply an annual service.

This could be because the system is bigger and the demands on it are larger, ie. if the system is controlling air temperature and air quality in a school, for example, or a large department store. Also, consider how much your air conditioner is likely to be running. In some factories or server rooms where heat is constantly generated it could be running 24/7 to try and combat high temperatures. This means it is likely that the air conditioning unit needs regular attention.

More frequent servicing may also be required if the air temperature or air quality is much more critical and needs to be closely controlled and monitored, such as in a laboratory, a hospital, a factory, or in a warehouse where goods have to be stored at a certain temperature. Temperature can be absolutely critical to business operations. In these cases, it may be recommended that servicing is six monthly or even quarterly, to ensure that these critical standards and conditions can be met at all times. It is always better to be safe in these scenarios.

How Do I Know When I Need an Air Conditioning Service?

A planned service and maintenance schedule will programme visits at regular intervals, however, if you do not have this in place, there are indicators that highlight the need for an air conditioning service. These can also apply in between scheduled service visits, if you have identified an issue that you suspect may develop into a breakdown. In this case it makes sense to arrange an unscheduled service visit outside of your planned schedule. This applies if:

  • The system has not been used for some time, or has been over-used for a period of time
  • The system is making noises during normal operation
  • The system is leaking or drips can be seen around condensers or pipework
  • Air coming out of vents is not at the temperature it should be
  • Conditions in the business, and therefore demands on the system, have changed, such as new offices being opened or extended hours being worked so the system is operating for longer.

Make a point of regularly checking your HVAC system for any signs of damage or wear that might lead to needing some form of maintenance.

What Happens in an Air Conditioning Service?

This will depend on the size and design of your system, but in general an air conditioning service engineer will check and clean air filters, coils and fins. Clogged and dirty filters will reduce airflow, which means the system is working much harder than it needs to, hence using more energy, or it can’t clean the air or produce the right temperatures. The engineer will also check for pipework leaks, check switches, controllers, fans, evaporators and outdoor condensers. They will also check and replace refrigerant.

A service and maintenance visit should be carried out by a qualified and registered air conditioning engineer to ensure safety as well as efficiency.

An air conditioning system operating efficiently can cut energy costs, maximise the lifespan of your system and keep productivity in the business high.

Contact Robinsons Facilities Services today. Our team of accredited professionals and reliable engineers can help you with your air conditioning servicing, as well as all other aspects of HVAC repair and maintenance. We’re always happy to advise on your system needs.

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