A whopping seventy percent of all commercial buildings that were built prior to 1980 have not had commercial HVAC replacements or upgrades! Because of this, there is an estimated five million buildings are long overdue for a commercial HVAC replacement. If your building is one of these, here are a few important facts for you to consider before you tackle this important retrofit.
Commercial HVAC Replacement Saves Energy and Money
If you own or manage a building, one of the biggest advantages to commercial HVAC replacement is the fact that a new HVAC system will always run more efficiently, i.e. the system will use less energy to operate. This will save you a very significant amount of money. Energy prices per kilowatt hours range from six to twelve cents or more, depending on where your building is located. Therefore, the cost savings will be greater in regions where the electricity rates are higher. However, energy costs are currently rising substantially almost everywhere so you are bound to save a ton of money with a commercial HVAC replacement regardless of where your building is located. This is especially true if you add up your energy cost savings over the lifetime of your new commercial HVAC system.
Commercial HVAC Replacement Is Trickier Than Installing a HVAC System During New Construction
When a new building is being constructed, it is much easier to install a commercial HVAC system. First, it can be installed when there is open access, i.e. before walls and roofs go up! Second, commercial equipment, like a commercial crane, is already onsite and ready to help install the building’s first HVAC system. The crane makes it relatively easy to lower a large chiller into a basement or install a rooftop HVAC unit. However, twenty or thirty years later, after the building is complete and the construction equipment is gone, and the walls and roof are in place, it can be much trickier to install a new HVAC system. The building may have also gained closer neighbors, mature trees, and other potential obstacles that weren’t there when the building was first built. Due to all of these factors, if you’re not careful, and you don’t know the type of HVAC unit you need for your retrofit, your installation costs can be more than the actual unit!
There Are Easy To Install Options For Retrofitting HVAC Systems In Older Buildings
Having said the above, there are several solutions that can keep your installation costs down and make it much easier to retrofit a new HVAC system into an older building. For example, United CoolAir adapts HVAC units to make retrofit projects simple and easy to install. Choosing a splittable system can also be a great choice. This allows your installers to maneuver the HVAC system through a standard thirty-two inch doorway and into a standard sized elevator. These EZfit units can save you manpower and therefore lower your installation costs. They also fit more easily above a ceiling or in a crowded mechanical room.
There Are Several Benefits To Indoor HVAC Units
If you currently have a outdoor and or rooftop HVAC unit, replacing it with an inside HVAC unit will free up space for other things such as solar panels or a roof top garden. This will also remove the noise of your old HVAC unit from the rooftop or other outdoor areas, making it a much more enjoyable space for your tenants. Further, it is much easier to make repairs when the HVAC unit is indoors. You’ll also greatly reduce the chance of weather damage or vandalism. Unfortunately, there has been a rash of copper theft from outdoor HVAC units over the last decade.
There Are Likely Programs Available To Defray Your Cost
There are several government programs that can significantly lower the cost of your commercial HVAC replacement. These include PACE bonds, leasing programs, and energy programs like Potomac Edison. Potomac ED’s program provides up to a fifty percent rebate of the purchase price of your new HVAC, excluding taxes, for each VFD installed (capped at a total of $250,000). These financial incentives make it a much easier decision to do a commercial HVAC replacement.
If you pick the right HVAC system, commercial HVAC replacement can be almost as simple as screwing in a lightbulb! It can also save you a lot of money and can provide many other advantages as well. Give us a call for additional information. We’ll be happy to go over your options and give you specific recommendations.