Retrofitted Versus New HVAC Systems

Posted on: 30 September 2020

Systems for heating, cooling, and ventilating commercial buildings are generally designed to last a very long time, but they do require repairs every now and then. Eventually, those repairs can become too numerous, and you may realize it's time for some serious work, including possibly replacing the system. For companies with smaller budgets, a complete replacement may be very expensive, and those companies might start looking at what's known as retrofitting instead.

However, whether you get an entirely new system or do a retrofit depends on the circumstances. Retrofits—replacing and upgrading parts of an existing system without replacing the entire thing—can be cheaper, but they may not be as appropriate as a full replacement.

What's More Affordable?

Just in terms of the actual work, a retrofit is likely more affordable. The HVAC company may supply only certain parts, and you'd keep much of the old system in place. However, you also have to take into account the efficiency of the system and how much it costs each month. If retrofitting won't make the system more efficient, but replacing the entire system will increase efficiency by a tremendous amount, a replacement may be more affordable in the long run. If the retrofit can include the parts that will make the system more efficient, then a retrofit could be exactly what you need.

What Generates Less Waste?

HVAC companies now recycle and reuse whatever they can to reduce waste that ends up in landfills. Still, adjustments to an HVAC system can result in some waste no matter how hard you try to avoid it. Retrofitting may generate less waste because you're upgrading only certain parts of the system and not the whole thing. But overall, it really depends on the recycling and reclamation skills of the HVAC company. One that is very good about finding ways to recycle components could make quick work of an entire HVAC compressor, for example.

How Often Have You Worked On The Old System?

If a lot of the work that you've had to have done on the old system concentrated on a few parts that just kept breaking down, then a retrofit could be perfect. If you upgrade those parts of the system, and you're good to go. But if you feel like you're playing Whack-a-Mole with the system, chasing breakdown after breakdown across most of the HVAC system, a full replacement is best.

Get some HVAC technicians in to take a look at the system and give you estimates for replacement and retrofitting, if appropriate. Once the work is done, the building will be much more comfortable for all its occupants.

For more information, contact an air conditioning service such as Miami Compressor Rebuilders.