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Commercial Air Conditioning Repair & Service

Installing commercial ductwork

Air Conditioning Is a Business Necessity in LA

According to NASA, extreme heat days have tripled in the past century.

In terms of heat waves, Los Angeles is at the tip of the spear. If you’ve lived here a while, you know it’s only getting hotter.

Air conditioning used to be a luxury. It’s now a business essential. Commercial AC keeps customers and employees cool and comfortable. It protects merchandise and equipment.

  • When your air conditioning system breaks down, sales and productivity suffer.
  • Customers may avoid a retail store or cut their visits short if it’s too hot inside.
  • Employees will be less productive if they’re dealing with heat.
  • You may have to shut down your business entirely.
  • In all cases, the result will be lost revenue for your business.

Morale can also take a hit when air conditioners are on the fritz.

Employees may start looking for work at cooler companies — literally, cooler. In a retail setting, customers may not return if they had a bad experience due to the heat.

For nearly three decades, Los Angeles has depended on West Coast Chief for commercial AC repair. With first-rate customer service and a staff of trained, experienced, and dedicated technicians, we’ll fix your cooling problems fast and at a price you can afford.

How We Can Help

West Coast Chief Repair is here to help with all of your commercial air conditioning needs in metro Los Angeles and Orange County. We offer:

  • Air conditioner tune-ups to keep your system running properly and avoid future breakdowns.
  • AC repair for when your system does break down.
  • Replacement and installation of new air conditioners

We service all brands and types of commercial air conditioners. Call us before noon for same-day service.

Commercial AC rooftop unit

How Commercial AC Differs from Residential

Commercial air conditioners are designed to cool large spaces and to run for extended periods of time. They’re also built to be more durable than residential AC units since they’ll be used more often.

As a result, commercial air conditioners require different maintenance than residential ones. They also may break down differently and require different repairs.

That’s why it’s important to have a commercial AC repair company that you can rely on — one with the experience and expertise to service your specific type of unit quickly and correctly.

West Coast Chief has been repairing commercial air conditioners in Los Angeles for over three decades. We know how to troubleshoot and fix all types of commercial AC problems, big and small.

And because we keep our warehouse stocked with parts, we can often do repairs in one visit.

What to Expect from Us

When you call West Coast Chief for commercial AC repair:

  • A friendly customer service representative will answer your call and ask questions about the problem.
  • We’ll dispatch a technician to your business as soon as possible. In many cases, we can provide same-day service.
  • Our technician will arrive on time and in uniform. He or she will be clean, polite, and professional.
  • The technician will diagnose the problem and give you a repair estimate.
Commercial HVAC rooftop units

How Air Conditioners Work

The mechanics behind air conditioning are simple. In basic terms, a continuous loop of liquid filled tube has one part of it in a warm place and another in a colder place. The section of pipe in the warm place (inside) absorbs the heat.

The warm liquid then circulates to the colder place (outside) and dissipates the heat. We make it more efficient and effective with pumps, fans, and refrigeration but that’s the principle in a nutshell. The physics of refrigeration are a little more complex but still easy to understand.

If a liquid, kept under pressure, undergoes rapid release from that pressure to become a gas, the temperature drops. Wet your hand and blow on it. Feel the cold? That’s the effect of water changing from a liquid to a gas.

While we use water in evaporative or swamp coolers, its boiling point is too high for a modern AC unit. In the past, we used dangerous chemicals like ammonia as the refrigerant. CFC’s took over under the brand name Freon, but they came with their own issues.

While non-toxic and non-flammable, chlorofluorocarbons, or their replacements, are not friends to the environment. Southern California regulates the disposal of old AC units via the Certified Appliance Recycler (CAR) Program. Modern air conditioning units have four basic parts:

  • A compressor takes the refrigerant gas, warmed by passing through the interior of the building, and increases the pressure.
  • The pressurized vapor passes through a condenser where it loses its heat and turns to liquid.
  • An expansion valve where the rapid expansion occurs and reduces the temperature further.
  • The valve empties into the evaporator which is where the liquid refrigerant evaporates into a gas. The evaporator is the cold stage which provides the interior cooling.

Common Problems with Different Types of Commercial Air Conditioners

Split Air Conditioning Systems

Split system air conditioners have indoor and outdoor units, hence the term “split”. Components housed outside include a compressor and a condenser. The expansion valve and the evaporator that it empties into are inside. The cold refrigerant passes through pipework to a device in a convenient position to cool a room or area.

Multi-split systems cater for multiple cooling units throughout a building. This type is easy to identify by the large boxes, often with fans in, on the roof or walls Inadequate or a complete absence of cooling power is the most common repair-worthy symptoms in all types of commercial AC systems, including split systems.

A malfunctioning split system can also trigger obvious changes in a building’s air quality, often in the form of a disagreeable odor. A general decline in efficiency may first register as an unexplained increase in your building’s utility expenditures. In addition, multi-split systems have their own unique problems. Unexpected temperature variations in cooling zones sharing identical thermostat settings is one example.

Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners

PTACs are often found in commercial buildings like hotels and care homes. Single rooms or small groups of rooms can then be controlled individually by this isolated device. The typical installation is through an exterior wall and can heat as well as cool. Common symptoms and their causes include:

  • Ice formation
  • Water leaks inside
  • Water drips outside
  • Excessive noise
  • Dirty filters
  • Blocked vents

Central AC & HVAC

Where the whole process is carried out at a centralized point and distributed through the premises through ducting. In the winter, the whole system can be put into reverse to produce heat, ventilation and air conditioning, HVAC for short.

HVAC systems combine heating and cooling functions into a single integrated package. Some of these systems combine a traditional air conditioner with a heat-generating furnace powered by natural gas, propane or electricity.

However, other HVAC setups feature a heat pump. This multi-use device functions like a heat transfer system in colder parts of the year by pulling warmth from the outside air, the ground or a nearby water source. In warmer months, a heat pump can function like an AC by passing warm interior air over a refrigerant-filled cooling coil.

There are several variations on the basic HVAC layout. Whether they contain a furnace or a heat pump, many setups feature a split-system arrangement with indoor and outdoor sections, as well as a connected network of ducts.

Additional options include duct-free split systems and packaged systems that combine all heating and cooling components (including the AC’s compressor, condenser, and evaporator) in a single outdoor unit. Like split systems, the air conditioning sections of HVAC systems have a list of common problems that include inadequate cooling, a complete cooling failure, and a notable decline in operating efficiency.

Malfunctioning AC sections in HVAC systems can also contribute to foul smells and other air quality issues. An unexplained increase in your indoor humidity levels while the AC is running may also indicate the presence of a repair-worthy performance issue.

Commercial Evaporative Coolers & Swamp Coolers

Evaporative cooler and swamp cooler are two common names for a single air cooling technology that differs in crucial ways from the traditional approach to air conditioning. While traditional ACs rely on a refrigerant chemical to supply the temperature drop needed for cooling, evaporative and swamp coolers take advantage of the natural actions of evaporation, a process that changes water from a liquid into a vapor or gas.

In addition, while air conditioners operate in sealed building interiors, evaporative and swamp coolers operate in unsealed buildings or in outdoor spaces like warehouses. The main components of an evaporative cooling system are a water tank, a pump that transfers water from the tank to an array of sponge-like cooling pads, and a ventilator motor and fan assembly that produce evaporation by blowing air over the water-drenched cooling pads.

While less complicated than conventional ACs, evaporative coolers and swamp coolers can still fail to operate at an acceptable level of efficiency or completely break down. Classic indications of repair-worthy problems in these units include insufficient or nonexistent cooling and poor air output. Additional common issues include corrosion of metal parts, the production of foul smells and abnormally high water consumption.

The Importance of Accurate Troubleshooting & Repair

No matter what type of cooling system you have installed in your commercial building, the problems you experience commonly have more than one possible underlying cause. This means that anyone you call to fix those problems must have enough training and experience to conduct a thorough, time-conscious examination of your system and identify the actual source of your AC malfunction.

The best service providers are familiar with all types of AC systems, as well as the wide gamut of potential system configurations, and won’t be thrown by unexpected or rare issues. The best commercial AC service providers also employ expert technicians who know how to repair newer and older units produced by all major manufacturers. In addition, they use only high-quality parts specifically designed to repair the make and model of the unit in question.

The Commercial AC Repair Experts

Since opening for business in 1992, West Coast Chief has specialized in the repair of commercial AC systems, including all configurations of split-system, HVAC, and evaporative cooling technology.

On every job, we combine decades of expertise with a thorough commitment to the very best in customer service, convenience, and affordability. Advantages you can count on include: clear explanations of all required work, ironclad warranties on all parts and labor, and convenient appointments via our three Los Angeles-area locations.