When is it Time to Replace Your Old HVAC System?

Energy Star from the Department of Energy recommends that if your heat pump or air conditioner is more than 10 years old or your furnace or boiler is more than 15 years old, it's likely time to start considering upgrading certain components or replacing your air conditioning system. As buildings age, some facility managers are trying to extend the lifespan of obsolete systems while still trying to ensure that those systems meet current efficiency standards. Inefficient air conditioning systems can increase costs and increase health, comfort, and productivity problems among employees and customers. The average lifespan of a commercial HVAC system is approximately 15 to 20 years, depending on several factors, including maintenance, installation quality, climate, and weather conditions. If you have to constantly adjust the thermostat, it could be a sign that your system can't keep up with demand.

This could be due to several factors, such as occupancy, weather changes, or a worn-out system. If your company has grown or changed since you installed your air conditioning system, you may need a system with more capacity or one that can address different air quality challenges. If your system breaks down more frequently, it's usually a sign that it's nearing the end of its lifespan. Repairs can be expensive and may not be a permanent solution. Frequent breakdowns can interrupt your business operations and cost you money in repair costs.

In this case, replacing the system before it completely breaks down is usually best. Stuffy, hard-to-breathe air can indicate a potential leak in the HVAC system, but it's often a sign that the air isn't being properly filtered through the heating and cooling system. If changing air filters doesn't help improve air quality, the problem could be due to damage to the building's ducts or other problems in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system. Always consult a professional regarding persistent HVAC problems. Foreign odors from your air conditioning system are a serious sign of trouble and should not be ignored. Unusual odors usually indicate a system failure and require equipment replacement.

A noisy air conditioning system can be annoying and annoying for employees and customers. Squeaking, screeching, whistling, and rattling can mean loose or broken parts. Sudden stops and starts may indicate that the air conditioning system is not receiving enough power to operate continuously or that it is possibly overheating. If your system is making a lot of noise, it might be time to replace it. If you find excessive moisture on walls and windows or rust spots on pipes and appliances, your air conditioning system is not working properly.

If the problem is serious, you may need to replace your air conditioning system. When deciding whether to keep or replace an old HVAC system, you should consider ongoing maintenance and maintenance costs, which can increase as HVAC systems age. Even minor repair bills can start to pile up over time and exceed the cost of buying a new commercial HVAC system. For example, if your air conditioning system is not covered by the warranty, you will be responsible for all repair and replacement costs. Before opting for a new HVAC system, evaluate the downtime history of your current system and use a free calculator to determine potential energy savings from investing in a more modern HVAC system. Also check the age of the unit.

Most HVAC systems have a lifespan of 15 years before they need to be replaced, and some last 20 years or more with proper maintenance. Ask if they can provide maintenance records for the units. If the system is more than 15 years old, consider the replacement cost of heating or cooling and how it will fit your budget. You can also consult Point Bay Fuel's HVAC technicians for a professional evaluation. In Florida, where we use our air conditioners almost all year round and are exposed to high levels of humidity, salt water and sulfur which has an impact over time - these factors result in an average life expectancy of around 10 to 12 years. If you upgrade your 15-year-old 12 SEER unit to a 16 SEER2 unit, you expect potential cooling cost savings of 40% per year*. In most cases, the operating efficiency of an air conditioner decreases over time (or due to poor maintenance).

So after fifteen years your 12 SEER air conditioner could be operating close to a 10 SEER level - this means you could save close to 68% a year on cooling costs if you upgraded to a 16° SEER2 system*.

Terrence Mowles
Terrence Mowles

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