Commercial HVAC: Repair or Replace?

Indoor air quality, comfort and energy efficiency are vital to your business, your staff and your bottom line. As the warmer weather starts to take its toll on aging air-conditioning systems, making the decision whether to continually repair an older unit or replace it with a newer, more efficient system may become a priority for some commercial facility owners.

While the effective planned preventative maintenance of your commercial HVAC system is essential to operational effectiveness and to prolonging the unit’s lifespan, eventually the repair or replace decision will loom large. Some indications that it may be time to consider your options are:

  • Visible signs of malfunctioning equipment
  • Excessive noise
  • Poor air flow
  • Water pools next to the air-conditioner
  • The system is failing to cool the space effectively
  • Sudden and unexpected increase in utility bills

It’s important to carefully examine each piece of equipment before reaching a decision to repair or replace a system. Every case is different and the decision needs to be made strategically and with the help of HVAC experts. Here are some points to consider when you’re trying to make the right decision for your business:

  • Life expectancy of the equipment
    Though HVAC units are designed with a lifespan of 15 to 20 years, you may encounter significant problems sooner than this. With newer units, quite often problems can be easily fixed. However, if the unit seems to be in serious decline, a long line of repairs may end up costlier, and still lead to the inevitable.
  • Maintenance history of the system
    Proper maintenance significantly contributes towards efficient performance and an extended lifespan of your system. Even well-maintained units will need repair from time to time. However, if your HVAC has not been regularly and effectively maintained, wear and tear is typically more severe, thereby accelerating the need for replacement.
  • Potential energy savings
    Although repair is generally always an option for properly maintained units, there may come a time when the potential savings you could be making on your utility bills will become the deciding factor. Newer systems are more energy efficient, and there-in lies the potential savings benefit.
  • Cost of repair vs cost of replacement
    An HVAC contractor can help you determine your current operating expenses, as well as projected repair and operating expenses, and compare this to the purchase and operating costs of a new system. This information means you will be better equipped to make the decision as to whether repairs or replacement is more feasible for your budget.
  • In-house maintenance capabilities
    If you have an in-house maintenance team, it’s important to consider cost vs time. If it’s taking more time to perform repairs than it is to maintain, it may be time for a system upgrade. Also consider how often you’re having to outsource reactive maintenance in big HVAC emergencies, and whether or not your system is compliant and meets the relevant health and safety codes.

Unfortunately, there is no rule of thumb when it’s time to repairing or replacing your HVAC equipment. Each facility needs to consider a range of factors before coming to the conclusion that will work best for them. HVAC contractors have the required expertise to assist you in the evaluation process; they will assess the condition of your system while bearing in mind its age, maintenance history and the cost of current and future repairs and operating expenses versus the cost a completely new system.

Though this issue is eventually and inevitably going to arise, a scheduled system of planned preventative maintenance and monitoring is essential for all commercial HVAC systems. An effective maintenance and monitoring programme covers the inspection of all aspects of your equipment, accurate recordkeeping, basic system performance measurements, statutory compliance and ensuring each unit remains in peak operating condition.

Whether repair or replace is the way to go for your facility, Voltix Services can help. We install and maintain commercial air-conditioning across the UK. If you’re looking to repair – our in-house HVAC engineers and ongoing maintenance contracts ensure your air-conditioning is looked after throughout the year. If you’re looking to replace – we will advise you on the best system for your specific requirements, and will complete the installation to the very highest standards.

Let Voltix Services help you maintain a cool and comfortable working environment for your staff. We understand urgency and the importance of flexibility. Our clients are offered a 24 hour call out facility, which operates 365 days a year with a maximum response time of four hours. Contact us today on 0845 1800 999 or visit