Furnace Fiascos Avoided

Commercial AC Air-Handler Maintenance to Assist with Low Airflow

If you have a large office or manufacturing building with a central air-conditioning system, then you may not think about your cooling system all that much as long as cool air blows through your vents. However, if you have recently started to notice that less cool air is being pushed through your building, then it may be time to start investigating whether or not your AC system needs a bit of assistance. If you have an air handler on the roof of your building, then there are a few things you can do to try to help your AC unit run more smoothly.

Invest in a Cool Roof

Air handlers are the commercial air-conditioning units that contain most of the working parts of the system. The handler is a relatively large metal box that contains the cooling coils as well as the blower. The air handler is typically connected directly to the air-conditioning ducts that allow cool air to move through your building.

The air handler will pull in fresh outdoor air, and the air will pass over the cooling coil. The cooled air is then moved into the blower. If you use your air-conditioning system during the hot summer months, then the air will likely be quite warm before it is cooled. The air and the metal casing of the air handler may also be heated by the infrared rays of the sun. These rays are typically absorbed by the BUR, asphalt, EPDM, modified bitumen, or other commercial roof that covers your business. The vast majority of these roofs are black, and the heat absorbed by the roof may be transferred to your air handler. This heat can be extensive, especially since a black roof may reach temperatures up to 190 degrees Fahrenheit on a 90-degree day.

High heat that is transferred to your air handler can place a great deal of stress on the AC unit over time. If the system is not cooling like it used to, then you should try to keep the air handler as cool as possible. You can do this by adding a roof coating that is white to your business. White-roof coatings or paints are available for all types of commercial roofs. The coatings come in acrylic, solvent, and silicone options. Speak to a roofing professional or an experienced individual at your local home store to find out what you need. Most coatings can be easily added to your commercial roof with rollers or paintbrushes.

Change the Filter and Belt

Most roof-mounted air-handler systems will have filters attached to them that need to be changed on occasion. If you have paid very little attention to your air-conditioning system, then it is likely that you have not changed the air filter in some time. Now is a good time to do this, and the change is likely to improve the overall performance of the cooling system. Commercial air-conditioning filters are not a standard size like residential varieties, so remove the filter before buying a replacement.

Once you check on the filter, you also will need to inspect the belt inside the air handler. Most air handlers and commercial AC systems will have belt-driven motors attached to them. The rubber belt attached to the motor will wear out with excessive use. This can happen quickly if the air handler is exposed to high levels of heat, since heat is one of the things that can cause rubber to crack. 

Remove the casing from the air handler and look for a motor attached to the blower or fan part of the system. You will see a belt attached to the motor. Look at the belt for signs of wear like obvious cracks, bends, or warped areas of the rubber. If you see these things, then gently remove the belt and take it to your local home store or commercial air-conditioning retailer so a replacement can be provided. 

Talk to a professional such as Robinson Heating & Cooling Inc for more information.