Good reasons to send HVAC equipment into the sunset

We know, we know: Saying goodbye is tough. But sometimes it’s the best answer—and when it comes to HVAC equipment, sending your unit off to an early retirement is in many cases the most economical choice.

Building owners typically extend the life of HVAC equipment by overhauling it. What they get for their efforts may be a few more years—but at what cost? The same inefficient HVAC equipment is doing its outdated work at greater expense than ever.

Upgrading instead of repairing usually makes great sense for the bottom line and for comfort, as well as for energy and resource savings. Properly sized, high-efficiency units are more cost-effective to operate than their older and bigger predecessors, and in many cases they qualify for POWER MOVES incentives.

In any system’s life cycle, there comes a point where you need to decide whether it’s fiscally and practically feasible to continue maintaining and repairing an aging piece of equipment. A life-cycle cost analysis can help you determine whether you should repair or replace an aging HVAC system component.

A thorough analysis includes the cost of the equipment, what you’re paying to maintain it, and the energy you buy to power it. Wear and tear is a less tangible part of the equation. The equipment you expected to last 15 years may provide only 12 because of how it has been operated, maintained, and repaired.

An ideal ratio of spending on an HVAC system is 70% preventative maintenance and 30% corrective maintenance, according to Anthony Shaker, vice president of operations and maintenance, in a Buildings magazine article.

The POWER MOVES Commercial and Industrial prescriptive HVAC program can help lower the cost of replacement and enable a member to purchase the more efficient equipment. Incentives can be as high as $75 per ton for an air conditioner or heat pump or up to $40 per ton for a chiller (with a cap of $25,000). Any systems beyond the size limitations outlined in the prescriptive program could be eligible for up to $50,000 in our custom program.

There are a lot of good reasons to let that tired old HVAC retire. We can help. Your local Energy Advisor can tell you more.