What To Consider Before Investing In A Commercial HVAC System

What To Consider Before Investing In A Commercial HVAC System

by | Commercial HVAC, Energy Efficiency, Facility Maintenance, Facility Management, Repair vs. Replace

Commercial HVAC RTUThe commercial HVAC system in your multi-site building or business is the most complicated and expensive of all the systems.

Not only is the installation cost high, but the ongoing costs to operate the system can be substantial especially if the system is not installed correctly or poorly maintained.

When building owners and facility managers need to replace existing equipment or install a completely new commercial HVAC system, there are several factors to consider before the contract is finalized.

Overall Price of A New Commercial HVAC System

Cost of Replacing Commercial HVAC System - CMI MechanicalOf course, the price is important, but a commercial HVAC system is not a commodity, it’s an investment.

An investment of this magnitude shouldn’t be selected on price alone.

If you’re comparing quotes from different companies, be sure you’re making an apples-to-apples comparison. Are both companies quoting the same capacity and efficiency equipment? What warranties come with the equipment and for the workmanship? How long will the project take and what kind of disruption to your operation will occur because of the HVAC work? 

The type of commercial HVAC system you select directly impacts the price of other contractors.

For example, selecting an electric heat AC unit instead of gas-fired will make the HVAC price lower, but the electrical cost will go up because of the electric heat.

A split system is more expensive than a rooftop unit, but the roofing costs are a lot less with split systems. “Cost” means more than just how much the HVAC contractor charges.

Operating Efficiency of Commercial HVAC Units

Commercial HVAC Preventative Maintenance Program - Cost vs MaintenanceA commercial HVAC system accounts for up to 50% of your building’s annual energy bill. With that much money spent on one system, the operating efficiency of the HVAC unit is an important consideration.

The higher the SEER or EER of the proposed cooling equipment, the greater the efficiency, and the less you’ll pay in utility costs each month.

For gas heating systems, burner efficiencies range from 80% to 95% with the higher efficiency heater saving you money over the life of the equipment.

There is additional savings when the commercial HVAC system is controlled by a building automation system (BAS).

A BAS is the brain of the entire HVAC system turning off unneeded equipment, optimizing supply air and water temperatures to prevent overcooling, and reducing consumption when utility rates are the highest.

You need to balance the additional cost of installing a BAS versus the energy savings you achieve. You may find the BAS pays for itself in energy savings in just a few years.

Why would you choose one commercial HVAC system over the other? Which system is best for your building and why?

The most important consideration when selecting a new commercial HVAC system is to work with a contractor you trust. When you find a reliable contractor, the decision to install a new system becomes a collaboration instead of a confrontation.

Working together they can recommend a new commercial HVAC system that fits your building, gives occupants the comfort they expect, and operates efficiently year after year.