The Benefits Of Retrofitting Your Commercial HVAC System

Wednesday, August 8th, 2018
upgrading your commercial HVAC system

As the Texas Panhandle heats up each summer, your old commercial HVAC unit could be driving up costs. One option is to replace your HVAC system, but many businesses cannot afford to install a new unit. You may also be moving locations and do not want to invest in a new system. There are many scenarios in which replacing your commercial HVAC may not make sense. If you’re in one of these situations, retrofitting, or upgrading, your current system may be a better option to improve efficiency and lower costs.

Lower energy costs

One of the most important reasons to retrofit or replace components on your commercial HVAC system is to save money on energy costs. According to a recent study by the U.S. Department of Energy, retail businesses and small offices can save up to 35 percent by retrofitting their HVAC system. In fact, when the weather gets colder, your business can see savings of up to 40 percent.

Extend the life of your commercial HVAC system

Extending the life of your HVAC system is another benefit of retrofitting. Each day that you’re able to use your system past it’s useful life, you’re saving money. Retrofitting your HVAC system can extend its useful life by years, helping you save money before you need to replace the entire system.

Improve conditions

A retrofit can improve comfort conditions in your business. Adding or replacing parts can help your commercial HVAC run more efficiently by keeping temperatures consistent and controlling humidity. Some retrofits can even allow you to reduce noise and drafts.

Return on investment

The ROI for installing a new HVAC system can take years. However, retrofits work on a shorter time-table at a fraction of the cost, allowing you to recover your investment in as little as one to three years.

Options for retrofitting your HVAC System

The options available to your business depend on the type of commercial HVAC system you use. It is best to understand your choices and the benefits you could receive before having your system serviced.


You can replace components like semi-hermetic reciprocating compressors and old screw compressors with high-efficiency alternatives. The newer models reduce power consumption to help save you money. If your chillers operate with high and low-condensing temperatures, there are plenty of choices available.

If you have an air-cooled chiller, you can add condenser fan controls, which utilize high-pressure controls, to provide variable frequency operations. Basically, adding these allows your system to do more work with less energy.

Heating and cooling systems

You can add an air-side economizer to your HVAC system, which allows you to incorporate outside air on cooler days. This reduces some of the work your HVAC system has to do to keep your spaces cool.

You can also install speed fan controls to regulate air movement throughout your spaces to save money. Demand-controlled ventilation systems are another retrofit option that adjust the intake of outside air and the speed of your fans. Finally, you can install cooling capacity controls to reduce load when you don’t need your HVAC to run at full capacity.

Should you upgrade your commercial HVAC system?

In order to know if your system is a good candidate for retrofitting, there are a few questions you should consider. First, has your system been regularly maintained? Regularly maintained HVAC systems are better for retrofitting because the parts can be more easily integrated. Second, is your system large or small? Larger systems are better candidates for upgrades. Third, does your HVAC system run for long periods of time? If it does, then retrofitting will save you more money in the long run. Finally, do you plan on keeping your system for at least 18 months? You will need enough time to recover your investment for this method to be worth the cost.

Are you looking to upgrade your HVAC system? Allen’s Tri-State Mechanical Inc. in Amarillo, Texas has decades of experience serving the commercial HVAC needs of the Texas Panhandle. Give us a call at (806) 376-8345 or Contact Us by email to find out more about our HVAC-R services.