Whether you're a commercial landlord, an office manager, or a business owner in Lufkin, Texas, keeping tabs on your commercial HVAC system is important. Subpar performance or an unexpected breakdown can be expensive and inconvenient, affecting everything from employee productivity to your monthly energy bills. To stay ahead, learn to recognize the signs that your office will need a new HVAC system in the near future.
Warning Signs Your System Is About to Fail
In most cases, a commercial HVAC system won't break down with no warning at all. However, if you don't know what to look for, you can easily miss the red flags that signal a major problem.
Keep an eye out for the following signs of serious HVAC trouble:
- Frequent repairs - Have you been calling your HVAC technician more often about issues with your system? An HVAC system that requires frequent repairs could be nearing the end of its lifespan.
- Rising utility bills - Have your energy bills been higher than usual? A system on the verge of a breakdown won't run at peak efficiency. Instead, it will work harder and use more energy to meet your heating and cooling needs.
- Uneven heating and cooling - Are some parts of the office hotter or colder than others? If employees are complaining about increased discomfort, your HVAC system isn't doing its job — it could be about to quit altogether.
- Constant cycling - Has your HVAC system been kicking on and off more often lately? Excessive cycling is one of the top indications that your system is struggling.
- Strange sounds or smells - Have you noticed any strange noises or odors coming from your HVAC system? Anything out of the ordinary could be cause for concern. You may hear grinding, rattling, popping, squealing, or banging noises.
Of course, this list doesn't cover every warning sign you might notice. A failing HVAC system can also be the source of excess moisture, carbon monoxide leaks (if it's fueled by gas or oil), indoor air quality problems, and other changes in your office environment.
When to Repair vs Replace
Not every HVAC issue requires a system replacement. Sometimes a simple repair will do — but how do you decide?
After inspecting your system, an experienced HVAC technician can recommend whether repair or replacement is a better option. The technician can diagnose the issue and let you know whether it's likely to recur and, if so, whether repairing your system is worth the expense of the repair.
When it's time to make your choice, consider these factors:
- The age of your system
- The cost of repairs
- The cost of a new system
- Monthly energy costs
- Employee health and comfort
- Any changes to your needs
- New technology available
Reasons to Invest in a New System
A new HVAC system can provide several benefits. Newer models are more energy efficient, often paying for themselves over time through monthly savings on utility bills. They can also provide better indoor air quality, quieter operation, and greater control over office comfort.
Installing a new system is particularly wise in the following situations:
- Your system is already near the end of its projected lifespan. With an aging system, your choice is between replacing now or waiting until a complete breakdown forces your hand.
- The cost of repairing the system will be extremely high. In that case, the money you would have put toward repairs may be better spent on a new system.
- A newer, more energy-efficient system would bring significant monthly savings. Depending on the age and efficiency of your existing system, the cost of a new system may be offset by lower heating and cooling costs.
- Your needs have changed or will change soon. If you're planning to remodel your office space, or if your needs have changed in any other way, your current HVAC system may need to be replaced anyway.
- Your employees have been sick or uncomfortable. Your HVAC system plays a major role in employee comfort and indoor air quality — both of which can affect productivity.
If you think your HVAC system may be hovering on the verge of a breakdown, call McWilliams & Son Heating & Air Conditioning at 936-465-9191. Our expert technicians can help with all your commercial HVAC needs, from maintenance and repair to new system installation.
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