While responsible maintenance and service can keep your commercial HVAC equipment functioning well past its expected lifespan, eventually it will need to be replaced. Some of the signs that replacing commercial HVAC equipment may now be necessary are:
- Unexpected Increases in utility bills.
- Energy Losses.
- Strange Noises and Odours.
- Visible Signs of Malfunctioning Equipment.
- The system is excessively expensive to maintain.
- The system is inefficient or simply not working properly.
Most light-commercial HVAC products are designed for a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years. However, factors beyond the control of the original equipment manufacturer dictate the actual reliability and cost effectiveness of operating the equipment during its useful life period. That’s why it’s important to carefully examine each piece of equipment before reaching a decision to repair or replace a system.
1. Understand the History of Your System
A careful examination begins with the collection of all available information regarding the system, including records of the original installation, periodic maintenance, and repairs. If you do not have this information, contact us and let us know you are evaluating your equipment to determine whether or not you will be replacing it. An inspection will usually follow, and you will have the opportunity to discuss your needs in regard to future maintenance, repairs, or replacement.
If you do not have a file on each piece of equipment, start one. In addition to the records you collect, be sure to include the manufacturer’s model and serial number, individual unit or site reference numbers, installation and operating instructions, warranty information, and factory- or contractor-backed service and maintenance agreements.
At Alpha Mechanical we keep comprehensive records of installation and maintenance of every piece of HVAC equipment we work on.
2. Inspect the Equipment
Overall appearance of each unit will provide valuable information about the quality and attention to maintenance provided the unit. Inspect the equipment (or have a qualified technician from Alpha Mechanical perform the inspection), following the manufacturer’s instructions and safety warnings.
The cabinetry should be intact and fastened properly to minimize any air (or weather) leakage into or out of the unit. Filters, too, should be clean. Clogged or restricted filters reduce a system’s efficiency markedly, increasing the internal negative air pressure and pulling dust, dirt, and debris into the unit’s air circulating system.
Check the condition of the coils as well, looking for evidence of dirt, debris, or physical damage to the coils. Bent, damaged, or restricted coils restrict air flow, reducing unit efficiency and increasing operating costs.
3. Bring in a professional HVAC contractor
Whilst some degree of inspection can be carried out by a site manager, in reality you should arrange for a professional contractor to inspect each unit to assess its operating condition. If you can tie this to a periodic maintenance or repair call, you will save some expense. The inspection should include a complete operating review of the heating and cooling portions of the equipment and an assessment of the airflow, temperature rise, and temperature split to be certain they are within the manufacturer’s specified ratings. Be present for the inspection and our technicians will review the findings with you, including the identification of problems and recommendations for corrective actions. Include this information in the unit files you have started.
4. Review the Information You Have Collected
At this point in the evaluation process, you likely have learned a lot about each system. As you review the information you have gathered, determine and confirm the applicable manufacturer and contractor-supported warranty coverage that remains on each unit.
Based on the records you have and inspections conducted, assess the condition of each unit. Equipment improperly maintained and serviced is likely to be less reliable and less efficient, resulting in increased operating costs and premature failures and repair costs. Consider the age of the unit, warranties or service contracts that apply, and the condition of the unit. Has it been well-maintained and what repairs are needed in the short term and the long term?
5. Make the Decision to Repair or Replace
Studying current operating expenses as well as projected repair and operating expenses better equips you to make the decision to repair or replace existing equipment. Compare these expenses to the operating costs of new, high-efficiency equipment. We can help you make this comparison by estimating operating costs based on unit efficiency and local utility costs. In many cases, if your equipment is aged, new high-efficiency replacements will provide significant utility savings that can be factored as a “payback” in a decision to replace.
6. Execute Your Decision
Once all the data is in it is time to execute. There are many HVAC contractors to choose from. We are a leader in the industry and at the forefront of HVAC installation and design in Ireland and the UK. Alpha Mechanical offer future support and backup of our workmanship. We include a scheduled system of Planned Preventative Maintenance and a monitoring program for the existing or new installation. This program covers all aspects of the equipment, is performed regularly with accurate recordkeeping, and include basic system performance measurements to assure each unit remains in peak operating condition.
The expert mechanical services contractors...
Alpha Mechanical Services & Contractors are one of The United Kingdom's and Ireland's leading providers of high efficiency commercial heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems (HVAC). Services include: new equipment installation & design, repair, replacement and planned preventative maintenance.
We offer a full range of mechanical consulting, installation and maintenance services with expertise in all aspects of commercial and retail HVAC systems. We have our own in-house engineering, fabrication, commissioning and health and safety experts to ensure cost-effective delivery of the highest quality solutions in a zero harm environment.
At Alpha Mechanical Services Ltd. we bring industry leading expertise and cutting edge technology to create uncompromising solutions. Lets work together!