Why Do HVAC Systems Become Less Efficient Over Time?

Why Do HVAC Systems Become Less Efficient Over Time?

Preventative maintenance is a surefire way to keep your HVAC systems functioning with maximum efficiency for a long time. That is why restaurant owners and facility managers always give their HVAC units proper care and attention on a regular basis. Ignoring minor issues with your HVAC systems or neglecting the maintenance can take a toll on the health of the systems. Due to poor maintenance and worn out components, the systems can also lose efficiency over time. Loss of efficiency is something that you should try to avoid at all costs because this will ultimately lead to high energy bills and increase the cost of operation.

If you plan to prolong the lifespan of your heating and ventilation system, you should keep an eye out for any kind of efficiency degradation due to poor maintenance and address the issues as quickly as they arise. In this article, we will discuss why the efficiency of HVAC systems can degrade over time and what you should do to restore the loss of efficiency of your units.

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Key Components of a Commercial HVAC System

Before we delve into the topic at hand, let us first have a general understanding of what components an HVAC system consists of.

Having an idea about the various HVAC elements will make it easier to understand how the system can become less efficient over time. Though there are many different parts comprising a heating and ventilation system, one part that gets the most amount of attention is the compressor. However, problems with the system do not occur just because of a faulty compressor. If any of the HVAC unit components fails to do its job, the entire system will be affected.

The main parts that a commercial heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system consists of are as follows: 

  • Air conditioner
  • Compressor
  • Condenser
  • Expansion valve
  • Air Handler
  • Chillers
  • Roof-top units
  • Duct work

Apart from these main elements, there are several other smaller components fitted and installed in the system. The evaporator coil and the blower are together known as air handlers. Each of these components is designed to perform a specific function and together ensure overall performance of the heating and ventilation system. In order to maintain peak efficiency, you should get inspections and maintenance done without any delay or negligence. Most of all, you should get the job done by trained professionals, as these are complex machines.

At Hood Builder, we specialize in all kinds of HVAC services including HVAC balancing, HVAC installation, HVAC make up air and HVAC repair. For more details, reach out to our office in Denver, CO.

Common Reasons Why HVAC Systems Lose Efficiency

If you are operating a less efficient HVAC system, you will face multiple issues. One of the major ones among them is high energy bills. If you find that the energy consumption of your machines has been going up for the last couple of years, you should definitely consider an HVAC inspection.

Here are some of the most common causes that can lead to a loss of efficiency of commercial HVAC machines.

Clogged Air Filters

The role of an air filter is to filter out dust and air-borne particles. In this way, the filters help the HVAC machine do its job properly. So, you should never underestimate the significance of these air filters.

As the air filters continue to do their job, they collect a lot of dust and dirt over time. Often, they get clogged after some time. Clogged or blocked air filters fail to do their job in a proper manner. As a result of too much dust, the air filters cannot adequately circulate air through the HVAC machines. If the dirty air filters are not cleaned, it becomes a reason for the equipment to lose efficiency. That is why it is crucial to not leave the air filters unchecked for a long time. Instead, you should check these parts and replace them in a timely manner.

Dirty Air Conditioner Coils

The air conditioning unit of an HVAC machine has two coils: the evaporator coil and the condenser coil. The former is located in the indoor unit whereas the latter is located in the outdoor unit. However, these coils work in collaboration with each other in order to deliver performance. The role of the evaporator coil is to absorb the heat from the indoor air of the restaurant kitchen. The condenser coil lets out the captured heat outdoors. As a result, the indoor air in the kitchen remains cool and comfortable. But these coils can gather dust and dirt over time and fail to do the job in a proper manner. If the coils fail to do their job, the heat exchange process gets affected and the entire system can fail working as a result.

Dirty air conditioner coils take away the overall efficiency of the HVAC machine. If you plan to avoid such problems, you should get in touch with an HVAC company such as Hood Builder in Denver, CO, and have technicians to service the equipment and clean the dirty coils to restor efficiency.

Dirty Furnace Burners

The function of furnace burners is to produce heat. For this, the burners first mix fuel with air and then ignite the mixture. If the furnace burners fail to do their job properly, the heating system in your facility will be affected.

Just like filters and coils can get dirty, the furnace burners too can collect dust and dirt over time. Dust-covered burners struggle to burn the fuel or ignite in an efficient manner. Whether or not your burners are functioning correctly can be determined by using some technical methods. During an HVAC inspection or maintenance, the technician will take a closer look at the burners and see if they are clean or not. If the burners are filled with dust and dirt, cleaning will be required. Once the burners have been cleaned and re-installed, efficiency will be restored.

It is not a good idea to clean the furnace burners yourself, as it can be risky. The best option is to seek the help of an HVAC company in or near your area for properly cleaning of these vital components.

Leaking Ductwork

The ducting or the ductwork is an important part of the HVAC machine. The function of these components is to circulate cooled or heated air throughout the restaurant building. Compared to many other elements, these ducts are more prone to wear and tear and damage through use over time. Particularly, the joints along these ducts often get damaged and holes are formed. This is how the components start to leak and affect the efficiency of the entire HVAC system. Even if all the other parts of the HVAC perform well, leaky ducts can take their toll.

If your equipment has become less efficient, leaking ductwork could be one of the reasons. In order to reclaim HVAC system efficiency, the ducts will need to be repaired and sealed by a trained technician. 

Dust Buildup in Motor

HVAC motors play a crucial role of operating the hood fans, move pumps and drive compressors. A heating and ventilation system is run by a number of different types of motors with various starting torque levels. All these motors require proper maintenance on a regular basis. 

Over time, dust and dirt buildup degrades the functioning of the HVAC motors. Normal wear and tear takes a toll on these components. As a result, the efficiency level of the entire system goes down. Routine cleaning and lubrication are required to keep all these motors in excellent condition. When you seek the help of professionals for HVAC service, they will closely review the motors to find out if there are any issues with any of its components. The technician will replace the worn out parts with new ones in order to reclaim maximum efficiency of HVAC units.

If you are in search of an HVAC company in Denver, CO, Hood Builder is the right place for all kinds of HVAC-related services as well as hood installation and ventilation services. Plus, our company provides hood cleaning, commercial kitchen construction and fire protection system installation.

Aging HVAC Equipment 

Commercial HVAC systems are designed to control heat and temperature and provide a safe and comfortable working environment for the employees as well as the visitors to the facility. No matter what type of heating and air conditioning equipment you have, its performance will decrease over time, as it becomes old. There are various factors that can expedite or slow down the aging of the HVAC units. When you hire a contractor or restaurant construction services, you should first invest in a high quality HVAC system that is most ideal for your daily needs. 

At the same time, you should give each HVAC unit timely and proper maintenance to prevent early equipment aging. 

On an average, the lifespan of a furnace is 15-20 years whereas an air conditioning unit can last for up to 15 years. The lifespan of a heating and ventilation system depends on the type, model, local environmental conditions and the use of the machines on a day-to-day basis. Even after maintenance, old age will finally kick in and your equipment will become less efficient over time.

Of all the components that an HVAC system is composed of, some parts will last as long as the lifespan of the equipment while others will be prone to wear and tear. For example, mechanical or moving components will suffer wear and tear, subject to the condition of the lubricant. The refrigerant is one part that can last for a long time, probably throughout the life of the equipment. You should remain aware of all the key parts and components and understand what kind of maintenance your system needs to keep all parts in excellent condition. With timely management, you will be able to avoid many of the problems due to which your equipment can age faster. Just keep a close watch on the performance of the system.

It is always best to regularly monitor the performance of your HVAC systems so that you can maintain good equipment health. 

At Hood Builder, we perform high quality HVAC installation by trained professionals as well as provide air balancing HVAC, fire protection installation, air conditioning units, range hood installation, make up air system, fire suppression system and many other commercial restaurant equipment services. For further details, feel free to reach out to our office in Denver, CO.

Tips to Restore the Lost Efficiency of HVAC Machines

A custom preventative maintenance program is essential to keep your HVAC machines functioning with maximum effectiveness. 

Apart from this, there are some other innovative ways and methods that you can use to restore the lost efficiency of your aging heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. One of these is the use of oil additives. Thanks to the advancement in the field of material science, oil additives can be used to coat the surface of your HVAC machines in order to increase resistance to daily wear and tear. Likewise, there are other additives to reduce energy consumption and boost the overall efficiency of the heating and air condition machines installed in your facility. Use of additives along with monitoring tools to keep track of the performance are effective ways to extend the lifespan of your commercial HVAC machines and equipment.

Still Have a Question?

HVAC units are complex and sophisticated machines. Though we have tried our best to broaden your knowledge and understanding about why these machines degrade in their efficiency levels, you may still want to ask more questions. If you still have anything to ask, feel free to reach out to Hood Builder. Based in Denver, CO, we have a highly dedicated team of specialists who are trained in HVAC balancing, HVAC installation, HVAC make up air, HVAC repair etc. Our range of services also include restaurant kitchen design, restaurant general construction, restaurant remodeling, restaurant safety, fire protection services, fire restoration etc.

For your free consultation, you can either ring up our Denver office or write us an email using the contact form on our website.

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