Your energy costs are going up. Your tenants, employees or customers are complaining about the temperature fluctuations and comfort levels of the indoor air environment. Your facilities manager says that your system is only 16 years old – well within the normal lifespan of an HVAC system. You need to know what the best options are to remediate the issues that seem to be cropping up more frequently with your air handling systems. How do you know if you should repair or replace your facility HVAC system?
The life expectancy for most commercial HVAC systems can be anywhere from 15 to 20 years. There are a range of factors that contribute to either the longevity of your equipment or its premature aging, including regular servicing and repairs as well as external environmental factors, such as extreme temperatures and humidity levels.
Before deciding to purchase new equipment or repair existing systems, there are some very basic yet important steps your facilities manager should follow to ensure that the best decision is made:
Keep detailed records and maintenance logs
Your plant manager or building supervisor should have a file that contains warranty and extended parts and service guarantees, as well as a service, maintenance and repair log for each component of the building’s HVAC unit. If this hasn’t already been done, it’s not too late to create a file. This will help going forward to track expenses, energy consumption levels and equipment repair and replacement records.
Perform regular inspections
Each part of your HVAC system should be inspected for signs of damage, wear or accumulation of dirt and debris. Coils that are bent or dirty, or filters that are clogged with dust and debris will reduce air flow and negatively impact on the efficiency of the unit.
If you do not already have a service and maintenance contract with a qualified HVAC professional, it would be an excellent idea to do so. They will perform a comprehensive inspection of each piece of equipment, which will help you determine whether it is time to purchase new equipment or to repair existing equipment.
Weigh the costs of HVAC repair versus replacement
A professional technician can perform an assessment of heating and cooling components to determine if they are operating within manufacturer’s specifications. He or she can also provide an analysis of the existing system’s lifespan and efficiency level, based on past records and current and projected operating costs.
New HVAC systems operate at significantly higher levels of efficiency than older models and can greatly reduce operating costs. When doing a side-by-side comparison of operating, maintenance and repair costs against the costs of purchasing and installing a new system, your plant manager will be able to determine the level of savings over time and make an informed decision.
Get quotes from several sources
As with any major purchasing decision, it is important to obtain firm quotes for equipment and installation from multiple professionals. You should also ask for quotes on extended warranties or service maintenance agreements that may prove cost-effective in the long run
And, don’t be afraid to negotiate. Opting to either repair or replace your building’s HVAC system is a decision that will have a long-term impact on the quality of your indoor environment and your business’ bottom line.
Performance Industrial provides industrial HVAC cleaning and repair services from Albany NY to Saratoga Springs, Glens Falls, Lake George and north. Take a few moments to learn more about our company, and for more information on when to repair or replace your facility HVAC system, call us today at (518) 793-9274!
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