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How to Tell if Your Building Needs Air Conditioner Repair

Air conditioner repair should be at the top of the to-do list, as few elements are as indispensable as a fully operational air conditioning (AC) system, .

For both business owners steering the ship of success and property managers ensuring tenant satisfaction, the functionality of these systems stands as a cornerstone for productivity, comfort, and overall operational excellence.

commercial air conditioner repair

While air conditioners often work quietly in the background, their importance becomes glaringly apparent when they malfunction.

Untimely repairs or neglecting maintenance can lead to not just discomfort but a cascade of financial implications, affecting budgets and potentially tarnishing the reputation of your enterprise or property.

In this article, we evaluate the significance of prompt AC repairs, decipher the warning signs demanding immediate attention, and guide you through the intricate world of AC system management.

Detecting Signs of AC Trouble

air conditioner repair red flags

Lukewarm air emanating from your air conditioner's vents is a red flag indicating potential internal issues within the system.


Lukewarm air signifies compromised cooling efficiency, indicating problems like refrigerant leaks, blocked ducts, or compressor malfunctions.

It can also signal reduced airflow due to clogged filters, damaged fans, or improper thermostat settings.


  • Refrigerant Issues: Low refrigerant levels due to leaks can result in inadequate cooling.

  • Ductwork Problems: Blocked or damaged ducts hinder proper airflow, affecting temperature regulation.

  • Compressor or Fan Malfunctions: Faulty components can lead to inadequate cooling output.

2. Unusual Sounds or Smells: Identifying Potential Problems

Unusual sounds or odors emitted from the AC system often indicate underlying issues. Recognizing and addressing these signs promptly prevents further damage.


Identifying specific noises helps diagnose probable causes, aiding professional technicians in targeted inspections.

  • Clanking, banging, or grinding noises hint at mechanical issues like worn-out parts or loose components.

  • Hissing or squealing sounds might indicate refrigerant leaks or belt problems.


  • Differentiating between acrid and musty smells assists in identifying the nature of potential issues, whether electrical or related to mold growth.

  • Acrid odors can suggest electrical issues or burnt-out components.

  • Musty or moldy smells may signal mold growth within the system or ductwork.

3. Inefficient Dehumidification:

Sticky and Uncomfortable Atmosphere:

When an air conditioner fails to efficiently dehumidify the air, occupants may experience a sticky and uncomfortable atmosphere.

The moisture-laden air can make it harder for the body to cool through natural evaporation, leading to a perceived increase in temperature and discomfort.

Persistently High Humidity Readings:

Monitoring humidity levels is crucial in assessing the effectiveness of an A/C unit's dehumidification. If the readings consistently show elevated humidity, it's a clear indication that the system is not adequately removing moisture from the air.

This not only affects comfort but also poses potential risks to indoor air quality and occupant health.

optimum zone relative humidity

4. Energy Costs Surge: Implications for AC Efficiency

Sudden spikes in energy bills serve as indirect yet potent indicators of AC inefficiencies. Monitoring these increases is crucial to addressing potential system issues.

AC Inefficiency Impact:

A decline in air conditioner efficiency leads to increased energy consumption, reflected in elevated utility bills.

Identifying Patterns:

Comparing current bills to past periods helps recognize significant deviations, indicating possible AC system inefficiencies.

Prompt Action:

Timely recognition of increased utility costs prompts action to inspect and rectify potential AC problems.

Maintenance and Repairs:

Addressing the root cause of poor air conditioner performance through professional maintenance prevents further escalation of energy costs.

5. Short Cycling and System Stress:

Frequent On-Off Cycling:

If your HVAC system consistently turns on and off rapidly, it's a sign of short cycling.

This behavior indicates that the system is operating under significant stress and may be struggling to maintain the desired temperature. Immediate contact with an HVAC professional is pivotal in such instances.

While it might be related to a couple of components requiring attention, it could also signify more severe issues like a malfunctioning compressor, heat pump, or other critical parts essential for the proper operation and longevity of your HVAC equipment.

Air Conditioner Repair: Health Concerns

poor indoor air quality (IAQ)

Risks Associated with Poor AC Performance

Poor indoor air quality due to AC issues can pose health risks for employees and customers, impacting overall well-being.

Respiratory Issues:

  • Mold growth or poor air circulation can exacerbate respiratory conditions or cause discomfort.

  • Employees and customers may experience headaches, allergies, or fatigue due to poor air quality.

Health and Safety Compliance:

Ensuring optimal air quality aligns with health and safety regulations, avoiding potential legal ramifications.

Addressing Health Risks:

Air Quality Assessments:

Conducting periodic air quality assessments helps identify potential health hazards.

Maintenance Practices:

Regular cleaning, filter changes, and duct inspections maintain healthier indoor air quality.

Proactive measures, such as regular maintenance and swift repairs, mitigate these impacts, ensuring sustained operational efficiency and occupant welfare.

DIY Checks: Assessing Air Conditioner Performance

commercial air conditioner routine maintenance

1. Basic Inspections: Conducting Routine Checks

Regular inspections help detect early signs of potential AC issues, allowing for timely interventions.

Visual Checks:

  • Examining the exterior unit for debris, blockages, or damage helps ensure unobstructed airflow.

  • Checking for leaks or moisture accumulation near the unit indicates possible issues.

Cleanliness and Debris:

Removing debris, leaves, or obstructions from the unit's surroundings ensures proper ventilation.

Visual Damage Assessment:

Inspecting the unit for physical damage or signs of wear and tear aids in early issue identification.

2. Understanding Thermostat Readings and Functionality

Correct thermostat settings and functionality are keys for efficient AC performance.

Thermostat Accuracy:

Calibrating the thermostat ensures accurate temperature control. Faulty readings can lead to inefficient cooling or heating.

Temperature Calibration:

Verifying the accuracy of thermostat readings through a thermometer calibration test.

Functionality Test:

Testing various settings to ensure the thermostat operates smoothly without discrepancies.

Temperature Sensor Location: 

Consider the placement of the thermostat's temperature sensor. Ensure it is not affected by external factors such as drafts, sunlight, or heat-emitting appliances, as these can impact its accuracy.

3. Air Conditioner Visual Inspections of Ducts and Vents

Ductwork and vents play a pivotal role in maintaining optimal airflow and indoor air quality.

Airflow Obstructions:

  • Blockages or obstructions in ducts hinder efficient air circulation throughout the building.

  • Damaged or leaky ducts impact the overall cooling or heating effectiveness.

Visual Examination:

Check ducts and vents for dust accumulation, blockages, or visible damage.

Airflow Assessment:

Observe airflow patterns or inconsistencies in various rooms to identify potential issues.

Conducting these DIY checks allows business owners and property managers to perform preliminary assessments of their AC systems.

While these steps serve as initial evaluations, seeking professional HVAC inspections for comprehensive assessments and timely interventions is crucial for maintaining optimal AC performance.

Selecting the Right HVAC Service Provider

columbus ohio commercial air conditioner service

1. Criteria for Choosing Reliable Service Providers for Your Air Conditioner Repair

Selecting a dependable commercial HVAC service provider ensures quality repairs and maintenance.

Licensing and Certifications:

Ensure the provider holds valid licenses and certifications. This helps guarantee expertise and adherence to industry standards.

Experience and Track Record:

Assess the provider's experience in handling commercial HVAC systems to verify their competence and reliability.

References and Reviews:

Check customer testimonials or references to validate the commercial HVAC company's reputation and service quality.

Response Time and Availability:

Evaluate their responsiveness to emergency calls and availability for routine maintenance schedules.

2. Service Agreements and Long-term Maintenance Plans

Establishing service agreements ensures consistent AC maintenance and proactive care.

Service Contract Inclusions:

Clarifying the scope of service contracts ensures comprehensive maintenance and repair coverage.

Scheduled Maintenance Plans:

Opting for long-term maintenance plans guarantees regular system checks and preventive measures.

Assessing the agreement's cost vis-à-vis the included services to ensure value for investment.

Customization Options:

Tailoring maintenance plans to suit specific system requirements and budget constraints.

Choosing the right HVAC service provider demands thorough evaluation based on credentials, service agreements, and customer feedback.

If you are in the Columbus, Ohio area, no one does it better than ETS. ETS can do the complicated jobs that others can't and have all the necessary licenses and certifications to handle any commercial HVAC work put in front of them.


Prioritizing regular AC maintenance emerges as a foundation for sustained operational excellence and financial stability in commercial spaces.

Timely inspections and proactive care not only prevent major issues but also extend the lifespan of HVAC systems, minimizing unexpected breakdowns and subsequent costly repairs.

To read other articles similar to this, check out the ETS blog!

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