A Guide to Commercial Air Conditioner Maintenance

The air conditioning needs of commercial sites are significantly different from those of residential properties. Moreover, these air conditioner units vary according to the size, structure, and layout of the commercial spaces where they are installed. The air conditioner units in commercial spaces use more energy and hence result in generating huge electricity bills. An effective way of reducing energy bills is by performing regular maintenance of these systems. In addition to helping save a considerable amount, regular maintenance of commercial air conditioning units also helps to increase their lifespan besides enhancing the efficiency of the unit and improving the overall indoor air quality.

Different Types of Commercial Air Conditioner Systems

To ensure the proper service and maintenance of commercial air conditionings, it is important to first learn about their different types. The most common types of commercial air conditioning units include the following.

Single Split Systems

Single split air conditioning units are largely preferred in small commercial spaces like small offices, cafes, and retail stores. These units provide enough output to ensure efficient heating and cooling of these small spaces within an affordable budget range. These units are extremely easy to install as they do not require any ductwork. They comprise an indoor and outdoor unit and is available in a variety of styles and sizes to match user needs.

Ducted Multi Split Systems

These commercial air conditioner units are suitable for ensuring efficient temperature regulation in larger commercial spaces such as restaurants, or large stores with multiple sections. These units operate through the ventilation system and are costlier than the single split systems. The ducted multi-split systems require ductwork which makes installing them relatively complex. However, these systems are installed outside which makes them aesthetically appealing and also helps save space.

Rooftop Packaged Systems

These commercial air conditioning units are self-contained and are mostly used in larger industrial and commercial buildings. They are named so because these units are generally mounted on the rooftops of commercial buildings. They are thus suitable for saving floor and wall space and also enhancing the aesthetic appeal of the commercial space. They are designed for efficient temperature regulation of multiple rooms and extremely large systems.

Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) Systems

The VRF systems are designed for major industrial and commercial spaces such as factories, multi-level offices, hotels, etc. They enable individual room and zone control across each floor of the building. This ensures greater flexibility in temperature regulation across different rooms as per the user’s needs and comfort levels.

Tips For Maintaining Commercial Air Conditioner Units

Being aware of the different types of commercial air conditioning units makes it easier to perform their maintenance. While some maintenance tasks are best left to the professionals, there are some basic aspects that users can handle on their own. These include the following.

Inspecting And Changing the Air Filter

Inspecting And Changing the Air Filter

As the name suggests the air filter helps to maintain indoor air quality by trapping dust, dirt, and other harmful particles. This causes the air filters to become clogged after some time which hinders smooth airflow and increases the load on the air conditioning unit. This can eventually lead to poor temperature regulation, an increase in energy costs, and finally system failure. An effective way to avoid this situation is by inspecting and changing the air filters regularly. Changing the air filters is relatively easy and can be mostly handled by the users on their own. The frequency of inspecting and changing the air filters depends on the type of system and its usage.

Check The Thermostat

To ensure that their air conditioner unit offers optimal performance, users should check its thermostat for proper working before the hot summer months begin. If the thermostat is not working properly it can lead to various issues including poor temperature regulation, uneven cooling, and short cycling. To check the working of the thermostat, users should verify if its temperature reading matches the actual temperature of the commercial space. A difference in temperature greater than one degree may be indicative of a broken thermostat, in which case it should be replaced immediately.

Clean The Outdoor Condenser Unit

Their outdoor condenser units of commercial air conditioning systems are responsible for transferring the hot air from inside the room and dispersing it into the atmosphere.  A clogged outdoor condenser unit diminishes the cooling ability of the air conditioner besides overloading the system.  Users should remove the dirt and debris that might get accumulated around the unit over some time and ensure that it has a minimum of three feet of open space around it. However, the thorough and proper cleaning of the outdoor condenser units should be left to professionals to avoid the risk of damage.

Clean The Drip Pan And Condensate Line


The condensate line removes the moisture from the indoor air and hence provides the right environment for the growth of algae and mold. If not cleaned regularly, this growth may cause the drain line to become clogged.  In addition to polluting the indoor air, it may also damage the air conditioner system. To avoid the problem, users should check the drip pan of the air conditioner unit for the presence of water regularly after turning off the unit. If there is water in the pan it may be indicative of a clogged condensate line, the cleaning of which is better left to expert technicians.

Summing Up

Following the above maintenance tips can help optimize the performance of commercial air conditioning systems through the summer months. They also help in reducing their energy bills significantly besides enhancing user comfort and providing cooling flexibility.