5 Reasons Why Your HVAC System Isn’t Performing As It Should


Howling winds and chilly temperatures can be a Pain in the Neck, and in these situations, if your HVAC system isn’t working it can be really frustrating. 

You may have already tried some quick fixes like turning the thermostat higher and setting up an extra fan for circulation but nothing seems to make any difference in how quickly things are getting hot around this house. Luckily HVAC experts will know what little adjustments might need to be made to diagnose performance failures in systems even if that is not of their design. And when the expert audits these systems, they find there are common themes as to why they aren’t performing as they should.

Hence, let’s discuss the most common reasons we find for issues with HVAC system performance.

Misapplied Technology

Selecting the right equipment for your heating and cooling operation is important. There are many methods, but some will work better than others. Unfortunately, several technologies do not work well at all—for example, those designed primarily for comfort cooling.

The tendency of inexperienced engineers to specify these units is high. This often results in early failure, constant maintenance, and compromised cultivation climates. With experience, your engineering partner can help you select equipment that meets the needs of both the environment and budget.

Inappropriate Installation

Nothing will perform well if it hasn’t been installed correctly. Users often choose installation contractors who lack “big job” experience, leading them to underbid jobs and cut corners even with the best intentions.

When you’re looking for a contractor, it is important that they have installation experience installing systems on the same scales as your HVAC system. A contractor unfamiliar with the intricacies of geothermal HVAC systems could install an alternate material that is less expensive than the original but could ultimately result in poor system performance. A trustworthy company can help reduce stress and save money by avoiding any surprises during construction!

Load Calculations

Even the best equipment will break if the room loads are not calculated correctly. An HVAC system is a series of heat exchangers that transfer heat and moisture from location A (your grow room) to location B (outside your grow room).

There are several ways that the heat produced by air conditioners can be removed, but these methods vary in sophistication and energy efficiency.

The heat load must be calculated based on the amount of heat and volume of water removed from the space, balanced against the parameters in the space. The calculation changes throughout growth cycles and between lights-on and lights-off conditions.

Illogical Expectation

We find this problem most commonly when a new cultivation team takes over an existing facility. Every operator has their unique irrigation practices, implementations, and required parameters for their cultivation method. Remember that mechanical systems are crafted to remove a specific amount of heat and moisture under specific conditions.

Irrigation strategy plays an important role in the water cycle. When the irrigation strategy changes, such as when there is a change in water volume due to dehumidification load, it can cause the system not to keep up.

Similarly, if the system was designed to maintain an 80 degree light on temperature, and the new operators desire a 72 degree on temperature, the system is unlikely to achieve that new temperature. This is not because the equipment is failing—it’s thermodynamics.


HVAC systems have long been the most neglected piece of equipment in commercial buildings. This issue has continued into cultivation facilities. Just like any other machinery, climate control systems must be properly maintained to enable peak performance and longevity.

In every system, filters must be replaced and maintained. Condensate drainage systems should also be kept clear and well-functioning. There may also be water quality and treatment, filters to clean, lubrication, and chemical treatment in more sophisticated and energy-efficient systems.

Dirty condenser coils, dirty filters, and unheeded alarms are all common problems that can cause a lack of efficiency in a building.

We’ve seen compressors and fans fail due to dirty condenser coils or unchanged filters, chillers compromised due to unclean strainers, and equipment alarms left unheeded for weeks at a time.

Unfortunately, most operators don’t properly address the maintenance requirements of the entire facility while staffing. When the staff is simply competent to clean a coil and replace a filter, it is not normally a best practice to depend on the in-house team to handle all the facility’s maintenance needs.

If there is an outside firm providing maintenance services for the critical systems in your facility, make sure you maintain communication with them. Otherwise, you may find yourself without working equipment when it’s needed most.

Summing Up

It’s common for facilities to have excessive operating costs due to a failure to address the energy use component and discuss it with the cultivation and ownership team. This is a key component of HVAC systems, as it balances operating costs against complexity and budget.

A complete HVAC system includes several components that produce a consistent environment within a building or structure. Airlogix, being an expert in this regard, serves with the best services needed. For more information, contact us today!

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