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How do I Determine Whether an HVAC Retrofit is Right for my Commercial Building?

Are you paying huge electricity bills every month for your business? If you have an older HVAC system that is driving your energy bills, you might be considering an upgrade. But what if your current financial status doesn’t allow you to install a new air conditioning unit? Does it mean that you will continue to foot large electricity bills for your commercial facility?

Also, regardless of how well you maintain your air conditioning unit, it will need to be a replacement at some point. Most of the HVAC systems have a life-span of 15-30 years. The functional life of these units is determined by the brand and style of the equipment. When your HVAC’s useful life ends, you will need to choose between replacing the entire system or retrofitting your HVAC unit.

What is HVAC retrofit?

HVAC retrofits allow you to utilize higher efficiency equipment and to add features to your existing HVAC unit to increase safety, comfort, durability, and efficiency. HVAC retrofitting helps to solve various air conditioning problems such as fluctuating temperatures, poor air movement, and changes in moisture levels. Sometimes, making small changes such as adding economizers can sealing ductwork in your air conditioning unit can change its performance significantly.

How do you know it’s time for HVAC retrofit?

Most of the HVAC retrofit projects arise from the need to increase efficiency, comfort, and safety of the air conditioning unit. Besides, you may need to retrofit your HVAC unit if:

• It is more than ten years old
• The electricity bills keep going up without any logical explanation
• You spend more money repairing your old HVAC system
• You experience changes in the indoor air quality

An old HVAC unit will require frequent repairs, lose efficiency, and also compromise comfort with time. When you get to this point, you may need to retrofit your air conditioning unit to restore its performance.

Common HVAC retrofit upgrades

There are various types of HVAC units, and they require different retrofit upgrades. Some of the equipment that are best candidates for retrofit upgrades include chillers, boilers, and package rooftop units. Retrofit upgrade services offered by certified HVAC contractors include:

• Sealing and replacement of ductwork
• Installation of airside economizer
• Replacing old compressors with new generation screw compressors
• Fitting carbon dioxide sensors
• Fitting supply fab speed controls
• Fitting smart temperature and humidity controls

Retrofitting your HVAC unit is an easy and inexpensive way of increasing efficiency, comfort, and safety to your building. The amount of money you save monthly on electricity bills is enough to fund your retrofit project. If you would like to learn more about retrofitting your HVAC unit, don’t hesitate to talk to us at 408-295-2182.

What Type of Businesses Could Benefit from an HVAC Retrofit

Just about any type of business with an older HVAC system could benefit from a retrofit. There are many benefits to this service, and it will help extend the life of your current HVAC system. This is a cost-effective choice if you need to improve your HVAC service, but do not want to invest in a completely new system. Whether you own a restaurant, factory, movie theater, shopping mall, barbershop, gas station, or any other type business, a retrofit might be a good choice for you.

Reasons You May Need a Retrofit?
. If you have an older HVAC unit
. If your system starts to break down a lot and needs constant repairs
. If your system is not putting off enough cool or hot air for the entire building
. If your energy bills start to go up with no explanation

HVAC Retrofit Can Be a Good Choice for Many Businesses

If you have an older unit, you may want to consider having a retrofit. This type of service can help your existing unit to last longer and to be able to perform better. Consider this option if your unit is 10 years old or older.

If your HVAC system starts to break down frequently and needs constant repairs, this could be a big warning sign that your system needs an upgrade. Frequent repairs can be expensive so it might be a better option to have your HVAC system retrofitted to meet your needs. Talk with a professional who can help you determine if retrofitting will be right for your business.

It is important to have a building that can stay at a good temperature year-round. If your system starts having problems where it can not heat or cool your entire building, it might be time to make some changes. A retrofit service can make sure that your system will be able to perform its best.

You may also want to consider retrofitting your HVAC unit if you notice that your energy bill is starting to go up for no apparent reason. As your HVAC unit gets older, it will take more energy for it to work the way that it needs to. If your system has minor issues, that can cause your energy bill to go up as well. If you need to have your system retrofitted, give us a call at (408) 295-2182.

What is a Design and Build Contractor?

In the traditional design-bid-build model used in the construction industry, the owner hires a designer on one side and a contractor on the other. Once the design phase is complete, they will invite bids from contractors for the actual construction of the final design.

Design and build is another type of contract that has become popular of late. In this type of contract, the project design and construction is undertaken by the same entity. Instead of 3 parties (owner-designer-contractor), there are only 2 entities involved.

In many cases, a design and build contractor is a general contractor who also leads the project design with a professional architect or engineer. Some design and build firms have professionals from both sides – design and construction. Other general contractors employ architects or designers to provide design services in-house, so to speak. In some cases, a design firm may partner with a construction firm for a specific project or time frame. Many such contracts allow the owner to take the design plans and go elsewhere for actual construction.

Advantages of Hiring a Design and Build Contractor

  • There are quite a few benefits in using design-build contracts for projects: The owner has to deal with only a single contract and one firm. There is no back and forth between the owner, designer, and contractor to haggle over details, costs, and schedules.
  • It saves a lot of time. The contractor doesn’t have to wait for the architect to complete the design before starting construction. For a small project, design and construction can commence at the same time. A larger project can be divided into phases with the design and construction of each phase happening simultaneously.
  • It allows the contractor and specialty subcontractors to propose better solutions to specific elements during the design stage itself. They don’t have to wait until construction begins to make changes.

That’s not to say there are no drawbacks. Sometimes, the contractor may cut corners (design-wise) to complete the project on time or within budget. They may also make design decisions in areas they have no experience with. However, the pros outweigh the cons for the most part. It’s no surprise that the number of design and build contracts has been trending upward in the last few decades. They’re used in many countries as they reduce the risks for owners and completion time of projects. If you’re starting a new construction project or remodeling an existing building, call us at 408-295-2182 for an estimate.