Buying a New A/C for Your Commercial Space? Important Points to Sort Out Before You Commit
Whether you’re buying a new A/C for a construction project or to replace a cooling system that has outlived its usefulness, you must select an air conditioner that will give you the best possible performance for the money. Consult with your local trusted HVAC professional for expert assistance with evaluating three important points: sizing, efficiency, and warranties.
Make sure the cooling system you purchase is powerful enough to provide the cooling that’s required without wasting energy and money. This process is called sizing, and it involves careful evaluation of your cooling needs, the physical features of your commercial building, and the characteristics of the area where the system will be used. Sizing an air conditioner refers to its ability to produce and distribute cooling for your commercial space, according to your requirements or the requirements of the tenants of the building.
A too-small A/C will not generate enough cooling. There will be areas of inconsistent temperatures throughout the building, which could be a source of complaints from employees or renters. An air conditioner that’s too small for the space is also going to work much harder trying to keep up with cooling demands, which means repair expenses will increase, as will the likelihood of a total system failure.
A too-large A/C cycles on and off frequently, which wastes both money and energy. An oversized A/C quickly meets the set temperature and then shuts off, limiting its ability to remove humidity from your indoor spaces. To ensure that you get a properly sized system when buying a new A/C, ask your HVAC professional to conduce a commercial load calculation. A load calculation is a careful evaluation of the building’s characteristics combined with a mathematical process for determining the exact amount of cooling that is needed to keep your commercial space comfortable. It will involve a physical inspection of the building and detailed assessment of the structure’s features, such as directional orientation, airtightness, occupancy, use and overall energy efficiency. Make sure the load calculation is based on the HVAC industry’s best practices and standards, such as those found in Manual N, “Commercial Load Calculation,” published by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA).
The efficiency of the system you choose when buying a new A/C will have a substantial effect on the quality of indoor comfort and the amount you spend each month to maintain that comfort. Install an A/C system with the highest energy efficiency possible to take best advantage of the newest technology and other features that produce air conditioners that provide the best cooling at the least cost and with the least expenditure of energy. Air conditioner efficiency is measured by Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or SEER. A typical high-efficiency unit will have a SEER between 14 and 18. Units are available with SEER ratings in the mid-20s. Higher SEER numbers indicate progressively greater levels of efficiency.
The quality of the manufacturer’s warranty will determine how easy it will be to have the unit repaired or replaced if there are unforeseen problems. Ask your HVAC professional for advice and carefully evaluate warranty characteristics such as:
- Time span: Warranties are commonly good for at least a year after purchase, though some are available that provide types of repair or replacement for five years or even for the lifetime of the system.
- Component coverage: Some warranties will cover most of the system’s components, while others may exclude coverage of certain components and parts.
- Labor coverage: Even if all components are covered, some warranties exclude labor costs necessary to repair the unit or replace required parts.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about Plumbing, HVACR, Fire Protection and Alarm Systems in Mechanical, Commercial and Residential settings. For more information on buying a new A/C for your commercial space, to see a full range of air conditioners that will meet your cooling needs, or to view projects we’ve worked on, visit our website! We serve clients in Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland