When your business relies on keeping customers comfortable, an HVAC system breakdown can easily result in lost sales, bad reviews, and terrible first impressions on new clients or first-time shoppers. This is why it is so important to know when it's time to retire your current commercial HVAC system.

You don't have to wait for your HVAC system to go out with a spectacular bang before replacing it. Instead, you should look for these key indicators that your commercial HVAC system is ready to give up the ghost.

If Breakdowns Frequently Disrupt Your Business

Commercial HVAC system malfunctions can be as simple as a blown fuse or as catastrophic as total compressor failure. Nevertheless, failures that occur on a regular basis can be extraordinarily disrupting to your business. It doesn't take long after a HVAC failure for temperatures in an unconditioned building to skyrocket or plummet, leaving your customers and clients uncomfortable.

If your business experiences HVAC failures on a monthly basis, then you should consider replacing that unit with a newer and more reliable unit.

When the Cost of Repairs Becomes Too Much

Your commercial HVAC system is a major investment for your business, so it's no wonder you want to maximize your investment before devoting a significant cash outlay towards the purchase of a brand-new HVAC system. However, this mindset can also alert you into the trap of paying far more for repairs than your current HVAC system is actually worth.

When it comes to replacing commercial HVAC units (and other types of equipment, for that matter), most experts abide by the 50-percent rule. In essence, you should consider replacing your HVAC equipment if the cost to repair it is more than 50 percent of the cost to purchase and install a new system.

Before Energy Costs Spiral Out of Control

The older your commercial HVAC equipment gets, the more energy it needs to overcome friction losses, component wear, and parasitic loads. The more energy it uses to satisfy your building's heating and cooling needs, the higher your energy costs become. Keep in mind that HVAC systems account for 52 percent of a commercial building's annual energy consumption, which means that a significant increase in energy costs can make itself felt on your bottom line.

As you replace your commercial HVAC equipment, consider taking other measures to produce energy savings, such as installing energy recovery ventilators as a part of your HVAC system.

When Strange Noises Become Prevalent Throughout Operation

It's not unusual for commercial HVAC equipment that's on its last legs to produce a variety of strange noises. These noises can be produced by a wide variety of failing components. For instance, buzzing or banging sounds that occur during startup or continue all throughout the unit's operation could be caused by a failing blower motor, a bad compressor, or damaged blower fan blades. Some of these noises can even become loud enough for customers and clients to hear, which could result in complaints.

When Age Becomes an Issue

According to Dave Negrey, a typical light-commercial HVAC system offers a lifespan of 15 to 20 years. However, it's not unusual to see well-maintained HVAC systems exceed this life expectancy by a significant amount. Factors such as the quality of system upkeep, the initial build quality of the unit itself and the quality of the replacement parts utilized for repairs can affect the lifespan of a commercial HVAC system.

Regardless, you may want to consider replacing your current commercial HVAC system if it's been 15 to 20 years since your current unit was installed. This may require a careful evaluation of your current system, including its maintenance and repair history as well as its current heating and cooling capabilities. Contact a company like Robinson Heating & Cooling Inc to replace your system.