We Find Out Why Compressors Fail!
When a compressor fails, there are several contributing factors that could be causing the underlying problem; often, your system has a mechanical issue. In such cases, a trained professional is needed to correctly identify the type of failure occurring to repair the underlying issue and keep your building’s cooling system running as optimally as possible!
It’s very important to identify why the original compressor failed so that it won’t happen again.
Read on for more information about the different types of compressor mechanical failures which may cause your commercial HVAC system to break down.
When to Contact Air Stream Air Conditioning for Maintenance and Repairs
If you suspect your system is experiencing one of the issues above, you’re likely going to see warning signs, including:
- Warm air blowing out of the unit
- A repeatedly tripped circuit breaker
- Shaking on system startup
- Unusual sounds
Identifying Compressor Mechanical Failures Indicators, Symptoms, and Corrections
Most compressors fail due to system malfunction which must be corrected to prevent repeat failures. After a compressor fails, field examination of the failed compressor often will reveal symptoms of system problems. Proper corrections will help eliminate future failures.
Below are several examples of reasons compressors fail:
Refrigerant Flood back
This occurs because of liquid returning to the compressor during the Running Cycle. The oil is diluted with refrigerant so much that it can’t properly lubricate the load-bearing surfaces.
In this case, refrigerant is migrating to the crankcase oil during the Off Cycle. Then, when the compressor starts back up, the diluted oil is unable to lubricate the crankshaft load-bearing surfaces, causing erratic wear.
Liquid slugging occurs when liquid tries to compress in the cylinders, causing an extreme flood back in the first stage of compound in open drive compressors, and a severe flooded start in the second stage of compound in refrigerant cooled compressors.
High Discharge Temperature
This air compressor mechanical failure is the result of temperatures in the compressor head and cylinders reaching such high temperatures that the oil inside is no longer able to lubricate properly. This causes the pistons, rings, and cylinder walls to wear, which in turn results in blow by, leaking valves, and metal fragments in the oil.
Loss of Oil
This occurs when there’s insufficient oil in the system’s crankcase, which prevents the proper lubrication of the bearing surfaces. As a result, there will be a uniform wearing of all load bearings.
General or Uniform Burn
In this case, the entire motor winding is uniformly overheated or burned.
Single Phase Burn
Single phase burns occur because there isn’t a current running through the unburned, and two phases of a three-phase motor become overheated.
Half Winding Single Phase Burn
This burn occurs when half of a part winding start motor has a single phasing condition, meaning two contractors are used in the part winding start and a problem exists within one of the contractors.
Half Winding Burn
Here, half of all phases of the part start winding motor become overheated or burned.
Primary Single-Phase Burn
In the case of this mechanical failure, only one phase of a three-phase motor is overheated or burned.
Start Winding Burn
Here, only the start winding is burned in a single-phase motor due to excessive current in the start winding.
Run Winding Burn
This mechanical failure is characterized by only the run winding being burned in a single-phase compressor.
Spot burns involve a localized burn within the winding, between the winding, or from winding to ground, and can be a result of an electrical failure or a mechanical failure resulting from foreign materials in motor winding.
Best Approach Measures to Prevent Compressor Mechanical Failures
Regular air conditioner maintenance is critical for identifying mechanical issues with your commercial HVAC system and keeping a comfortable environment for your building. Our trained team of experts is well-versed in troubleshooting, identifying, and repairing air conditioning compressor issues to prevent further issues with a compressor repair/replacement and help extend the life of your equipment—give us a call at (516) 747-4700 to choose your proactive and preventative maintenance plan.
5 Ways to Get Your Commercial HVAC Unit Ready for Summer
With temperatures rising everyday, now is the perfect time to make sure your commercial HVAC system is ready and running at peak performance! Keeping your building reliably cool is one of the most important ways you can perfect your environment.
Here are 5 summer HVAC tips to help ensure your commercial system is in tip-top shape.
Summer HVAC Tip #1: Have Your Air Filters Checked and Replaced
Your commercial air conditioner has filters that filtrate particles out of the air, ensuring only clean air makes it into your building, keeping indoor air quality at comfortable levels. However, air filters become clogged with dirt and debris over time, which negatively impacts your airflow and air conditioning system’s efficiency. Over time, this results in using more energy and money to perform the same job. Getting your air filters checked and replaced regularly is key to maximizing your system and saving money.
Summer HVAC Tip #2: Get Your Ductwork Cleaned
Your air conditioning system’s ductwork is another common component where dust, mold, allergens, and debris can build up and impact performance and air quality if not maintained regularly. Dirt is bound to accumulate in your air conditioner’s ductwork, and some occupants of your building may be particularly susceptible to this buildup; individuals with allergies or asthma, as well as the elderly and small children may be significantly impacted by poor air quality. A simple call to Air Stream can help ensure your ducts are clean, less energy is wasted, and your occupants are comfortable.
Summer HVAC Tip #3: Have a Professional Take a Look at Your Condenser and Evaporator Coils
Most of the service calls we receive are due to dirty evaporator and condenser coils. When left without maintenance, dirty coils can result in costly repairs and even damage to your commercial air conditioning system.
Clogged evaporator coils result in your coils freezing up, and preventing airflow from moving across the coil. A service technician is required to turn off the system to allow the coils to defrost, and a chemical cleaning and full operations check are necessary.
On the other hand, if your system’s condenser coils become clogged, it’s going to take your air conditioner longer to bring your building’s temperature down, resulting in a higher energy bill each month! Over time, if clogged condenser coils go without maintenance, the condenser coil will not allow airflow across the coil, which will cause the system to shut down on high-pressure safety control. A service technician will then need to perform a chemical power washing to remove the dirt that accumulates in the coils to allow airflow through the coil and perform a full operations check on the system.
The best way to prevent these issues before they start? Regular maintenance on your commercial unit from Air Stream!
Summer HVAC Tip #4: Integrate Smart Building Controls
One of the “hottest” ways to keep cool this summer? Smart building controls!
With smart building controls, your air conditioning system leverages the latest HVAC technology to integrate and automate all aspects of your building management, giving you the opportunity to perfect your environment, improve energy efficiency, and reduce operational costs.
With smart building controls, you’ll benefit from:
- Simplified operations and control of your building’s systems with the click of a mouse
- The ability to easily maintain consistent temperatures regardless of weather conditions
- Comfortable building tenants with increased productivity
- Increased energy efficiency and a smaller carbon footprint
- Cost savings
- Customized dashboards to view all of your building’s data, energy usage, reporting, and permissions
Smart building controls are the future of comfortable living—get started now!
Summer HVAC Tip #5: Schedule a Preventative Maintenance Call with Air Stream AC
In need of a commercial HVAC service call before summer heats up? Air Stream goes beyond typical HVAC maintenance—we’re all about proactively taking the right measures to ensure that all your system’s deficiencies are addressed to prevent any issues or downtime when you need your AC most! To schedule service, call (516) 747-4700.
How to Increase Ventilation in Buildings with MERV Filters
You can’t perfect your environment with imperfect air quality, and when it comes to air filters, not all are created equally. Read on to learn how you can increase ventilation in buildings using MERV air filters (plus a few extra tips!)
What are MERV Filter Ratings?
MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value; it’s a system that evaluates the efficiency of air filters based on how well they catch particles of various sizes, such as dust and other contaminants, and prevent them from passing through the filter into a building’s air stream.
Essentially, the higher the MERV rating, the higher the air filtration capabilities of that air filter. An air filter MERV rating ranges from 1 to 20, with 20 being the highest level of filtration. For commercial HVAC needs, we recommend at a minimum, a MERV 13 filter for a superior commercial option to combat bacteria, smoke, sneezes, and other contaminants.
If you want to ensure your indoor air quality is pristine, a MERV 20 filter will be the most premium solution, which is why it’s often used in settings including surgical operating rooms. More than likely, a MERV 13 filter will suffice; in fact, when selecting a MERV filter, it’s much better to go with the appropriately rated MERV filter so as not to impair its performance.
Environmental Benefits of High-Quality MERV Filters
As we’ve learned all too well over the past year, particle filtration often presents better health benefits, including:
- Lowered concentrations of infectious airborne particles
- Greater effectiveness against allergy and asthma symptoms
- Reductions in morbidity and mortality
9 Additional Tips to Improve Air Quality
- Increase outdoor air ventilation, using caution in highly polluted areas.
- When weather conditions allow, increase fresh outdoor air by opening windows and doors. Don’t open windows and doors if doing so poses a safety or health risk, such as inviting a risk of falling or triggering asthma symptoms to occupants in the building.
- Use fans to increase the effectiveness of open windows. To safely achieve this, fan placement is important and will vary based on room configuration. Avoid placing fans in such a way that could potentially cause contaminated air to flow directly from one person over another. One helpful strategy is to use a window fan, placed safely and securely in a window, to exhaust room air to the outdoors. This will help draw fresh air into the room via other open windows and doors without generating strong room air currents.
- Decrease occupancy in areas where outdoor ventilation cannot be increased.
- Ensure building ventilation systems operate properly and provide acceptable indoor air quality for the current occupancy level for each space.
- Increase airflow to occupied spaces when possible.
- Turn off any Demand-Controlled Ventilation (DCV) controls that reduce air supply based on occupancy or temperature during occupied hours. In homes and buildings where the HVAC fan can be controlled at the thermostat, set the fan to the “on” position instead of the “auto,” which will operate the fan continuously, even when heating or air conditioning is not required.
- Open outdoor air dampers beyond minimum settings to reduce or eliminate HVAC air recirculation. In mild weather, this won’t affect thermal comfort or humidity. However, this may be difficult to do in cold, hot, or humid weather.
- To improve central air filtration:
- Increase air filtration to as high as possible without significantly reducing design airflow.
- Inspect filter housing and racks to ensure appropriate filter fit and check for ways to minimize filter bypass.
Perfect Your Environment with MERV Filters
Choosing the right MERV filter is essential to perfecting your building’s environment, and you don’t have to do it alone! To ensure you’re using the right commercial air filter, contact Air Stream today at (516) 747-4700.
Why Do I Need an AC Coil Cleaning?
With warmer temperatures upon us, there’s no better time to gain some knowledge of your air conditioning system, starting from the inside out! Knowing just a few details about how your commercial HVAC system works can help you decide what to do when it’s not working like it should.
So, first we need to understand what air conditioner coils are and what they do!
What Are Air Conditioner Coils?
There are two types of air conditioning coils which make your system work: evaporator coils and condenser coils.
What’s an Evaporator Coil?
An air conditioning system’s evaporator coils are the indoor air-cooling coils which removes heat from the space, creating a comfortable environment we know and love!
What are Condenser Coils?
The condenser coils are another vital part of your air conditioning system. These coils pull heat from the inside of your building, then exhaust it outside.
What Happens if Air Conditioner Coils Aren’t Cleaned?
Dirty evaporator and condenser coils make up the bulk of the service calls we receive. When neglected, these maintenance needs can become costly and cause damage to your air conditioning system.
Evaporator Coil Maintenance
When evaporator coils become dirty or clogged, the system, the coil will freeze up. This will not allow air flow across the coil. A service technician will need to turn off to allow coil to defrost, chemically cleaned and perform a full operations check on the system.
Stored maintenance practices can help alleviate issues with your system’s evaporator coil, and regular filter and belt replacements are essential to your system.
Evaporator coils, with proper filter changes and coil brush downs during maintenance should only require chemical cleanings every 5-7 years, depending on run time and other variables, such as construction or particles or solvents in the air.
Air-Cooled Condenser Coil Maintenance
When your condenser coil becomes dirty or clogged, it will take your air conditioning system longer to bring the temperature down, costing you more money to get comfortable. If left unattended, the condenser coil will not allow air flow across coil, which will cause system to shut down on high pressure safety control. This will require a service technician to perform a chemical power washing to remove the dirt that accumulates in the coils to allow airflow through the coil, and perform a full operations check on the system.
Standard air-cooled condenser coils should be chemically power washed at least once a year in the Spring.
More frequent cleanings may be necessary if excessive dirt in the air gets trapped in the coils from construction or traffic.
Contact Air Stream Today for Your Air Conditioner Cleaning
Maintaining your commercial air conditioning system is critical to perfecting your environment. Performing routine maintenance on your evaporator and condenser coils can keep your entire system running efficiently, minimizing costs and muggy buildings.
To ensure your air conditioning system is in tip-top shape this spring, contact Air Stream today at (516) 747-4700.