Planned Preventative Maintenance Can Keep Your Office or Hotel Air Conditioning Performing At Its Best

Estimated reading time 8 minutes

Any business that operates air conditioning within their premises is responsible under F-Gas regulations to maintain their air conditioning to the required standard. This ensures the air conditioning system performs at its best all-year-round and leaks are detected early.  For hotels, offices, gyms and restaurants, air conditioning maintenance is especially important to staff productivity and customer satisfaction.

For a hotel, B&B or restaurant, poor performing air conditioning can be the subject of bad reviews on popular online review sites, resulting in a loss of business - particularly during hot summer months. Take a look at our article on "Why is air conditioning important to a Hotel's reputation?"

In an office, the consequences of under-performing office conditioning can result in fatigue among the workforce, resulting in a drop in productivity. Again, this can significantly affect a company’s profits.

With this in mind, it is not an exaggeration to say that air conditioning is vital to your business and it needs to be regulary maintained to the manufacturers guidelines for it to continues working efficiently and effectively every day of the year.

At Synecore, we are very familiar with the effects of underperforming hotel, restaurant and office air conditioning. Our engineers often arrive on site to discover blocked filters, which can be a direct result of poor air conditioning maintenance. We cannot stress enough how important Planned Preventative Maintenance is for air conditioning systems is in any commercial environment. Not only will it ensure your air conditioning system remains efficient, but also small faults can be detected early on to prevent unnecessary breakdowns.

What Can Happen If My Air Conditioning Is Not Properly Maintained?

Like all electrical equipment if your air conditioning is not maintained properly problems can arise. Given the fact that air conditioning has to deal with fluctuating temperatures - from hot to cold and vice versa, it’s easy to see why this added stress on your air conditioning system can cause issues.

There have even been reports in the daily newspapers about ill-health being caused by air conditioning when maintenance is ignored or forgotten e.g. an article in The Sun and The Express “Hotel air con machines could make you sick – because they almost never get cleaned properly” and “Hotel manager reveals why you should never use THIS in the room” which reports that Former hotel manager Chris Johnston "One often overlooked source of... germs is the HVAC unit in the room. If hotel staff fail to clean the filters (or at least clean the top visible portion), simply turning on the unit can cause these particles to fill your room and your lungs."

As these articles suggest, the health risks associated with air conditioning is a real concern for hotel and restaurant customers. Equally, the inconvenience of underperforming air conditioning is very frustrating, Comfort cooling is essential to customer satisfaction.

Here are some of the causes for the most common air conditioning issues:

The AC won’t turn on. If your air conditioning won’t power up it could be because of a blown fuse. It could also be the result of loose or broken wiring. Alternatively, there may be an issue with the thermostat.

The AC won’t keep the room cool. When an air conditioning system won’t keep a room cool or the air is humid it is likely to be the result of low refrigerant levels. Without the proper refrigerant levels in the system heat and humidity cannot be efficiently removed and are blown into the room or building. A low level of refrigerant could be due to a leak which is a significant problem, unfortunately it’s not usually a matter of just topping off the refrigerant. It must be dealt with quickly and by qualified personnel.

The AC is working too hard. If your air conditioning appears to be working overtime to maintain room temperature it could be a sign of dirty filters or condenser coils.

The condenser is responsible for taking the heat removed from the air by releasing it on the outside of the building. If the coils are dirty the heat transfer will not be working efficiently, and your air conditioning unit will have to work harder putting more stress and strain on the system ultimately leading to additional wear and tear. Condenser coils should be cleaned regularly.

Air conditioning is built to trap dust and germs and to filter the air to make it clean to breathe. If filters are not cleaned or changed regularly, they can become clogged and restrict airflow resulting in the air conditioning performing poorly. By changing the filters, you avoid your air conditioning system becoming inefficient, restricting air flow, recirculating dust and germs, overheating or breaking down.

Some rooms are cool, others are warm. If your air conditioning ducts are dirty or if there is a leak in your ducting it can result in a disruption to airflow. Dirty or leaky air ducts can make your system inconsistent when it comes to room or building temperature and can mean your system has to work harder to try to maintain set temperature(s). Inspecting ducting is important to ensure they are kept clean and leak free.

The AC only blows out hot air or no air. If you find your system is only blowing out hot air it may be due to an issue with the evaporator coil. The evaporator coil contains the refrigerant that absorbs heat. If air flow within the air conditioning system is diminished e.g. as a result of dirty or leaky ducting or low refrigerant (see above) then a layer of ice can form on the evaporator coil reducing its efficiency.

The AC isn’t draining properly. As previously mentioned, your air conditioning removes heat and humidity. If your AC isn’t draining correctly i.e. if the drain line gets clogged the result can be a backup of water into the system. The water backup can then cause leaks within the system resulting in damage to your building. Checking drainage lines are clean and clear should form part of any air conditioning maintenance.

The AC is noisy. If your system seems noisy this could be due to the fan motors which power the fans that blow air over the condenser to transport the heat from within the building to the outside. If the fan motors are dirty or are suffering from deteriorating bearings or worn belts then they are likely to become noisier during the operation of the air conditioning.

The thermostat doesn’t work. If your thermostat isn’t working it may not tell the system when to turn on/off to regulate the room temperature. It may also be a calibration or programming issue. In the first instance you should consult your thermostat manual and if the solution is not immediately obvious it may be time to call in your AC / HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) professional.

Some problems can be prevented through simple troubleshooting however given the complexity of air conditioning systems many issues will require professional intervention. A regular maintenance contract (Planned Preventative Maintenance) will go a long way to reducing / eliminating any problems and downtime that your air conditioning system may experience if regular maintenance is not carried out.

Planned Preventative Maintenance Will Ensure Your Air Conditioning Is Maintained Correctly

By law, businesses running air conditioning equipment with an F-Gas equivalent CO2 output of 5 tonnes or more must undergo:

  • regular leak tests
  • fitted with automatic leak detection systems
  • inspection records maintained by a qualified F-Gas accredited air conditioning engineer

With the high demands and legal obligations placed on commercial and industrial premises to remain F-Gas compliant, it is critical to have a reliable air conditioning maintenance team available to you. At Synecore we take care of all your planned preventative maintenance and take manage your F-Gas records, giving you complete peace of mind.

Our air conditioning maintenance and repair services are ideal for offices, hotels, gyms and restaurants. With a large national network of engineers and suppliers, we are able to service clients throughout Kent, London and the UK.

For more information about what is involved in an air conditioning maintenance inspection, please read our article, “Is Your Air Conditioning Summer Ready?” .

Talk to one of our team today to speak to our team about your individual business requirements. Contact us to discuss your air conditioning needs and to arrange a visit from one of our fully qualified engineers.

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