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Althoff Industries, Inc. Blog

Signs of Problems With Your Rooftop HVAC Units


Most commercial buildings and facilities use rooftop HVAC units for climate control. These are packaged units, which means all the important components are housed inside the rooftop cabinet rather than split between indoor and outdoor units, which is common for homes. Putting all this equipment on the roof is convenient as it frees up space indoors, keeps the noise of the machines removed from the workspace, and makes it easy for technicians to access without interrupting operations.

There is one drawback to the rooftop location, which is that it can be tricky for people in the facility to notice the early signs of one of these units malfunctioning. However, there are several signs you can watch for that will warn you it’s time to call for commercial HVAC technicians to investigate the equipment and repair it if necessary.

Sounds coming from the vents

You don’t hear most noises the HVAC units on the roof create, but when they malfunction, some of the sounds may echo down the ductwork and become audible in the workspace. If people start hearing clanging and grinding noises from the vents, it’s possible the rooftop units are encountering mechanical problems. 

Unusual odors from the vents

Malfunctions with HVAC units can create acrid smells that may waft through the vents. This often means motors are burning out in the unit. Another unpleasant smell people may detect is moldy and musty odors, which can mean a rise in humidity in the units that have created mold growth. Both problems need immediate attention from professionals.

Uneven temperatures

As rooftop units start to lose their heating and cooling capacities, hot and cold spots will start to appear inside the building. If you’re hearing reports of rooms that either won’t get cool enough or won’t warm up, you may have a rooftop HVAC unit that’s dying. 

Changes in humidity

Another early sign of an HVAC system that’s losing its ability to properly control the climate is a shift in humidity. Standard rooftop HVAC units aren’t built as dehumidifiers, but they do have some dehumidification properties. If the units are no longer properly absorbing or exhausting heat, it will cause humidity to either rise or fall from a comfortable level. Don’t ignore these changes, since they can warn of upcoming major losses in cooling and heating.

A sudden rise in energy costs

A large amount of power in any business goes toward the HVAC equipment, so if this equipment starts to malfunction and drains more power to run, you’ll see the results on your utility bills. Make sure you keep a close watch on monthly costs—if there’s a rise in energy bills that you can’t account for due to increased use or a rise in energy prices, have commercial technicians investigate the HVAC system to see if it needs repairs or replacements. 

We can provide the repair services you need for your commercial rooftop units in Hillside, IL or elsewhere in the Chicagoland area. We have a 60-year track record with clients and specialize in problem-solving. Get in touch with our award-winning team today—we’re here to deliver more than repairs, we deliver solutions.

Call Althoff Industries, Inc. for true 24-hour service. Challenges accepted!

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