Is It Time for an HVAC System Replacement?
Modern HVAC systems are designed to provide many years of reliable service, but eventually, even the best HVAC equipment will wear out and need replacement. Commercial HVAC system replacement can be a significant financial investment for your business, so it makes sense to be certain that replacement is a better option than an extensive repair. The following guidelines can help you understand factors that come into play when deciding whether to repair or replace your current HVAC system.
Age and Condition
When making a decision on HVAC system replacement, there are two basic factors that should form the foundation of your evaluations: system age and overall condition. There are other system characteristics to consider, but these two give you a reliable starting point for all other assessments. For example, an older system in poor condition is unlikely to be a good candidate for further repairs. Even if your HVAC system has a few years of service behind it or if it’s been kept in good repair with consistent preventive maintenance, it will likely last for another season or longer. Keep in mind that HVAC equipment generally lasts around 12 to 15 years. If your system is in that age range or older, factor that into your decision-making, but don’t let age be your only criteria for replacement.
In addition to system age and condition, evaluate the following performance factors:
- Reliability: Any HVAC system will occasionally break down and need repair, but if your commercial system has been out of service frequently, it could mean that replacement is a good option. If you’ve had a single repair that’s amounted to 30 percent or more of the cost of a new system, or if total repairs amount to 50 percent or more of the cost of a new system, replacement is probably the better choice.
- Efficiency: Older HVAC systems are generally going to be less efficient than newer systems. If you’ve noticed problems such as increased costs for heating and cooling with no corresponding improvement in indoor comfort, the system has lost efficiency. Low-efficiency HVAC systems can be costly to operate on a month-to-month basis. If you’re conditioning a large commercial space with your HVAC equipment, it could be a better financial option to replace the system with a newer and more efficient one.
- Performance: Your HVAC system must provide adequate amounts of heating and cooling to keep your commercial space comfortable for you, your customers and your tenants. If the system isn’t meeting this performance standard, it’s a good candidate for replacement. If you have issues such as hot or cold spots, inadequate heating or cooling or poor indoor air quality, it’s likely your HVAC system isn’t working properly and may need to be replaced.
Here are a few other factors to consider before you make a decision:
- First and lifetime costs: Calculate the first and lifetime costs of an HVAC system replacement. First costs are those expenses required to get the system bought and installed. Lifetime costs are expenses that accumulate over the functional life span of the system, such as monthly energy costs, repairs, supplies and maintenance.
- Tax incentives: There are tax incentives offered by federal, state and local governments that could lower the cost of an HVAC system replacement. Many of these tax credits are offered for the purchase of high-efficiency equipment. Check the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency for information.
- Rebates or discounts: Your HVAC contractor may offer discounts on new equipment, depending on what time of the year it’s purchased. Some manufacturers may also provide rebates or other financial incentives.
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 HVAC system replacement and to view projects we’ve worked on, visit our website!