A Guide to Determining Problems in Your Fleet's HVAC Systems

There is no machine or system that lasts forever. Wear and tear will take its toll eventually. This is a concern for any business that owns a fleet of commercially-used vehicles, especially now that winter is coming. Eventually, your hose pipes will clog and drip up, which may leave you in need of a slew of heavy-duty HVAC replacement parts. 

The symptoms of HVAC problems in your fleet

The following are some signs that your HVAC systems are in need of some repair. If your drivers are complaining about any of the following, make sure to bring the vehicles in for an inspection.

  • The air conditioning is blowing slightly cooler air compared to the outdoor air.
  • The air blowing out of the system smells musty or damp, potentially indicating the presence of mildew or mould.
  • The system is unable to warm up sufficiently in cold weather.
  • The defroster is taking longer and longer to operate, or doesn’t run at all.
  • The HVAC system heats or cools when the vehicle is in motion, but not when it’s idling.
  • The heating system blows in cold air, or the air conditioning blows in warm air.
  • The airflow is low even at the highest setting.

What you can do about it

The troubleshooting, repairs, and handling of HVAC parts should be left to the professionals, but there are quite a few preventative measures you can enact. Among them are the following:

  • Examining the internal controls and blower
  • Checking the radiator coolant’s operating temperature
  • Checking the hoses, pressure radiator cap, and thermostat
  • Inspecting the compressor belt
  • Inspecting the seals for leaks and other damage
  • Checking the internal pressure of the cooling system
  • Verifying the A/C pressure still meets manufacturer specifications
  • Measuring the interior vent air temperature.

There are other things you can do, but these might need sophisticated equipment. These are probably best left to technicians. 

What needs to happen

Some of the most common issues in the A/C systems of commercial vehicles involve a simple replacement of the heavy-duty HVAC parts. Here are some of the most commonly-replaced and repaired parts and their functions:

1. The belts

A fan belt or drive belt is a connection from your car’s engine to the front-mounted accessories. It helps transfer some kinetic energy to rotate the water pump and engine fan, which keeps the engine block and surrounding parts cool and ventilated. Eventually, this will dry out and break. In some cases, overheating might cause them to melt. 

2. The coolant system

This is not particularly relevant during the winter season, but it is relatively common for this part to need flushing. The coolant system basically transfers heat from one part of the engine to another, dissipating it in the fins of the radiator. In time, the coolant will become old and dirty, reducing its effectiveness. As such, the coolant system will need to be flushed out every so often. 

3. Hoses

Hoses transfer everything from coolant to antifreeze throughout the system. They are exposed to such intense activity that they will eventually fail and crack. When that happens, replacements are relatively easy but should be performed promptly to prevent other issues in the system. 

Final thoughts

Maintaining a fleet of commercial vehicles is not easy. There are so many things to consider as the cold weather settles in, from the parts that need replacing, to the health and safety of their drivers. You will also eventually need the help of professionals for repairs down the line. 

If you need a source of heavy-duty HVAC parts for your fleet, send us at Simplicity Air a message. We can help make the management of your fleet easier for you as winter rolls in.