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Seaside Air Services Blog

The Trick With Modular Cooling: 3 Issues to Deal With Soon

Modular commercial air conditioning units offer a compelling solution for businesses with fluctuating cooling needs. These versatile systems are built in sections, allowing you to add or remove capacity as your requirements change.

However, even the most adaptable systems can encounter challenges. Let’s explore the three most common problems that can arise with modular cooling systems, including rooftop AC units, and why you might need commercial AC repair in Port St. Lucie, FL.

1. Neglected Maintenance:

The modular design of these systems might lead some to believe they require less maintenance. This is a misconception. Each individual module still contains critical components like coils, compressors, and refrigerant lines. Regular cleaning and inspection are essential to ensure optimal performance and avoid costly breakdowns.

  • Solution: Develop a comprehensive maintenance plan with a qualified HVAC technician. This plan should include:
    • Scheduled cleanings: The frequency will depend on your environment, but most units require coil cleaning at least quarterly.
    • Filter replacements: Dirty air filters restrict airflow and reduce efficiency. Replace filters monthly during peak cooling seasons and adjust the schedule based on usage.
    • Seasonal inspections: A technician can identify potential problems early on, saving you money and preventing disruptions.

2. Uneven Cooling Distribution:

Uneven cooling is a common complaint with any air conditioning system, but it can be particularly noticeable in modular setups. This can occur due to several factors:

  • Improper Module Configuration: Modules need to be strategically placed to ensure proper airflow throughout the building. Uneven spacing or neglecting airflow obstructions can lead to hot and cold spots.
  • Imbalance in Capacity: If individual modules aren’t sized appropriately for specific zones, some areas might be overcooled while others remain uncomfortably warm.
  • Zone Control Issues: Modular systems often integrate with zone control technology. Malfunctioning thermostats or dampers can disrupt the intended cooling distribution.
  • Solution: Regularly assess your cooling needs and adjust the system accordingly. Work a professional to get this done accurately.

3. The Phantom Capacity Myth:

A significant advantage of modular systems is the ability to “scale up” cooling capacity as your business grows. However, it’s crucial to understand that adding modules doesn’t always translate to a linear increase in cooling power.

  • Reasoning: Several factors can limit the actual cooling gain from additional modules.
    • Shared Infrastructure: Modular systems often share electrical and ductwork infrastructure. Adding modules might exceed the capacity of these shared elements, leading to diminished returns.
    • Airflow Limitations: The existing ductwork system might not be designed to handle the increased airflow from additional modules. This can create bottlenecks and restrict cooling effectiveness.
  • Solution: Before adding modules, consider a system evaluation by an HVAC professional. Here’s what they can assess:
    • Infrastructure Capacity: Determine if the existing electrical and ductwork systems can handle the additional load of new modules.
    • Airflow Analysis: Evaluate if modifications are necessary to the ductwork to accommodate the increased airflow from additional cooling units.

Need assistance measuring the airflow or capacity of your commercial space? Work with Seaside Air Services, a team of licensed commercial AC experts that can get this done easily.

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