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Preventive Maintenance

Troubleshooting Scroll Compressors

Troubleshooting Scroll Compressors 960 1280 admin

Troubleshooting a Scroll Compressor in a Rooftop Unit or Split System: A Technical Guide for Building Owners in Hot Atlanta Summers

As a building owner in Atlanta, you’re well aware of the scorching hot summers that put your HVAC system to the test. Understanding the intricacies of troubleshooting a scroll compressor in your rooftop unit or split system becomes even more crucial. In this technical guide, we will delve into the complexities of scroll compressor troubleshooting, focusing on topics such as compressor performance, measurements, common failures, and compressor replacement. By the end, you will come to appreciate the importance of relying on a trained and insured mechanical contractor to handle these tasks, especially in the face of Atlanta’s blistering summer weather.

  1. Determining Compressor Performance: When it comes to assessing the performance of your scroll compressor, the demanding Atlanta climate adds an extra layer of importance. Begin by examining the compressor’s electrical operation, ensuring that power is reaching the unit and checking for any electrical anomalies. Once the electrical side is verified, you can proceed to evaluate the mechanical functionality of the compressor, a critical aspect given the extreme conditions it operates under.
  2. Normal Superheat and Subcool Measurements: In Atlanta’s hot summers, accurate measurements of superheat and subcooling in your comfort cooling DX system become crucial for maintaining optimal performance. Superheat, measured at the suction line, indicates the temperature increase of the refrigerant above its boiling point at a given pressure. Subcooling, measured at the liquid line, reveals the temperature decrease of the refrigerant below its condensing point. While specific values for normal superheat and subcooling can vary depending on the system, it’s essential to consult the manufacturer’s specifications or a professional, especially considering Atlanta’s sweltering climate.
  3. Common Causes of Scroll Compressor Failure: Given the intense heat and humidity in Atlanta, scroll compressors are susceptible to certain failures. Understanding the common causes can help you appreciate the need for professional assistance. These causes include: a) Insufficient lubrication: Inadequate lubrication leads to increased friction and wear, compromising compressor performance and eventually causing failure. b) Overheating: Restricted airflow, excessive refrigerant pressures, or inadequate oil return can result in high discharge temperatures, leading to compressor overheating and failure. c) Electrical issues: Atlanta’s electrical grid and system fluctuations can impact compressor performance. Voltage fluctuations, improper wiring sizes, or faulty electrical components can cause compressor failure. d) Contamination: The presence of moisture, acid, or debris can contaminate the refrigerant system, damaging internal compressor components and impacting its reliability.
  4. Determining the Type of Failure: Accurately diagnosing the specific type of compressor failure in the face of Atlanta’s summer weather requires expertise and specialized tools. Mechanical contractors perform tests such as megohm readings, amp draw analysis, and refrigerant system analysis to pinpoint the root cause accurately. Attempting to diagnose the failure without the necessary experience and equipment can lead to misdiagnosis, further damage to the system, and increased discomfort during the sweltering Atlanta summers.
  5. Procedure and Equipment for Compressor Replacement: When it comes to replacing a scroll compressor in Atlanta’s heat, professional assistance is indispensable. Here’s a brief overview of the general procedure: a) Refrigerant recovery: Properly recovering the refrigerant from the system using approved equipment ensures environmental safety and legal compliance. b) Compressor isolation: Isolating the failed compressor from the refrigerant circuit by closing valves or using isolation tools prevents further damage to the system. c) Compressor removal: Disconnecting electrical connections and removing mounting brackets allows for the safe extraction of the compressor. d) Preparation for replacement: Thoroughly cleaning the system, replacing any contaminated or damaged components, and preparing the new compressor for installation. e) Compressor installation: Carefully installing the new compressor, ensuring proper alignment and connection of all components, is crucial for reliable operation in Atlanta’s demanding climate. f) Evacuation and charging: Evacuating the system to remove contaminants and moisture, followed by charging with the appropriate refrigerant and fine-tuning for optimal performance. g) System testing: Conducting rigorous tests, including leak checks and verifying proper superheat and subcooling values, guarantees the system’s reliability and efficiency in combating Atlanta’s hot summers.

Navigating the technical aspects of troubleshooting a scroll compressor in your Atlanta building’s HVAC system can be daunting. Given the challenges presented by the scorching summer weather, it becomes evident that relying on a trained and insured mechanical contractor is essential. Their expertise, experience, and specialized tools ensure accurate diagnosis, effective resolution of scroll compressor issues, and optimal performance in Atlanta’s demanding climate. Trusting professionals to handle these complex tasks guarantees your equipment receives the necessary care, minimizes risks, and ensures your building remains cool and comfortable even during the hottest of Atlanta summers.

Phasing Out of R-410A and the Introduction of New Refrigerants

Phasing Out of R-410A and the Introduction of New Refrigerants 1024 768 admin

Navigating the Transition: Understanding the Phasing Out of R-410A and the Introduction of New Refrigerants

Introduction: As a commercial mechanical contractor, part of our responsibility is to keep our clients informed about changes in the industry. One significant shift currently taking place is the phasing out of R-410A, a widely used refrigerant, and the emergence of newer, slightly flammable refrigerants. In this article, we will delve into the reasons behind this transition, address concerns regarding fire hazards, and shed light on the equipment and training requirements associated with these new refrigerants.

  1. The Phasing Out of R-410A: R-410A has long been the go-to refrigerant for air conditioning and heat pump systems due to its high energy efficiency and environmental friendliness compared to its predecessors, such as R-22. However, its high global warming potential (GWP) has prompted a shift toward more environmentally sustainable alternatives. Here’s what you need to know:

a. Environmental Impact: R-410A has a GWP that contributes to climate change when released into the atmosphere. In response, regulatory agencies worldwide are mandating the phase-out of high-GWP refrigerants to mitigate their environmental impact.

b. Global Agreements: The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, a global environmental agreement, calls for a reduction in the production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants, including R-410A. This agreement aims to limit global warming potential and transition to lower-GWP alternatives.

  1. Introduction of Newer, Slightly Flammable Refrigerants: To meet the growing need for environmentally friendly options, manufacturers are introducing newer refrigerants with lower GWPs. Some of these replacements, such as R-32 and R-454B, are classified as mildly flammable. Let’s address common concerns surrounding these refrigerants:

a. Fire Hazard: While the term “flammable” might raise concerns, it’s essential to understand that newer refrigerants are classified as slightly flammable. When used in HVAC systems, these refrigerants pose a very low fire hazard, especially in properly designed and maintained equipment.

b. Safety Precautions: Manufacturers have developed refrigerant blends with enhanced safety features, including reduced flammability and enhanced ignition resistance. The design and construction of equipment using these refrigerants adhere to strict safety standards to minimize any potential risks.

  1. Equipment and Training Requirements: To ensure safe installation and maintenance of equipment using these newer refrigerants, some additional considerations come into play:

a. Equipment Compatibility: Not all existing equipment is compatible with the newer refrigerants. It is important to consult with a knowledgeable mechanical contractor to determine if the equipment can be retrofitted or if replacement is necessary to accommodate the new refrigerants.

b. Training and Certification: Working with mildly flammable refrigerants requires specialized training and certification for HVAC technicians. Contractors and technicians should receive proper education on handling, installation, servicing, and leak detection procedures specific to these refrigerants.

Conclusion: The HVAC industry is undergoing a transition towards more environmentally friendly refrigerants, necessitating the phasing out of high-GWP options like R-410A. The emergence of newer, slightly flammable refrigerants provides greener alternatives, accompanied by enhanced safety features. It is crucial for commercial mechanical contractors and their clients to stay informed about these changes to make informed decisions and ensure compliance with regulations.

While mildly flammable refrigerants do not pose significant fire hazards, it is essential to follow safety guidelines, adhere to equipment compatibility requirements, and engage trained technicians for installation and servicing. By staying proactive and working with knowledgeable contractors, clients can embrace these changes and benefit from the increased energy efficiency and reduced environmental impact offered by these new refrigerants.

Together, we can navigate this transition towards a more sustainable future for the HVAC industry.

Note: It is important to consult the specific regulations, guidelines, and recommendations provided by regulatory agencies, manufacturers, and industry associations for detailed and up-to-date information regarding refrigerant transitions, safety protocols, and equipment requirements.

Corona Virus (CoVid-19) Services, Atlanta

Corona Virus (CoVid-19) Services, Atlanta 810 374 admin

The Corona Virus is a real threat to health and safety across the globe. The CDC is working diligently on fighting this virus. More info on their work can be found on the CDC’s website. This virus has the world’s attention, and has left many people asking “what can I do?” The CDC has issued guidance for schools, at work, and at home.

For facilities around the Atlanta Area- there are some solutions and services that we offer, that you should be aware of.

Willis Mechanical, based right here in the Atlanta area, has products and services that may help you prevent, minimize, and/or control Corona Virus. Willis Mechanical is proud to offer the following products and services:

  1. Willis Mechanical can install equipment in almost any type of HVAC system that not only kills viruses and microorganisms in the HVAC system , it also tested to kill them in the conditioned air, and on hard surfaces in contact with the conditioned air. This technology has been independently tested to kill 99% of living bacteria and viruses from a sneeze within 3ft of the source. We have had great success with this equipment in the past. (contact us for manufacturers info and test results)
  2. Willis Mechanical can provide HVAC technician teams in full Virus PPE (full face respirators and full tyvek suits) to install, repair, inspect, and maintain your HVAC systems in sensitive areas. Need those air filters changed in isolation rooms? Units cleaned with anti-viral cleaners? Airflow in these spaces is critical. We can help you maintain it.
  3. Willis Mechanical can provide a decontamination station for it’s employees and equipment. This station allows for safe and sterile exiting procedures for our team and equipment and allows for prolonged deployment of personnel to one site (medical facilities, isolation buildings, etc).

The team here at Willis Mechanical hopes this virus is eradicated quickly. But if you are wondering how your school, office, military base, or factory will protect itself and keep its equipment running- contact us and we will figure out how we can help.


Fall Maintenance Tips for your Commercial HVAC Unit

Fall Maintenance Tips for your Commercial HVAC Unit 525 350 Amy Gasca

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As cooler weather is approaching, it is best for you to get your unit inspected and serviced to ensure it is ready for the fall and winter. Your heating system has been dormant for the winter months and it may need a little tune up. Getting your system ready for the chillier seasons is a good way to improve efficiency and avoid break downs on a cold day. Below are some tips for maintenance and things you can do to have your system prepared and keep your building warm during the fall and winter.




The first thing you may want to consider is if you need a new unit all together. How old is your unit? If your unit is ranging 10+ years, it may be time to consider a replacement unit. For more detail on deciding if you need to replace your HVAC unit, check out this article: Is it Time to Replace Your Commercial HVAC Unit?  An old unit does not perform at peak efficiency and is more prone for frequent breakdowns. The last thing you need is a heating system down in the dead of winter. This can affect your business operations, so don’t fall victim and make sure your unit can survive.



Once you’ve decided that your unit is sound to operate through the colder seasons, it is important to have a commercial HVAC contractor to give your unit a full inspection right before the fall. A full inspection typically includes checking belts and motors, replacing filters, and checking gas pressures if necessary. A full inspection from a professional HVAC tech will be able to detect any developing and underlying issues. This will help avoid a major breakdown that will leave you without heating.



It is important to make sure air can flow freely in your building. Restricted airflow can cause your heating system to work harder than it needs to. An overworked system is prone to frequent repairs and breakdowns. Things that affect airflow can be as simple as furniture blocking vents that prevent heat from reaching your building environment. Also, make sure your vents are cleaned and that your filters have been replaced. Dirty filters restrict airflow and reduce efficiency of your heating unit. Taking care of these things can improve airflow and keep your building warm during the chilly weather.



If your building is more than one story, a good way to make sure your building is heated efficiently would be adjusting the supply registers in your building. Close some of registers on the higher floors and open some on the lower. Remember, hot air rises. This is a good way to make sure your building is heated more efficiently.



Correct calibration of your thermostat is vital for a properly heated building. Have a professional HVAC contractor check your thermostat and adjust the calibration. Also, consider investing in a programmable thermostat. As mentioned earlier, hot air rises and cool air sinks. A programmable thermostat gives you the opportunity to adjust heating on each floor appropriately and program your heating system to only run during specific times.




Demand for HVAC unit maintenance and inspection increases tremendously before the colder months. Be proactive and schedule a preventive maintenance service for your heating system in advance. The benefit of being on a preventive maintenance contract with a commercial HVAC contractor will mean that you have discussed a schedule with them and already have an inspection scheduled so you will not have to fight for an appointment. So, if you don’t have an agreement in place, get in touch with a trusted heating and air contractor to take care for you through every season.


Summer Preventative Maintenance for your Commercial HVAC Unit

Summer Preventative Maintenance for your Commercial HVAC Unit 1024 765 Amy Gasca

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HVAC systems are a vital component for your business. To keep them working at their peak efficiency, it is important to make sure they are getting the proper care and service they need. A failing system can be costly and detrimental to your business operations.

With the hot summer months ahead, the last thing you need is a faulty HVAC unit. It can disrupt employees by causing discomfort and can even stop your operations that may require a cooler environment. With a preventative maintenance plan, a commercial HVAC tech will be able to keep things running smoothly for the season.

They will take care of both inside and outside components of your system. Signing a preventative maintenance agreement with your contractor can be intimidating, so here are some things to expect:



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  • Airflow check
    • Having proper air flow is essential. The tech will do an airflow check and make sure everything is functioning properly. Your maintenance staff should also regularly be checking filters to avoid any issues.


  • Filter Replacements
    • Dirty filters can really overexert your system. Just by maintaining the cooling filters, you can really increase the life span of your unit. As mentioned before, your staff should also be on top this.


  • Cleaning Components
    • Sometimes if your system doesn’t seem to be working efficiently, it could simply be due to buildup overexerting your system. Your tech will clean condenser/evaporator coils and clear pans and drain lines.


  • Refrigerant levels and leaks
    • To keep your system cooling your building properly, it’s essential that you have your refrigerant levels in check. Your tech will check for leaks and repair them as needed and recharge refrigerant levels.


  • Belts, Pulleys, and Motors
    • Your tech will lubricate and check any moving parts and replace them if necessary. Belts and pulleys will also be evaluated and replaced. The fan and blower motor will be inspected as well.


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A commercial HVAC services contractor will be able to customize a plan for you and your unit’s needs. They will ask questions about your system and its occupancy levels and your business operations in order to better serve you. The right provider will know what your needs are and how to address them correctly. With the proper PM plan your system’s life span will increase and you can expect significant savings on your energy bill.


3 Reasons You Should Be On a Preventative Maintenance Plan for Your HVAC

3 Reasons You Should Be On a Preventative Maintenance Plan for Your HVAC 1024 606 Amy Gasca

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Being on a preventative maintenance plan with a HVAC contractor will save you the headache of wondering the status of your HVAC unit. Although you may not directly encounter your unit everyday, you do reap the benefits of it every second you are in your building. Whether you are accommodating guests, housing employees, or maintaining a climate for your business operations, your HVAC system is essential in your daily operations. So instead of waiting for something to happen to your unit, consider hiring a HVAC contractor and getting on a preventative maintenance plan. Here are 3 reasons to weigh in to your decision:
1. Longer Life Span
Neglected equipment has to over compensate in order to do its job. Over time, your equipment will begin to show signs of exhaustion and you will be forced to pay for repairs and replacements. Instead of spending money on these potentially frequent and costly repairs, invest in a Preventive Maintenance plan. This will extend the life span of your machine by as much as 5 years and reduces the chance of reactive repairs.
Typically, your contractor will service your unit before each coming season. The good thing is PM plans can be tailored to correctly satisfy your needs. We have some clients that have us coming every day or every week, while we have some clients who only need us once a year.
2. Lower Energy Bill
HVAC functions are the one of the largest components of your energy bill. As mentioned before, neglected equipment must work harder to do its job. If your energy bill is unnecessarily high, neglect of your hvac system may be the one to blame. With preventative maintenance, your systems will be running at peak performance. With your components running as efficiently as possible, this will translate into lower energy bills.
3. Improve Air Quality
There are countless studies that demonstrate the effect air quality has on employee performance. Poor air quality, and even the perception of poor air quality, can hinder the productivity of employees. Being too cold or too hot, too drafty or stuffy, and even odors can make an office uncomfortable. A PM plan can minimize the effects of these things through maintaining a stable environment. Not to mention if you are in the business of accommodation, like a spa or hotel, air quality is vital for your business operations. A PM plan is an effective way to avoid surprises and keep units working in order for you to operate your business.
BONUS:  Value Added Benefits
Because good maintenance reduces the amount of breakdowns, some contractors may offer preventive maintenance clients some value with features like response time guarantees. Talk with your mechanical contractor and see what they can do for you.
Once you have decided that a preventative maintenance plan for your commercial HVAC is a good fit for you and your needs, be sure to get in contact with a HVAC contractor to decide what is best for you. A certified tech will be able to answer your questions regarding how often you need maintenance and what your units exactly need. 


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