It may feel like there’s plenty of winter still to go through.
But summer will be here before you know it – and your commercial compressor will be feeling it.
No matter whether your business relies on a commercial HVAC system or commercial refrigeration system, your compressor works harder in the summer than at any other time of year. Even if your compressor has performed as expected so far, there’s still a possibility of trouble as temperatures begin to climb.
Soaring Summer Temperatures Mean You Need to Be Proactive About Your Compressor
Every compressor unit is rated for a specific climate and temperature band. But even when your average temperature is right smack in the middle of the rated amount, summer can still wreak havoc. That’s true, no matter the age of your compressor.
While it’s true that the compressor isn’t usually the root cause of any system shutdown, it also serves as the heart of your commercial system. When other components aren’t working as well as they could be, compressors must make up for the inefficiency. Combine this with high temperatures, and it can turn into a disaster.
Luckily, you can head off most problems at the pass by taking action now.
Cold temperatures have minimal effects on most commercial compressors and may make a refrigeration system more efficient. This dip in your compressor’s needs gives you the breathing room to plan for warmer months on the horizon. That’s especially crucial if you’re located in the South or Southwest regions of the United States.
With record snowfall one week followed by once-a-lifetime flooding the next, it’s safe to say that no one can predict what will happen next with today’s weather. It never hurts to take some extra precautions just in case of “the worst.” After all, 2022 was the third hottest summer on record in the United States.
Getting Your Commercial Compressor and Associated Systems Ready for the Summer Heat
If you’ve been following a regular maintenance plan for your commercial compressor, you’re already far ahead of the game. But “summerizing” your compressor isn’t just about what you do with the unit itself. You can make improvements throughout the working environment that may help.
Let’s take a closer look:
1. Ensure Your Air Ducts Are Clear
Indoor airflow directly impacts HVAC compressors, but it’s also essential to refrigeration compressors. If the airflow is insufficient, it’s that much more difficult to get rid of waste heat. Combined with high ambient temperature, uncontrolled waste heat can put tremendous strain on your system.
Now’s the time to verify that your air filters have been cleaned or changed recently. Time permitting, it’s also a good idea to check the ductwork for clogs. Older buildings with narrow ducts are more likely than newer ones to experience clogging, which leads to uneven temperature zones.
2. Clean Your Condenser Coils
Pressurized refrigerant gas moves from the compressor to the condenser coil. The condenser coil, in turn, releases heat into the outside air before flowing to the expansion valve. The same cycle repeats constantly when the system is in service. Each piece influences and is influenced by the compressor.
It’s easy for the condenser coils to become blocked by debris. This is especially true if you’ve got snowy conditions now. Snow will melt, but leaves and assorted junk could be stuck in there until temperatures start making an impact. Schedule a condenser coil cleaning in time for the change of season.
3. Check Your Refrigerant Lines
A refrigerant line leak can be costly, emptying your system in a short time. The mechanical impact is usually limited if temperatures are low, but can be more dramatic in high temperatures. Refrigerant lines can be tested with electronic leak detectors or ultraviolet dyes if you suspect a leak.
4. Calibrate Your Thermostat
The thermostat is the brain of your HVAC system, and when it isn’t working as expected, it can cause all kinds of trouble. The HVAC will continue working until the thermostat signals the job is done, even if the thermostat’s sensor readings are off. This has a knock-on effect on any refrigeration systems' on-site readings.
No matter what thermostat you use, there’s an established way to calibrate it. Smart thermostats are more precise but also more sensitive: Be certain to clean off the sensors regularly. If nearby readings remain inaccurate after cleaning and calibration, the sensor may be worn out and need replacement.
5. Be Prepared for Malfunctions
What happens if your compressor stops working in the height of summer?
An OEM-affiliated wholesaler may take months to fulfill your order. With a remanufactured commercial compressor, you could have a replacement ready in days – one that meets all applicable environmental and performance standards. Using your existing compressor core, the unit is fully re-engineered, tested, and returned. Be sure you have a trusted remanufacturing team on standby this summer to help expedite the replacement!