All compressors are designed for a certain climate range. Compressors get the best performance when they are used in the climate they were intended for. That being said, a compressor will almost always function better at times when the weather is cooler, as long as temperatures don’t fall below the manufacturer’s stated tolerances.
The reason for this is straightforward. Both HVAC compressors and refrigeration compressors do less work to achieve the same goals when the weather is cooler. Cycles don’t need to last as long, and some compressors could even come to a complete stop for a longer period of time between cycles.
That being the case, it could give you the impression that a damaged or aging compressor is performing better than it really is. You’ll likely save money and have fewer maintenance issues during the cooler months – which could influence your decisions about replacing your commercial compressors.
Don’t let the “cool weather effect” lull you into a false sense of security.
If you were already planning to replace a commercial compressor, it’s best to move ahead with your plans now rather than later.
How Does Cool Weather Affect Commercial Compressor Replacement?
Today’s commercial compressors usually last around a decade. Over the years, we’ve seen the average age of a commercial compressor increase from around six years to eight to more than ten. In one recent case, we even serviced a 20-year-old compressor that was able to return to work after its breakdown because it only had a few worn parts that needed to be replaced.
Generally speaking, it’s a wise idea to have your replacement plan in order when the compressor is eight years old. Most compressors will make it to ten years and beyond, but this is the point at which a compressor failure becomes more likely. Cooler weather can mask the effects, but won’t turn back time.
If a commercial compressor is in good condition, cooler weather usually means an easier time working with it for a few months. And even a compressor that’s sustained some damage will probably do better for a while under these conditions. In extreme cases, though, you might be looking at compressor failure as soon as the weather warms up.
How to Keep from Getting Caught by Surprise by Commercial Compressor Failure
Like any other complex mechanical system, commercial compressors become less efficient over time as regular wear and tear builds up. Although you can counteract some of this with commercial compressor maintenance, most of today’s compressors aren’t designed for extensive repairs in the field.
The best way to prevent any surprises with a commercial HVAC compressor is to have a compressor maintenance plan in place so nothing is overlooked. Basic replacements (like new o-rings, gaskets, and filters, for example) should get done promptly. Adequate lubrication and refrigerant levels should always be maintained.
These days, there are some additional ways you can get insight into the current status of your compressor. Predictive maintenance is becoming more common as compressor manufacturers integrate technology to highlight unusual performance conditions long before compressor failure occurs.
Building management systems can also help fill in the gaps. With the right building management system, it becomes possible for your software and your compressor to communicate. This is less about maintenance and more about the other indicators that can guide you in making a decision.
For instance, a building management system can keep tabs on the actual temperature your HVAC achieves and how long it takes. When HVAC performance falls short, it often indicates that the compressor can no longer do the job. The BMS also helps you separate out the costs of cooling and refrigeration from other building costs.
Typically, its long-term indicators are what you need to keep an eye on to make a sound decision on compressor replacement. It’s best to compare statistics from the same season on a year-to-year basis. Then, it becomes obvious when your compressor is losing efficiency, even when it still works better in cool seasons.
No Matter the Weather, Easy Commercial Compressor Replacement Is Possible
Commercial compressor replacement is easier today than ever before. Compressor manufacturers support compressor remanufacturing as a way of accelerating the replacement process and minimizing the waste associated with fabricating more compressor components, especially compressor cores.
No matter what make or model of compressor you need, you can almost always use your existing core as the basis of a new system. And if your existing core is damaged, an experienced remanufacturing firm can source the core you need so replacement can begin without delays.
With a remanufactured commercial compressor, you get a complete re-engineering process that ensures each and every part of the compressor is ready for ten years of service or more. The compressor is tested, meeting or exceeding all the original OEM environmental and performance benchmarks before it is released.
Don’t let cool weather alter your plans. Read the signs and get a commercial HVAC compressor replacement today.