South Florida HVAC

Commercial HVAC Repair vs. Replacement

Determining whether to repair an HVAC system or replace it with a new one is a common dilemma. Sometimes in the HVAC industry, customers feel a technician has pressured them into buying a new system because they presented no other options. Conversely, technicians sometimes find themselves repairing an ancient system many times because business owners don’t realize replacement is an option. It’s important to weigh the decision to repair or replace your commercial HVAC system and to make sure you consider the following factors:

Age of Your System

Most commercial HVAC systems have a lifespan of 15-20 years, so if your system’s age falls into that range, you may want to consider commercial HVAC replacement rather than repairs. Of course, your business’s repair budget should be taken into consideration as well, as should the way your heating and air conditioning currently operates. If you have a 16-year-old system that needs relatively inexpensive repairs every once in a while, you may opt to stick with repairs for now and wait a few more years before you have a new HVAC system installed.

Maintenance Costs

Take stock of how much time you or the commercial HVAC company you partner with spend on reactive maintenance, such as equipment repairs, versus preventative maintenance, such as routine maintenance checks. If you’re spending more time on reactive than preventative maintenance, it’s probably time to consider replacing your system.

Repair vs. Replacement Costs

When considering HVAC repair or replacement, you can remember a simple rule of thumb: If your repairs cost more than 50% of the cost of a new HVAC installation, you’re probably due for a replacement. Other repair vs. replacement calculations include getting a replacement if the repair costs more than $5,000, and whether the cost of your repair multiplied by your system’s age is higher than the cost of a new system. Whichever calculation you decide to use, following the numbers is definitely a solid basis for your decision.

Signs of Deterioration

Does your duct system leak often? Does your HVAC unit make a lot of noise when it runs, or do does it randomly shut off? Does the system suffer frequent breakdowns? These are just some of the signs that may tell you it’s time to replace your HVAC system. If you want to stick with repairs, your system may need them more frequently, and that may interrupt its operation and maintenance. This could interfere with the heating and cooling in your office, and in your facilities, which could affect your products as well as your employees and customers.

Consider System Upgrades

Before you invest in commissioning a new system, you should consider upgrading specific parts of your system that have problems. At Garrison Mechanical, we can replace your system with a new one, but we can also replace individual parts, which will save you time and money on repairs, and could help extend the lifespan of your current HVAC system. The parts we can replace include air handlers, evaporator and condenser coils, pumps, motors, fan coils, chillers, and cooling towers. Upgrades give you a third option so your repair or replace decision isn’t so limited.

Let Us Help You With Your Decision

When you partner with Garrison Mechanical, we do our best to meet your needs every step of the way, and that includes when you’re considering replacing your HVAC system. We can work with you to understand your business’s HVAC system, and we provide a wide range of services, including commercial HVAC installation and replacement. Contact us today, and our team of experts will help you determine whether you should repair or replace your system.

8 replies
  1. Larry Weaver
    Larry Weaver says:

    Thanks for mentioning how if repair costs are more than 50% of what it would be to get a new HVAC unit installed, then it might be time for a replacement. The AC in my bakery is starting to smell really odd, like rotten eggs or something. I am worried about there being something wrong, so I will get an HVAC contractor to take a look at the problem and let me know what it would cost to either repair or replace it.

  2. Randy Chorvack
    Randy Chorvack says:

    Thanks for mentioning that your HVAC system can last up to 20 years. I imagine that the 20 years is with maintenance on your system to keep it running smoothly. I’m starting up a business and I just had my AC and heater installed, so it’s good to know that I have a decent 20 years before I have to worry about replacement.

  3. Angela Waterford
    Angela Waterford says:

    It’s interesting that most commercial HVAC units have a lifespan of about 15-20 years. If I’m going to rent an office for my future company, I think I’ll have to assess if the system needs to be repaired or not. I’ll be sure to hire a professional for this so that they can tell me how to maintain the system as well.

  4. Randy Chorvack
    Randy Chorvack says:

    It was really helpful how you said that if your repairs are 50% of the cost for an entirely new one you should probably just get a new one. I live in a really old house and it feels like I’m fixing my HVAC system every other week. I guess I should get a new one so that I don’t have to keep fixing it.

  5. Brad Erwin
    Brad Erwin says:

    Thanks for explaining how most HVAC systems have a lifespan of 15-20 years. My company has an HVAC system that isn’t working the way it should be but is only 10 years old. I will be sure to find a repair service in my area so that we can get the most out of our HVAC investment.

  6. David Johnson
    David Johnson says:

    At work, we leased out another building for some teams coming in, and the heating is off. Thanks for explaining the lifespan of most systems is about fifteen to twenty years. We’ll have to find an HVAC service to help us.

  7. Ellie Davis
    Ellie Davis says:

    My husband moved his office to a commercial space, and we are looking for advice about what to do to have it ready to open. It’s interesting to know that having an HVAC system that makes noises when operating is a sign that you need to call a contractor to help you. I will let him know about your recommendations to help him understand how to keep his HVAC system in good shape.

  8. Eli Richardson
    Eli Richardson says:

    It’s great that you talked about HVAC units and how to know it’s time to replace them! Recently, my uncle said he’s interested in investing in a renovation project. My uncle wants to remodel and sell some buildings, so I’ll be sure to share your HVAC guide with him! Thanks for the advice on evaluating your HVAC unit’s maintenance costs before replacing or repairing.

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