When the A/C Goes Out in Your Commercial Building — Time to Repair or Replace?
The air conditioner in your commercial building is a vital piece of equipment you can’t afford to be without. The comfort and safety of your employees and customers depends on adequate indoor cooling during the summer months. When the A/C goes out consistently in your commercial facility, it’s time to decide whether it’s worth another expensive repair or if it’s more appropriate to replace the A/C with an entirely new and more modern system.
A new cooling system can be expensive, but spending too much money on an air conditioner that’s nearing its final breakdown is wasteful. In that case, money spent on repairs would be better invested in a new and better air conditioner. Here are some of the more important factors to look at when the A/C goes out to determine if it’s better to repair or replace the equipment.
- Age of the air conditioner: The age of your commercial cooling equipment is an important factor, but it should not be the only criteria you use to decide if an A/C or heat pump is ready for replacement. Older cooling systems that have been well maintained and kept in good repair are likely to last many more seasons before needing replacement. System age, in combination with other factors on this list, can help you determine the benefits of replacement. In general, an air conditioner or heat pump that is over ten years old could be entering a time frame where repairs will be less effective and replacement is more likely.
- Condition of the cooling system: An air conditioner in poor condition is very likely to need replacement as soon as possible. If preventive maintenance has been neglected, repairs postponed, or other improvements ignored, your air conditioner is probably in bad shape and will not last much longer. Have an HVAC professional check out a system that you believe is in poor condition. Some repairs may restore it to life for another season or two. In addition, the technician can tell you if the system is too far gone and if it should be replaced.
- Reliability of the air conditioner: If your commercial cooling system does not work reliably and repairs or maintenance do not solve the problem, it’s very likely that you will have to replace the unit soon. For example, when the A/C goes out or is breaking down more frequently, a replacement may be the best option. Unexpected or unexplainable spikes in your monthly cooling bills can also indicate conditions that could call for replacement.
- Function of the air conditioner: If the equipment isn’t cooling properly, it may need to be recharged with refrigerant. Cleaning the coils or changing the filter might also restore cooling functions. However, if these measures don’t help, the A/C is probably due for replacement. Other factors can also indicate a malfunctioning air conditioner. Unusual or loud noises coming from the A/C unit can indicate an internal problem that could be too expensive to repair or that could mean serious damage to the equipment. Inconsistent cooling, or rooms that are hotter or colder than they should be, can indicate a major loss of A/C function.
- Changes in indoor conditions: A malfunctioning air conditioner can contribute to unpleasant changes in your indoor environment. For example, if your indoor spaces have higher levels of humidity than expected, the A/C is probably not doing its job of removing moisture from the air. Increased levels of airborne particulates suggest that the A/C is not properly filtering the air flowing through it. If the problem isn’t solved by replacing the air filter, the A/C itself may need replacement soon.
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 how to decide on repair or replacement when the A/C goes out, or to view projects we’ve worked on, visit our website!