What Can Happen When Air Conditioning Maintenance Is Neglected?

Estimated reading time 6 minutes

When it comes to air conditioning maintenance, failing to maintain your air conditioning system can have serious consequences.

Like any complex system your air conditioning will run smoothly and efficiently for long periods and everything will work exactly as it should but there will be times when things start to go wrong and when they do the result can be costly bills, downtime and your HVAC may potentially suffer greater damage.

Failing To Maintain Your HVAC

A number of things are likely to happen if you fail to maintain your HVAC in a timely manner. From higher energy bills, poor air quality, unpleasant smells to increased wear and tear. Your air conditioning system can fail or have issues at any time if it’s not properly maintained.

Higher Energy Bills

Just like any other electrical system, if your air conditioning has to work harder just to do the job it’s made for i.e. maintain the building temperature, humidity and air quality, then it will end up using more energy. As an example, when filters get clogged your air conditioning is working against the filter dirt and dust to filter the air through the system. The result will be higher energy bills. Given the current energy price rises that are coming, it makes sense to ensure your HVAC is working optimally and efficiently, using the minimal amount of energy it needs to carry out its task.

Reduced Indoor Air Quality

Where there is an accumulation of dirt, dust, toxins or pollutants e.g. in the filters or ductwork then contaminants can accumulate and be dispersed into the air, lowering the air quality.

We know that air quality can impact health and wellness. In fact The World Green Building Council have reported that indoor air quality and ventilation help increase cognitive scores for workers in green well ventilated offices as healthy offices have lower concentrations of CO2, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other pollutants and that given a company’s staff account for “90% of business operating costs, so even a 1% improvement in productivity can have a major impact on the bottom line and competitiveness of any business."

The UK government have also voiced the concern over indoor pollution. In a published “Postnote” entitled “UK Indoor Air Quality” they look at why indoor pollution is just as important as outdoor pollution to our health and explain that long term air pollution exposure can cause a variety of chronic illnesses including cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.

Asthma UK advise that “you’re more at risk from poor air quality indoors. Many common indoor pollutants are small enough to get into the lungs and make your asthma symptoms worse.” They also state that around 40% of people in the UK suffer from allergies from airborne particles like pollen, mould spores and dust which can lead to severe allergic reactions including shortness of breath or a full blown asthma attack.

British Lung Foundation state that indoor air pollution is linked to an increased risk of various diseases including COPD, pneumonia and lung cancer as well as heart disease and stroke.

Unpleasant Smells

When air conditioning maintenance is neglected it can lead to unpleasant smells. This can happen for various reasons e.g. you may experience a stale, musty or mouldy smell. This is usually a sign of the accumulation of water in the ductwork, drip lines or drain pan which then allows mould, fungus or mildew to grow. In hot weather dirty filters can also cause a smell.

Inconsistent Room Temperatures

There may be times when your HVAC appears to be having issues with maintaining the set room or building temperature. This may happen sporadically or after a period of time your HVAC may consistently fail to reach or maintain the desired room temperature.

Inconsistent temperatures can be a sign that there are issues with your thermostat or room sensors, issues within the ductwork e.g. gaps or holes or more seriously refrigerant leaks.

Refrigerant Leaks

Your HVAC won’t function without refrigerant. Air conditioning works when a liquid changes to a gas which results in the absorption of heat. Air conditioning uses this principle by pumping chemical compounds or ‘refrigerants’ through the system and forcing the refrigerant to evaporate and condense again and again in a closed system of coils. The refrigerant then transfers the heat from the air inside to the outside air, ensuring that the room or building is maintained at a steady temperature. The refrigerant then flows back to the compressor where the cycle starts over again.

If your HVAC suffers from a refrigerant leak your air conditioning will start to fail and will eventually break down completely. It’s important to note that refrigerant leaks can be dangerous and should only be handled by a professional air conditioning engineer.

HVAC Wear and Tear

Every system suffers from general wear and tear; it’s simply part of the normal process of getting older. In the case of an HVAC which has a number of mechanical parts, motors, condenser coils, bearing and belts they can all fail along with many other parts that go to make up an HVAC. If you don’t have a maintenance plan in place simple wear and tear can quickly turn into more serious issues. To make matter worse if your air conditioning has to work harder due to component issues or dirty filters etc then it’s likely to cause more wear and tear on the system than is normal.

When the system starts to have issues or break down there is the potential for more damage to be caused when a component fails leading to bigger problems and bigger repair bills.

Component Failure

As mentioned previously there are many parts within an HVAC that can suffer wear and tear but if your system isn’t maintained then individual components may fail faster than expected and any individual component failures, that if picked up earlier could have been resolved, may affect the system as it tries to compensate for one components breakdown.

Planned Preventative Maintenance

Planned preventative air conditioning maintenance can be scheduled in advance to ensure all air conditioning components and the system as a whole is properly maintained to ensure efficiency. Equipment lifetime is usually extended and the reliability of your HVAC system is increased which in turn results in lower repair costs and energy bills which can only be a good thing in the current climate of rising energy prices.

Synecore Building Planned Preventative Maintenance Services

Synecore offer air conditioning planned preventative maintenance packages to suit your air conditioning system. We cover Kent, London and across the UK. Our maintenance projects are overseen by an experienced project manager so you know you are in good hands.

If you would like to learn more about how to keep your air conditioning system in top shape, through a PPM, contact Synecore on 01795 509 509. Our team will book an appointment for one of our engineers to visit your site and discuss your options.

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