Business owners have so much to worry about these days. Chances are, replacing your office AC is probably the last thing on your mind. However, if you experienced problems with your office air conditioner all summer, you’d be very smart to think about upgrading it now instead of waiting until spring.
While it’s tempting to wait for spring to deal with your office AC problems, the fact is that autumn and winter can actually be the best times to buy a new office air conditioner. Read on to learn why, as well as important information you need to make a good decision and get the best possible pricing.
3 reasons to replace your office AC in autumn and winter
Here’s why it’s worth taking the time now to deal with your air conditioning problems.
1. There’s time to make sure you really need a new office AC
When your unit fails in the middle of a heat wave (which can happen in March, thanks global warming!), you have little time to be sure you’re doing the right thing by replacing your AC. Can you get more life out of your old unit? Or would a retrofit be a cost-effective option? Now you have the chance to find out.
Read this related article to learn more: Commercial HVAC Retrofits Save Energy & More
Since you don’t have to be in a rush to decide, get an unbiased evaluation of your system’s condition. Hint: you might not get that from your current HVAC service vendor (especially if they don’t do installs), since they are profiting every time your old office AC unit breaks down.
It’s in your best interest to get a second opinion from a reputable air conditioning company, so you know they are knowledgeable and experienced with commercial air conditioning. Look for one that does both installations and repairs as a significant portion of their business, so you can trust that their advice is not based on self-interest. The right service provider can help you make an informed decision about whether to repair or replace your office AC.
Learn more from this helpful resource: Repair or Replace? A guide to making an informed choice when your HVAC system is down.
2. There’s more time to research equipment options and make an informed choice
If it turns out that replacing your office AC is the best option, don’t make the mistake of just buying a newer version of the office air conditioner you’ve got now. Remember, you’ll be living with this decision for 10 to 20 years! In fall and winter you have time to do your research and make the right choice.
There are several important factors that should go into researching a replacement commercial air conditioning system:
System type. There are new HVAC technologies (such as VRF technology described below) that are well suited for offices spaces, You won’t even know about these options if you just stick with what you’ve got.
System size (or capacity). A couple of decades ago, bigger was considered better for air conditioning systems, so many spaces wound up with systems that were oversized for their needs. Now we know better: oversized office AC units are terrible at removing humidity, cause hot and cold spots, and drive up your energy bills.
This problem is compounded by the fact that office spaces are more energy efficient now, further reducing AC load requirements. All this means that if you happen to have an oversized office AC unit now (which is likely if it was installed 15 to 20 years ago), you’ll be in even worse shape if you replace it with the same capacity system you had before. Instead, have an expert do a proper load calculation to determine the correct system sizing for your needs.
HVAC design. Getting the comfort conditions you need for your business isn’t just about the office AC unit you choose. It also requires the right HVAC system design. That means the size and location of ducts and other ventilation. Now is the time to make sure you’re not only getting the right unit, but a system design that will ensure consistent, reliable comfort in your office.
3. There are opportunities to get great pricing
As a business owner or manager, you certainly know how demand impacts pricing. So you’ll understand why you can get better pricing on a replacement office AC unit in the off season. There is simply less demand.
Also, suppliers also have systems available that didn’t sell over the summer, and they are willing to sell at a discount to make room for new models coming out in the spring. If you wait until March, there’s little chance of getting these deals since everyone wants to sell you the latest model at top dollar. And you’ll be waiting in line with everyone else who’s trying to buy an air conditioner in time for the first hot weather.
How to get the right office air conditioner for your needs
As we mentioned above, there are new air conditioning technologies available now that can better suit your office AC needs than your old split system or packaged unit.
VRF systems are one new technology that’s well suited for office spaces. Here are just a few reasons why:
Zoned comfort. With VRF, it’s easier to create custom cooling zones. You can have more cooling in a crowded conference room or computer room, and less in the sunny corner office.
Quiet operation. Imaging no more blasting fans making it difficult to hear phone conversations!
Energy efficiency. These office AC systems are designed to run under partial load conditions, so they use less energy and keep down your utility bills.
Modern controls. You know that cool thermostat you have at home that you can control with your smartphone? You get the same kind of controls for your office AC with a VRF system.
Learn more about VRF Systems: 7 Reasons to Choose VRF HVAC Technology for Your New Air Conditioning
If you’re not an HVAC expert, it can be challenging to make heads or tails of all the product literature and figure out what’s right for you. That’s where you need an expert HVAC company that can act as a trusted advisor and help you sort through the options.
Here’s our advice for the moment: get started now! And here’s a good place to begin; get your copy of this informative resource that addresses office AC options. The Ultimate Guide to NYC Light Commercial Air Conditioning.