Most Common HVAC Problems In Commercial HVAC Systems

Your commercial building is like a well-oiled machine. It has many components inside it that help it properly function. When one of those components stops functioning, you fix it. One of the most important parts of your commercial building is its HVAC system. HVAC systems are designed to regulate temperature and air flow throughout a building. While it may not seem like a big deal if either of those are disrupted, a properly functioning system makes a huge difference. The people inside the building are comfortable, your energy levels are efficient, and your monthly bills are more consistent. 

However, as time goes on, it’s not uncommon for a commercial building’s HVAC system to start breaking down from age and normal wear and tear. This guide will help you understand the most common types of problems your commercial HVAC system may experience and the solutions HVAC experts implement that fix them. 

Inconsistent Heating and Cooling

One of the biggest problems that commercial building owners face is inconsistent heating and cooling inside your facility. Having one day where it’s unusually difficult to keep your building warm or cool isn’t something you need to be overly concerned about. However, it’s a telltale sign that your HVAC system needs to be serviced when you experience a more consistent dip in performance. 

Another sign that you may need to have your commercial building looked at is if there are certain rooms that aren’t heated or cooled properly. For example, if all the rooms on the top floor of your building are unusually cold or warm, that’s a sign that your HVAC system isn’t working properly and you need to get it looked at by experts.

How It’s Fixed

So, how is inconsistent heating and cooling fixed? Each call for service starts with an HVAC technician performing diagnostic testing to see how extensive the problem is. Then, they’ll look at the most common reasons for your problem. Inconsistent heating and cooling in your building can be caused by a number of things, including:

  • Insufficient insulation
  • Blocked air vents
  • Air leaks
  • A dirty evaporator coil

In most cases, inconsistent heating and cooling is fixed by a simple deep cleaning of your HVAC components. When your HVAC technician is done with their maintenance, they’ll go back and try to recreate the problem to see if it still exists. After they’ve performed testing and conclude that all is functional, their job is done and your HVAC system is good as new!  

Reduced Air Flow or Air Quality

Another common problem commercial buildings experience is reduced air flow and/or air quality. If the air inside your facility seems stale, humid, or has odors to it that aren’t normally there, it’s best to get your HVAC system checked out as soon as possible so the air quality and air flow doesn’t get worse. Although it may seem like a minor issue, you don’t want to let air quality problems go unfixed for a prolonged period of time as it could cause harm to your building or the people inside it.  

How It’s Fixed

One of the biggest reasons behind reduced air flow or air quality inside a commercial building is because of clogged air vents or filters that need to be changed. If a technician completes their inspection and finds the cause of the problem due to the clogged vents or old filters, they’ll simply replace the filters and clean out the vents and you’ll be good to go. One way to prevent this issue from happening in the future is by having regular maintenance performed on your entire building’s HVAC system. 

Another common reason for insufficient air quality is because the dampers aren’t balanced correctly. Dampers are big plates that lie inside your ductwork. Their purpose is to redirect air flow to certain areas of the building while restricting it in other places. Your HVAC specialist may try moving around the dampers to help regulate your air flow/quality. 


Unresponsiveness in an HVAC system is when your entire system doesn’t turn on. While minor system failures are likely due to another issue, unresponsiveness has other causes and requires different solutions. The first thing you should do if you notice your HVAC system is unresponsive is try restarting via your thermostat. If it refuses to turn on or works for a while and shuts off again, it’s likely a sign that you should call an HVAC specialist to see what’s wrong with it. 

How It’s Fixed

There are two main causes to unresponsiveness in a commercial building’s HVAC system. The most likely cause is faulty batteries in your thermostat. Even though most thermostats nowadays are programmable and can be controlled by a smartphone, they still require power to run. Thermostats usually receive their power from batteries. 

The first thing that your HVAC technician will do is try changing the thermostat’s batteries. If they put in fresh batteries and you still get nothing out of it, you might need a new thermostat. However, the technician won’t advise you to buy a new unit until they perform another common check.

The other common cause of an unresponsive commercial HVAC system is because of a tripped circuit breaker. An HVAC technician may reset the breaker and try everything again. If the problem persists, unfortunately, it’s likely time to buy a new thermostat.

Irregular Noises

Settling noises and other noises you hear every once in a while aren’t a cause for major concern, especially in a larger facility’s HVAC system. It’s normal to hear noises periodically, especially with changing seasonal weather conditions. However, if you or other individuals inside your commercial building start to notice irregular noises, loud noises, or clanging sounds, it’s worth doing some investigating.

Sometimes, irregular sounds can be attributed to loose doors, belts, or even fans that are dusty and dirty. Performing a visual inspection of the HVAC components goes a long way in trying to get rid of those annoying noises. If you find a door loose or other component that needs fixing, call an HVAC technician to have them fix it (if it’s something you can’t fix yourself). After performing your visual inspection, if you find nothing wrong with your HVAC system, it’s time to give HVAC specialists a call.

How It’s Fixed

There are numerous different causes to noises you’re hearing with your commercial HVAC system. A technician will listen to the sounds it’s producing and have a better idea of what the root cause of the problem is. From there, they’ll implement fixes so you no longer have to hear those banging sounds! For example, if they find a loose belt is causing the noises, they’ll replace the belt to stop it. 

Clogged Filters and Ducts

If you find your building starts to accumulate more dust than usual or there’s dust falling from the air vents, it’s usually a telltale sign that your filters need to be replaced and your air ducts need to be cleaned out. 

It can be difficult to stay up to date with the regular cleaning of your air ducts, especially if they’re located in the ceiling high up in the air. A good way to prevent dirt, dust, and debris buildup from occurring is to have regular maintenance performed every six months or new season. Your dedicated technician will replace filters and clean all the nooks and crannies you may miss out on. 

How It’s Fixed

Implementing a fix for clogged air vents and filters is simple. Either you or an HVAC technician will replace the filters and completely clean out the ducts so there’s no remaining debris. 

Refrigerant Leaking

If you notice that your refrigerant levels are unusually low or liquid is pooling around valves and other connections, it’s a big sign that your refrigerant is leaking somewhere. This is especially common with older HVAC systems, which is why it’s important to have regular maintenance performed to check for leaks and other similar problems.

How It’s Fixed

Fixing a refrigerant leak is quite simple. First, your HVAC technician will locate the source of the leak and identify how expansive it is. If it’s small enough to patch without removing the whole pipe, your technician will simply do that. However, some leaks require entire coils to be replaced. In that case, they’ll remove the old one and install a new one. 

Are You Having Any of These Issues?

Have you noticed a decline in any of your commercial building’s HVAC functioning? Maybe you have a higher-than-normal energy bill or your HVAC system just seems to not work altogether? Whether you need diagnostic testing, serious repairs, or normal preventive maintenance, Rowbel Services is here to help. We offer all these services and more to your commercial building’s HVAC system so it’s in top shape year round.

Our team of carefully selected HVAC specialists is based in Maryland, but we service your entire metropolitan areas in both Maryland and Virginia! We have years of experience solving all sorts of HVAC problems that both commercial and residential buildings have. Our proprietary technology always delivers exceptional results and provides consistent on-site support for both our technicians and clients.

We’d love to welcome you to the Rowbel Services family with open arms. Give us a call today to receive a free estimate at 1-877-ROWBEL-1. Or shoot us an email at We can’t wait to hear from you!

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