Just like taxes, HVAC system replacement is inevitable. No matter how well an HVAC system is maintained, it will eventually need to be replaced. HVAC system replacement or retrofitting can be a messy and costly project. Business operations and customer services can be interrupted to make way for the new project. Since the stakes are high with this investment, project managers want to ensure that HVAC retrofitting for buildings meets the operations’ current needs and sets a framework that provides flexibility and longevity for future operations. If you’re thinking of an HVAC retrofit for your organization, you might be considering the following three questions.
Does my HVAC system really need replacement?
It’s tempting to believe that an HVAC system that continues to limp along does not need to be replaced. But a struggling HVAC system is not operating efficiently or meeting performance requirements. If you look through your building’s maintenance records and find high costs and increasing maintenance requirements for an HVAC system, this is a good time to start considering replacement. Another factor to consider is the availability of replacement components. Sometimes, it is possible to install new components instead of installing a whole new system. But when components for a particular system are no longer available from the manufacturer, or if the manufacturer should go out of business, it is only a matter of time before it will be necessary to replace the entire system. Finally, consider the projected maintenance cost and schedule for the replacement before moving forward.
What about in-kind replacement vs new equipment?
The easiest way to replace an HVAC system is to put in a new system that matches the old one. The only concern with this method is that building use and needs might be different than they were 20 years ago. Another consideration is that there are a ton of new options when it comes to HVAC optimization for your facilities. Your facilities may now be supporting the ventilation and comfort needs of additional staff. Your facilities may also be using new industrial equipment that puts added strain on the electrical load, leaving less wattage for HVAC systems to operate optimally. Simply replacing in-kind does not take these changes into consideration. To get the most out of HVAC system retrofits, the new system with new options must be designed to match the current needs of the facility. Furthermore, modern HVAC systems include zoned, ductless, and high-energy efficiency options. To reap the most benefits and prepare for future usage, it’s wise to consider installing completely new equipment.
How do I get approval for this project?
Even after you’ve decided your building needs an HVAC system replacement, your plan still must compete with other programs for funding. Too often, though, facility executives simply submit funding requests with little or no supporting information. As a result, projects fail to win the funding needed to perform a complete retrofit. To increase the chances of receiving funding, facility executives must submit their budget requests in a format familiar to financial managers. Energy savings, maintenance savings, return on investment: These are among the terms that will help convince financial managers of the value of the project. It’s also important to provide the right level of detail. Be sure to supply the old HVAC system’s maintenance records and your estimation of performance expectations for the new system.
An HVAC replacement is a massive undertaking that also presents opportunities for growth and better facility performance. If you’re considering an HVAC update, reach out to the HVAC experts at Legacy Mechanical Inc. Our teams excel in facility planning, design, installation, and maintenance. Technicians work to understand your unique needs and situation to create the best HVAC solutions for you. Call today and take your operations into the future.