HVAC System Problems That Affect Employee Productivity And Health


As a building or facility manager it is your responsibility to see that employers can provide a conducive work environment to their employees. Indoor air needs to be at a certain quality in order to effect maximum productivity by creating a comfortable and healthy environment. The quality of the indoor air is determined by its temperature, the humidity levels, how well ventilated it is and its level of purity (if there are other chemicals components in the air).

Poor working conditions can be brought about by poor air quality can result from commercial HVAC system problems. Often, the cause of musty odors or a hot and stuffy work environment is as a result of a broken down component of the HVAC system. Apart from being highly unsuitable for work, a poorly ventilated environment can also affect the health of your employees adversely.

If the indoor air quality is poor, your employees may start to experience headaches, fatigue, fever, shortness of breath and coughing. In severe cases of poor ventilation, they may even develop serious respiratory issues such as asthma and pneumonia.

It is imperative that you ensure that the HVAC system is functioning properly at any given time. Some of the commercial HVAC system problems that may affect its proper functioning are listed below and explained in detail.

1. Inconsistent Airflow

Inconsistent airflow is characterized by regions of your office with significant differences in temperature. Temperature inconsistencies are brought about by cracks on the ductwork. As a result, there is uneven distribution of warm, ventilated area in the building. Additionally, cracked ducts are a potential health risk because they produce bits of fiberglass insulation, which are then propelled by the blower into the air stream. The debris can cause serious respiratory issues to your employees when inhaled. Additionally, the fiberglass particles can settle on the electric components of your HVAC system, causing unnecessary breakdowns. To solve the issue, contact professionals who can locate the leaks and seal them promptly.

2. Poor Quality of Air

A number of factors can bring about musty air or air that has not been properly ventilated. These factors range from mild ones such as an air filter that needs replacing on your HVAC system to serious ones such as a gas leak. If you notice unpleasant odors emanating from your HVAC system, they might be as a result of dirty air filters, overheated parts, and an accumulation of stagnant water that has condensed on the system or debris from the outside air that has been caught and melted on the heat exchanger. The filters should be replaced at least once every month.

3. Inadequate or Excessive System Capacity

It is prudent to consider the size of your office building when installing a HVAC system to avoid problems in future. Commercial HVAC system problems may arise from inadequacies brought about by a HVAC system that is too small for the building or excesses from a system that is too large. In both scenarios, the quality of the indoor air will not be at the optimum requirement as the room will either have insufficient ventilation or too much airflow which results in an almost windy work environment.

4. Noise

Sometimes your HVAC system might begin producing strange rattling noises that can be quite loud and distracting. The noise could be brought about by a broken part that has been caught in the system. When you notice this, you should immediately contact the professionals to sort out the issue.

5. Clogged Drains

Your system’s performance may be failing due to a blockage in the drainage line that disposes the water accumulated from the condenser. A piece of debris or a buildup of dirt and debris may be the cause of a clogged drainpipe. As a result, water might collect in the pipe, sometimes going as far back as into the drain pan. This can cause serious water damage to your system if left unchecked. As such, it is prudent to perform regular checks and clear up any accumulated debris in the pipe.

6. Burnt Out Capacitors and Blown Fuses

The HVAC system has two crucial capacitors that start and run it and fuses that prevent overheating of the system. The unit may fail to start or run properly of either of the capacitors burn out or if a fuse has blown. If it stops running abruptly, check the circuit breaker to know whether the problem could be a blown fuse. By performing regular checks, you will also be able to detect and replace any burned out capacitors.

7. Lack of Proper Maintenance Checks

Like any large machinery, your HVAC system should undergo regular maintenance checks to keep it in top condition. Most of the problems that affect the system are as a result of negligence. Some issues can be avoided by simply preventing the buildup of dust on the electric components of the HVAC system. System failures and costly repairs can be prevented by simple routine inspections.

An atmosphere void of fresh air is very irritating to work in as it reduces the employees’ focus on their tasks. The production levels of your employees may go down if they are subjected to poor working conditions brought about by a dysfunctional HVAC system. By preventing these commercial HVAC system problems, you help to provide your employees with a work environment in which their productivity, not to mention their health, can thrive.

One thought on “HVAC System Problems That Affect Employee Productivity And Health

  1. Steve Clark

    You make some very good points and illustrate the importance of keeping up with a regular HVAC maintenance plan.

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