Common HVAC Problems in Commercial Buildings & How to Solve Them

Common HVAC Problems in Commercial Buildings & How to Solve Them

As a commercial property owner or commercial property manager in San Diego,  you know that a well-functioning HVAC system is crucial for occupant comfort and productivity. A broken hvac system can lead to a domino effect of costly problems, impacting everything from employee health to energy bills. Here, we'll explore some of the most common HVAC problems in commercial buildings and provide solutions to keep your system running smoothly.

1. Lack of Cooling or Heating

A lack of heating and cooling is usually one of the first problems building owners and occupants notice. No matter if the building is a retail, manufacturing, or corporate office, a poorly functioning HVAC system makes the environment uncomfortable and less functional for its intended use. This is a major concern, especially during peak summer or winter months. 

If there is a reduction in the heating and cooling functions or the HVAC is broken, there could be several causes:

  • Low Refrigerant: Low refrigerant levels can significantly reduce cooling capacity. We recommend scheduling regular hvac maintenance to check refrigerant levels and ensure proper operation.
  • Frozen Coils: If the evaporator coil becomes too cold, it can freeze over, blocking airflow and hindering cooling. This can be caused by low refrigerant levels, dirty filters, or airflow restrictions.
  • Dirty Furnace: A clogged furnace filter or dirty burner can impede proper heating. Regular heating and air conditioning maintenance and cleaning are essential.
  • Thermostat Issues: A faulty thermostat might not be sending the correct signal to the HVAC system. Ensure your thermostat is set to the desired temperature and functioning properly.


  • For low refrigerant or frozen coils, contact a licensed and insured San Diego HVAC company for diagnosis and repair. Never attempt to add refrigerant yourself, as it's a regulated substance requiring specialized equipment and expertise.
  • Schedule regular preventative maintenance to address dirty filters and burners before they cause problems.
  • Consider upgrading to a programmable thermostat to optimize energy use and occupant comfort.

2. Reduced Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

Poor IAQ can lead to respiratory problems, allergies, and decreased productivity for occupants. Here's what might be causing it:

  • Dirty Air Filters: Clogged air filters trap less dust, pollen, and other contaminants, leading to poor air quality.
  • Contaminated Ductwork: Over time, dust, mold, and debris can accumulate within the ductwork, polluting the air that circulates throughout the building.


  • Replace air filters regularly according to the manufacturer's recommendations or consult with an heating and air conditioning company to determine the optimal replacement schedule for your building's needs.
  • Schedule regular duct cleaning services to maintain good IAQ.

3. Unexplained or Unusual Noises

Strange noises coming from your HVAC system can indicate potential problems. Here's what to listen for:

  • Screeching or Grinding: These noises might indicate worn bearings or belts that need lubrication or replacement.
  • Banging or Clanging: Loose parts within the system could be causing these sounds.
  • Rattling: This could be caused by a loose duct or debris caught in the fan.


Unusual noises are a sign you should call a local heating and air contractor to diagnose the problem and prevent further damage. Early intervention can save you money on repairs in the long run.

4. Inefficiency and Increased Energy Bills

A poorly maintained HVAC system can work harder to maintain desired temperatures, leading to higher energy consumption and utility bills.

  • Dirty Coils: Dirty condenser and evaporator coils reduce heat transfer efficiency, forcing the system to work harder.
  • Leaky Ducts: Leaks in the ductwork allow conditioned air to escape, requiring the system to work overtime to maintain comfort levels.
  • Outdated Equipment: Older HVAC systems are generally less efficient than newer models.


  • Schedule regular cleaning of condenser and evaporator coils to optimize efficiency.
  • Have your ductwork inspected and sealed if leaks are found.
  • Consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient HVAC system. While the upfront cost might be higher, the long-term savings on energy bills can be significant.

5. Unresponsive System

A complete system shutdown can be disruptive and require immediate attention.

  • Tripped Circuit Breaker: If the HVAC system shares a circuit breaker with other appliances, a power surge could cause it to trip.
  • Blown Fuse: A blown fuse can also prevent the system from starting.
  • Thermostat Malfunction: A faulty thermostat might not be sending a signal to the system.


  • Check the circuit breaker panel and reset it if tripped. If it trips repeatedly, consult an electrician.
  • For blown fuses, identify the dedicated fuse for the HVAC system and replace it with the correct amperage. If unsure, seek professional help.
  • Ensure the thermostat is set to the desired mode (heat or cool) and functioning properly. Consider replacing the thermostat if necessary.

Keeping Your Business Comfortable and Efficient

 HVAC systems are complex. While these solutions can address many common issues, partnering with a qualified HVAC company like Allegiance Heating & Air offers significant benefits for commercial building owners.

  • Early Detection of Problems: Regular maintenance allows technicians to identify minor issues before they escalate into costly repairs.
  • Extended Equipment Lifespan: Preventative maintenance helps ensure your HVAC system operates efficiently, reducing wear and tear and extending its lifespan.
  • Improved System Performance: Clean and well-maintained systems operate at peak performance, leading to better temperature control and improved comfort for occupants.
  • Reduced Energy Costs: A well-maintained HVAC system consumes less energy, translating into lower utility bills.
  • Priority Service: Established clients with a maintenance agreement often receive priority service during peak seasons or emergencies.

Allegiance Heating & Air Offers Comprehensive Solutions

At Allegiance Heating & Air, we understand the unique needs of commercial and retail HVAC systems. We offer a variety of services to keep your building comfortable and efficient:

  • Preventative Maintenance Programs: We customize maintenance plans to meet your specific building and equipment needs.
  • System Repair and Replacement: Our technicians have the expertise to repair all types of HVAC systems. We can also advise on energy-efficient system replacements when necessary.
  • Indoor Air Quality Solutions: We offer a range of services to improve indoor air quality, including air filtration systems and duct cleaning.

HVAC Maintenance Near Me

By partnering with Allegiance Heating & Air, you gain a trusted advisor who can help you maintain a comfortable, healthy, and energy-efficient work environment for your employees and tenants. For more information about Allegiance Heating & Air 619-760-2932.

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