Posts

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.

What You Need to Know About the R22 Phase Out

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is in the process of phasing out ozone-depleting substances (ODS) like R-22 refrigerant in the United States by 2020. HCFC-22, also known as R-22, is one of the more popular refrigerants on the market today. Even if your organization’s air conditioning system relies on R-22, you have a variety of options moving forward. Here’s what you can and can’t do when it comes to the R-22 refrigerant phase-out.

What You Can Do

If your existing infrastructure uses and already contains any R-22 refrigerant, you can continue using it without legal penalty. However, if your organization plans to keep running equipment with R-22, the EPA recommends planning out a way to repair or replace any leaking equipment so that you can recover and reuse any refrigerant. Since R-22 won’t be readily available for purchase, you will plan on storing recovered R-22 to service any of your own equipment. However, once you run out of R-22, do not count on being able to obtain more. Once 2020 arrives, you’ll need to start looking for a more sustainable R-22 replacement solution.

What You Can’t Do

If your organization is planning to expand your AC system now or in the near future, new R-22 cannot be used to increase cooling capacity. Upgraded and expanded systems are still considered new systems, so you have to use either reclaimed R-22 or an alternative refrigerant. If you’re planning on making extensive HVAC equipment upgrades, you should plan on finding a system replacement that does not depend on an R-22 supply.

What You Should Do

If you’d like to continue using R-22 for the time being, feel free to do so. Just be aware that the importation and production of R-22 will become illegal on January 1, 2020. You should be prepared for the price of after-market, new, and reclaimed to rise sharply as individuals and businesses are purchasing R-22 to sell after the phaseout.

If your business wants to expand or upgrade your HVAC infrastructure, plan out a budget ahead of time for the long-term expenses of your HVAC system after R-22 has been phased out. You’ll likely discover that a more sustainable infrastructure update will end up saving you in the long run, so you can spend more on the upgrade itself. That’s why we recommend your organization starts pursuing environmentally-friendly initiatives that don’t rely on R-22 today. That way, you can break away from R-22 dependence and be better prepared for the challenges of tomorrow.

Replacement Options

With a wide range of R-22 refrigerant alternatives already on the market, switching over to R-22 replacements couldn’t be easier. Many options are even more efficient than R-22, so you can save money on electricity and utility bills. On top of improving energy efficiency, these options do not deplete the earth’s ozone layer as R-22 does. As each day passes, there are fewer and fewer reasons to continue relying on R-22.

Alternative options include:

  • 404A, AZ-50 (507)
  • AZ-20 (410A)
  • 407C
  • 422D

How We Can Help

If your organization is planning an upgrade or new installation now or in the near future, contact the experts at Garrison Mechanical today. We’ll help you explore your options and find an ideal solution to prepare you for the future.