Date Posted: November 25th, 2011 by Karl Niehaus, President, CREI
How to Maintain your Building's HVAC
The age and quality of maintenance are the two major factors that determine the condition of the HVAC. The industry standard life is 15-20 years, and maintenance is the single most important factor affecting the expected life of HVAC units. If well maintained, some last well beyond the industry standard.
Changing the filters is the most important factor in prolonging its useful life. The best way to determine the quality of the maintenance is to look over the maintenance records. Unfortunately, these are not often kept. If they are kept and show regular service, then these units should last well past their useful life. This type of maintenance is usually done by service contractors who do the maintenance. It is strongly recommend that this be done; it will save A LOT of money and aggravation.
What Will it Cost to Repair or Replace the Property's HVAC?
Many factors determine costs. The size is the most significant for replacement costs. Repairs can be anything from fuse replacement, handling a leak, recharging the system, to a major component replacement. Costs run anywhere from the cost of a service call to thousands of dollars. In 2011, the approximate cost to replace a unit was $1500 - $2000 per ton or approximately $6,000 - $8,000 to replace a 4 ton unit, each year this will of course go up.
Part of the cost increases in recent years have been caused by increased requirements for energy conservation. This means units are cheaper to run but more expensive to purchase. Big units, 20 tons and up, require a detailed analysis by a qualified technician to determine costs.
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