Does Your Unit Need to Be Replaced, or Simply Refurbished?

Does Your Unit Need to Be Replaced, or Simply Refurbished?
11/30/2015 2:53:05 PM


Many, many, many a time we’ve been asked to come by a job site for a quote on a new industrial HVAC system…and a simple refurbishing job was all that the client needed. By offering refurbishing instead of replacement services, we’ve been able to save our clients tens of thousands of dollars—while extending the lifecycle of the air conditioning systems in their commercial facility.

Does your unit need AC maintenance, does it need to be replaced entirely, or does it simply need some life breathed into with refurbishing?

The best way to know for sure is to call us with your specific system’s details, but here’s a list of ways to tell if refurbishing or replacement might be the right path for you.

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1. System Age

The first thing we do is look at the age of the system, and compare it to its life expectancy. If your system is 22 years old, refurbishing it will only delay the inevitable and won’t be worth the cash infusion in the long run (in terms of refurbishing, eventual replacement, and energy costs).

The average life expectancy for an industrial HVAC system is between 15-20 years. With proper AC maintenance and refurbishing you may be able to extend that life cycle longer—however poorly-maintained systems will degrade quicker.

So—how old is your HVAC system? How well has it been maintained and serviced? If your system is near the end of its lifecycle and hasn’t been well serviced then you may want to replace it.

2. Parts Age

While entire HVAC systems can last up to 20 years (or slightly more with great HVAC and AC maintenance plans) certain parts don’t last quite as long. For example, heat pumps generally last about 16 years and air conditioners generally last 10-15 years. Energy-efficient models, with good AC maintenance plans, can last (a little) longer.

3. Your Energy Bills Have Skyrocketed

Over time, industrial HVAC systems deteriorate…even with proper maintenance. As the system degrades you’ll see a small (or not so small) and steady raise in your energy bills. So, look at your energy totals over the last few years and see if there’s a growth pattern. If it’s a small, steady growth then a refurbishing might be in order. If there was fast growth then your system could be failing.

4. Repairs

Have you been making significantly more service calls over the last couple of years? If you’re getting to know your HVAC service company employee by name then a refurbishing may not be enough (or it’s time to switch service companies).

5. Poorly Distributed Air

If you find that your facility has hot and cold patches, it could be a sign that you have leaks in your ductwork, that your system needs repair/maintenance, or that it’s at the end of its lifecycle.

6. Excessive Noise

Listen to your system. Is it running noisily? If it is then it is working too hard to cool or heat your space. If the system has always been noisy that may be a sign that your system is too small for your facility. If it is suddenly noisy, then it probably isn’t functioning at 100% and could use some AC maintenance or refurbishing. If it sounds like a jet engine, then it may be headed for the industrial HVAC system graveyard.

Having said all of the above, it can be hard to distinguish how well your system and parts have done over the years. With this in mind, we highly recommend you call us here at Star Service. By sending out one of our HVAC professionals we can assess your unit to see if one of our refurbishing jobs will breathe life into the unit, or if it’s on its last legs. While we’re there we can provide you with a timeframe, downtime estimate, and refurbishing or replacement quote—and then discuss with you the cost of each option in terms of total cost of ownership.

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