How to Protect Commercial Building HVAC
Systems From Extreme Weather

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EDISON PARKER & ASSOCIATES INC. was founded in 1997 as a sales and marketing company for all mechanical replacement parts, as well as new replacement units, to large facilities such as hotels, hospitals, nursing homes, and large real estate... read more

How to Protect Commercial Building HVAC
Systems From Extreme Weather

Mechanical systems, such as industrial HVAC systems and commercial heating systems, are essential to a well-oiled commercial building. And while mechanical systems in commercial buildings are designed to stand up against a wide range of weather conditions, extreme weather conditions can cause devastating effects.

Knowing how to adequately protect your commercial HVAC equipment from destruction is vital. After all, a commercial HVAC system cost isn’t necessarily “cheap,” not to mention the commercial HVAC installation cost is pricey, too.

Keep reading to discover how weather can affect your commercial heating and cooling services and what you can do to prevent wreckage.

How Weather Affects Commercial Building HVAC Systems

One of the draws to the Tri-state NY/NJ area is the distinct four seasons. Residents and tourists aren’t the only ones that get to enjoy the sunny summers and snowy winters - commercial cooling systems do, too.

While most of the different types of commercial HVAC systems are designed to handle “regular” weather conditions, like warmth and rainfall, extreme weather conditions can pose a significant risk to your equipment.

Wind and Storms

The first concern is wind and storms. There are four major concerns with this type of weather: physical damage, reduced air quality, dust accumulation, and jams. How are these harmful to your high-performance heating and air system, though?

  • Physical damage. High-speed winds can cause debris to go airborne, which can ultimately land on your unit and destroy it. The unit itself can also become unhinged from its location, causing severe damage.
  • Reduced air quality. As dirt is picked up and blown into the unit, the unit will, in turn, blow the dirty air inside your building. Reduced air quality can lead to several unfortunate events, from allergic reactions to asthma attacks.
  • Dust accumulation. An excessive amount of dust and dirt blown into the unit can cause a clog. Not only will this impact the way the unit works, but it will also create the ideal breeding ground for mold, fungi, etc.
  • Jams. If leaves, twigs, and other large debris find their way into the unit, the radiator fans may jam and halt heat dissipation (alongside other mechanical damages).

Heavy Rain

An HVAC for large buildings and small operations should withstand a decent amount of rainfall. The units are constructed so that the electrical elements are secured and hidden, unable to be damaged by rain.

However, that doesn’t mean heavy rainfall does not pose a risk. Heavy rainfall can be damaging, especially when severe rains cause flash floods. When submerged, components of HVAC system such as electrical elements, wires, and motors can short circuit.

There is also the issue of excessive rainfall causing roof leaks. Eventually, these leaks can find their way into the HVAC ductwork through the attic of a commercial building, causing further problems to the appliance.

Snow and Ice

If you live in the Tri-state area, you’re not new to snow and ice during winter. But what are the effects of snow and ice on HVAC unit in winter? There are a few situations that may arise.

  • Frozen unit. If you’re wondering, “What would cause my heat pump to freeze up,” look no further than the shockingly cold temperature outside. When snow and ice build up on the unit, the system will freeze and shut down, resulting in heat being cut off. So, when asking, “Can an AC unit freeze up in the winter,” the answer is yes.
  • Blocked exhaust. Another common occurrence is a blocked furnace exhaust. This will cause the exhaust to shut down or allow harmful chemicals inside the building. Luckily, most furnaces come with an auto shut-off if this occurs.
  • Icicle damage. With heavy snowfall met with fluctuating temperature, the Tri-state NJ/NY area becomes riddled with icicles during the winter months. The damage can be extensive if these icicles fall onto your HVAC unit.
  • Blocked ventilation. This will cause the HVAC not to function as it’s supposed to and may even lead to blocked pipes over time.
  • Corrosion. Melted snow can lead into the system and become frozen again, causing expansion that may lead to deterioration.
  • Overloaded heat pump. Too much ice and snow can trigger excessive airflow, leading to a clogged commercial heat pump that will eventually fail.
  • Broken condenser sleeve. A broken or cracked condenser sleeve will cause a refrigerant leak, leading to a malfunctioning HVAC system.


Most people know commercial HVAC system basics - a mechanical system works to cool down and heat a building. However, most people do not take humidity into consideration when understanding how it affects the HVAC unit.

During times of high humidity levels, the HVAC for industrial buildings has to work twice as hard. While this doesn’t immediately lead to problems, it will over time. That’s because the system is being overworked, and if not maintained adequately, it can lead to burnt compressors and other costly malfunctions.

Preventative Measures to Keep Systems Running Optimally

Needless to say, harsh weather conditions can be incredibly damaging to several parts of HVAC system units. Proper preventative measures can ensure that your system is able to withstand these weather conditions and run at peak performance.

  • 1
    Check and Change Filters Regularly

    You do not need to know all of the parts of an HVAC system. With basic HVAC knowledge, you can check and change your filter when necessary. Check for any signs of a buildup of dust, debris, or other dirt and grime that could block airflow and cause the system to break down.

  • 2
    Clean the Area

    There are many types of HVAC units out there, but one thing remains constant: the unit and surrounding area should be kept clean. A clean unit will be less likely to succumb to wear and tear from debris making its way inside of the unit.

  • 3
    Install a Heat Pump Cover for Ice Protection

    Thinking about how to get rid of ice on ac unit? The best way is to act before the winter storm occurs by installing heat pump ice protection. These protectors are specifically designed to block ice and snow from touching your unit, leaving no outside unit frozen.

    For those that do not want to purchase a cover, there are DIY heat pump cover options. One of the best options is to install wood slats around the entirely the unit, securing it from typical New York heat pump problems.

  • 4
    Secure the Unit

    Commercial building HVAC systems in the Tri-state area must be secured to the ground. Otherwise, you run the risk of the unit becoming unhinged and blowing away during a severe windstorm. This will ultimately lead to a destroyed unit that is possibly irreparable.

  • 5
    Have the Unit Properly Maintained

    Many issues that affect your commercial air conditioner service and heat pumps can be stopped by ensuring your unit is correctly maintained by licensed professionals regularly. Proper maintenance will allow qualified technicians to see any issues before they cause damage.

    For example, you may need a new heat pump defrost sensor to help during chilly winter months. You may need a replacement commercial roof exhaust fan to work efficiently. There may be leaks and cracks or other more minor issues that need to be addressed, such as a dirty filter or improper securing of the unit.

    Whether there is an issue to be addressed or not, the goal is to be safe rather than sorry when it comes to your industrial air conditioning system. Commercial HVAC cost is far more expensive than commercial HVAC monitoring.

What To Do After a Storm

Once the storm has passed, checking on your commercial building's HVAC systems is essential. There may be noticeable signs of breaks, cracks, and destroyed wiring or electrical components. There may be internal issues that require repair by a professional in the commercial building HVAC systems businesses.

How Edison Parker Can Help

Edison Parker is the leader in providing expert services for commercial building HVAC systems. Our team of highly-trained individuals has extensive knowledge of all types of HVAC systems for commercial buildings, and they’re responsive and ready to help.

The Edison Parker team can put together a full-proof monitoring and maintenance plan to ensure your equipment is running in pristine condition - bad weather or not. We work tirelessly to ensure your units can withstand inclement weather conditions so that you can feel confident relying on your mechanical systems year-round.

When trouble arises, we’re here to help, too. As a highly-regarded mechanical system repair NY/NJ company, we pair competitive prices with top-of-the-line equipment and friendly, expert staff members.

Whether you need maintenance every few months or are experiencing malfunctions due to harsh weather conditions, we can help. Give us a call to set up an appointment and get your commercial building HVAC system running like new.

Final Words

Harsh weather can be detrimental to a commercial building HVAC system, but Edison Parker can help. We’ve been in the business since 1997 and have continued to prove that we’re the best in the industry. We will ensure your HVAC units are prepared to handle any devastating weather conditions, and we’re here to help when things go haywire. Call us today!