Whether you own or operate facilities, at some point you’ll have a “fix or replace” decision to make about your HVAC system. It can be a costly (but also hugely beneficial) endeavor, so here are some important criteria to consider.
If your system isn't operating properly, check on the most obvious things first. Is there a leak in the ductwork? Are the filters overdue for cleaning? Is the thermostat broken (or just not as smart as ENASTAT!)? Sometimes small patches can make a big difference.
Sinking thousands of dollars into a system with 10 or more years of operating life may be a poor investment, especially if you’re experiencing ongoing issues. While on average you can expect a system to last about 15 years, it depends on a variety of factors, including usage. At some point, switch the flip to a new system and start reaping the benefits of the more efficient models available.
Predicting Future Costs
If your system breaks down routinely, it’s important to consider this track record and the associated expenses. It can be easy to keep patching the issues as they arise, but over time you may end up spending more money on “life support” (or on downtime-associated costs) than you would on a new system.
Weighing the Pros
Sure, it’s a big investment to replace an HVAC system. However, older systems tend to become less efficient over time as components age. New technologies offer a variety of benefits, chiefly among them a lower operating cost (and fewer maintenance needs). You may also find the controls technologies to be more customizable, and the distribution of conditioned air to be much more balanced. In the cost-benefit analysis of system replacement, don’t forget all the benefits!
Employee and guest comfort shouldn’t be minimized when making the decision. There are hidden costs in lost productivity or low satisfaction caused by discomfort, so even if you think about it from a financial perspective, it pays to make investments in the thermal comfort of your people!