With summer approaching, this is the best time to decide whether it's time to replace your current HVAC unit. A properly functioning unit is essential not only for you, your customers, and employees, but also vital in keeping expenses at bay. When deciding on whether you should keep your current unit or replace it with a new one, consider the following:
1. Age: How old is your unit?
A HVAC unit typically has a life span of 10-15 years with proper maintenance (according to ASHRAE). If your systems are approaching 20 years, it may be time to consider replacing them. Fixing an older unit can become costly in the long run and difficult as parts may be discontinued. Also note that R22 refrigerant that is used in older units is facing a complete phase out by 2020.
2. Costs: Are you really saving money?
You may be more inclined to continue to pay for repairs throughout the year for a lesser cost than buying an entire new unit. Take the time to calculate repairs you've made on your system. Constant repairs add up eventually and can even cost you more than replacement. Rule of thumb: If repairs exceed 50% of the cost of a new unit, its time to spend wiser and replace it.
3. Energy Efficiency: Are your energy bills unnecessarily high?
Roof top units consume up to 30% of a building energy consumption when running at optimal efficiency. Running a low efficiency unit is extremely costly over time along with the miscellaneous repairs you may already be making. A newer unit can save you thousands in the long run. Ask your mechanical contractor about the different energy efficient options that may make sense for your building and organization.Of course, also use your own judgement and common sense. Does your unit look rusty and old? Are you constantly replacing parts and making small repairments? Are your employees complaining about noise and uncomfortable temperatures? These are likely signs of a bigger problem. Putting a band-aid on these things will only increase your expenses. If you reach the decision that it is time to replace your HVAC unit, get in touch with a technician so they can recommend the best unit for you and your building.