Sometimes, you won’t know how important air conditioning is for your business until it suddenly stops working. Next thing you know, employees are sweating through their clothes, customers are making a beeline for the exit, and the workplace generally becomes less productive as the minutes without cool air tick by. So, how do you prevent this problem from happening? And what can you do when it does happen?
Before we talk about prevention and possible solutions to AC problems, let’s find out what can happen to your business when the air conditioning suddenly stops working.
The effects of faulty AC in your business
When the air conditioner doesn’t work, employees are bound to be uncomfortable. And since comfort is one of the most important determinants of productivity, an uncomfortable environment can easily affect it. Employees start to become distracted, irritable, and generally less efficient at doing their jobs. They can’t breathe properly and the air is either too warm or too cold, so can you blame them?
A customer is likely to turn back around and exit the store when they feel that the premises’ is not working properly. In offices, a malfunctioning AC can make clients form negative impressions about the business, and may even cause those clients to cut meetings short if they are too uncomfortable with the lack of comfortable air. In both of these cases, the consequences are revenue loss and perhaps a negative impression upon customers and clients.
Not only is a faulty air conditioning system a general nuisance, but it can also bring forth health risks. If the temperature is too hot or too cold, anyone in the building may be prone to health conditions like heat exhaustion, fainting, muscle cramps, and respiratory problems. If the cause of the AC issue is cracking in the ductwork, pollutants that go through these cracks can trigger asthma, allergies, and other respiratory issues when inhaled.
How to prevent a sudden AC breakdown
The best way to avoid the consequences mentioned above is to minimize the risk of an AC failure happening in your business. Here are some strategies that can help you do that:
Perform preventive maintenance
Have an HVAC contractor perform regular maintenance on your AC unit. Preventive maintenance helps spot potential problems before they even occur, thus helping ensure that your AC stays in good working condition at all times. Moreover, preventive maintenance can help save money for your business by preventing problems from occurring altogether or perhaps minimizing the cost of repairs in the future.
Avoid overusing your unit
Every air conditioning unit needs to rest after long periods of use. If you leave the AC on 24/7, the unit has to work harder to keep supplying cool air in the building. Hence, it is advisable to turn off the unit when the business closes or otherwise increase the temperature when there fewer people within the premises.
Replace parts accordingly
Sometimes, conducting AC repairs are mere band-aid solutions to a problem that can no longer be solved without replacing a certain component. If your AC unit is already experiencing problems more frequently than usual and you are spending more money on repairs, replacing a particular part of your AC–or getting a new AC altogether–may be a more cost-effective option. This is especially true if your AC is already nearing the end of its lifespan wherein it is more likely to break down at any minute.
What to do when your AC breaks
If the AC in your business stops working outside of business hours, the problem is much easier to deal with as you can just call a technician and have them fix the unit before the next day. However, if your AC suddenly fails in the middle of the day, here’s what you can do:
Inspect the unit.
The problem may be something simple like a dirty filter or an improperly programmed thermostat. However, if the issue is a refrigerant leak, a faulty capacitor, an electric control failure, or something else that neither you nor your staff can fix, move on to the next step.
Call a technician.
The earlier you do this, the better you can avoid productivity loss and customer dissatisfaction throughout the day.
Ventilate the area.
While the AC is down, increase the airflow in your building by opening windows, turning on fans, opening doors, etc.
A broken-down air conditioner is a major productivity killer and a complete turn-off for customers. Follow these tips to avoid AC problems or otherwise solve them immediately if they still occur.