Considerations for Repairing Versus Replacing Your HVAC Unit

City Wide Facility Solutions
Published on April 26, 2022

When you’re responsible for the maintenance of a facility and there are issues with the HVAC system, nothing is more pressing than getting the system fixed. The cost of repairs and the loss of productivity caused by a faulty cooling or heating system are significant. Scheduling regular maintenance will extend the life expectancy of your HVAC system, but not forever.

What if regular maintenance isn’t enough to keep your system in good working order? When do the cost of repairs exceed the cost of installing a new HVAC unit in your building? These are questions facility managers need to consider. Below we will discuss some cost considerations to take into account when deciding on repairing versus replacing your HVAC unit.

Consider equipment age first

The first thing to do when deciding whether to replace your HVAC unit is to consider the age of the system. HVAC systems vary in quality and life expectancy, and it is important to be realistic about the current state of your equipment. Other than age, you should also consider the following factors which can affect the life expectancy of an HVAC unit:

  • Usage (load on the system)
  • Building design
  • Building age

If your facility is located in an area that experiences harsh winters or hot summers, then the load on your system will be greater than in facilities located in areas with temperate climates. Also, if your building is older or outdated, or it features poor insulation or ductwork, then your HVAC unit will have to work harder and can wear out sooner than expected. 

Repair cost and frequency

The next thing to consider when deciding the fate of your HVAC unit is the cost of the repairs you’ll face and the frequency the repairs are needed. Regular preventative maintenance will inspect for leaks, faulty electrical components, mechanical failure, etc. The goal of this service is to prevent major system failures or to repair small problems before they cause system failure. But if HVAC repairs are frequent due to system breakdowns or faulty components, then replacement may be a better option.

New HVAC units are more efficient and will lower energy costs

Endlessly repairing an HVAC system that is less and less efficient is a losing proposition. New HVAC systems are designed to be more energy efficient and will save you money in the long term by lowering your yearly operating costs. 

New HVAC systems are designed to be energy efficient and only require scheduled quarterly preventative maintenance to keep them working properly. The cost savings of a new system will add up over time which will help you recoup the money spent on the replacement unit.

New HVAC technologies

New HVAC technologies will make the repair versus replace decision easier. Implementing a “connected” HVAC system in your facility will give  greater control over system usage and will make the system more energy efficient. Here are a few of the new technologies which will help optimize your HVAC system: 

  • Smart meters
  • Connected thermostats
  • Humidity level sensors
  • Airflow sensors
  • Building automation systems

The data collected by these technologies can be used to adjust usage and to schedule preventive maintenance. This will make managing a facility easier because the HVAC system controls will be centralized and easier to monitor, maintain, and repair. 

It can be difficult to decide whether repairing or replacing your HVAC unit is right for your facility. If you’d like more assistance with your decision, reach out to your City Wide Facility Solutions FSM. Or, if you don’t need assistance with your HVAC at this time, keep in mind your FSM can help with more than 20 facility services beyond HVAC and janitorial. We’re here to help you manage the services you need to keep your facility running smoothly. Contact us today to learn more.