How to Make the Right Decision: Repair or Replace Commercial HVAC?

  • Expert Tips

Analyzing system repair and capital replacement options for a building you manage can be an overwhelming task. We hear time and time again from facilities managers, building owners, and engineers that this is a key challenge they face.

Improvements to building systems are increasingly important as we continue to prioritize cleaner air and the health and safety of our tenants. The right decisions can have far-reaching impacts on both short-term and long-term success for schools, offices, healthcare, senior living, and manufacturing facilities. These industries are at risk of economic setbacks and cannot afford to make the wrong choice about capital equipment like HVAC, plumbing, lighting, and IT systems. Mistakes in these areas can close doors permanently for some businesses.

We are working around the clock to ensure companies stay in business. For us, this means guiding facilities managers and business owners to make smart and sustainable solutions for their building. The choice to repair or replace equipment requires a depth of knowledge about how to run high-performance commercial buildings systems. It is impossible for one individual to be in expert across all types of systems, which is why so many rely on trusted partners to make recommendations. A major key to success is having the confidence and plan in place to act quickly on these decisions.

When it comes to commercial HVAC and Controls, the following are required to make quick and effective decisions:

  • Actionable expert recommendations
  • Cost data
  • Conceptual estimates
  • Service plans
  • Next step turnkey solutions
  • Analysis of company financial policies

Without this essential knowledge, building owners and managers run the risk of a costly decision. A lack of criteria for decision making also makes it difficult to receive budget approval for necessary repairs and capital replacements. How will these actions be expensed? And how can we guarantee a pay-off long-term?

To help answer these questions we have compiled this list of 4 guidelines to help you evaluate repair-vs- capital improvement and replacement options for your HVAC and building Controls systems:

  1. Don’t ignore upgrades. If you have a system that’s more than 20 years old, there are new technologies that guarantee a replacement to be the best decision.
  2. Assess your organization’s business goals, along with compliance and safety issues. Evaluating repair-vs-replace options for your commercial building should be part of your organization’s cohesive business strategy because it ensures the health, safety, and productivity of your workforce.
  3. Create a plan for how HVAC repairs and replacements will be funded. What tax credits/deductions, utility rebates, leasing, or other financing tools have you explored?
  4. Map out the remaining lifespan of the equipment in need of repairs or replacements. Many businesses are having a difficult time knowing how long they plan to stay in their current building. Talk with other leaders at your organization to paint an accurate picture of how long they intend to stay in the building, and map that against the expected life of the equipment itself.

Deciding to repair-vs-replace commercial equipment is not a decision you can make on your own. Consider these guidelines and talk to an expert today to begin an effective assessment for your building.