AHUs – Refurbish Or Replace?
The word ‘maintenance’ sounds rather mundane and unexciting. It seems to describe a holding operation, implying a continuation of existing conditions and preservation of the status quo. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. As well as lowering operational costs and raising environmental performance, maintenance can also be a powerful tool for improvement.
However, although maintenance is important, there will come a time when it is not enough on its own. Like all mechanical equipment, the performance of AHUs deteriorates over time and, as a result, the space it serves will be poorly conditioned. That leaves the building owner or facilities manager with a serious decision – should they replace or refurbish?
Refurbish or replace?
Which of these is the right choice will depend on a range of factors including the age of the equipment, its performance characteristics and how ‘mission critical’ the system is, whether the structural integrity of the casework is intact, and if any requirements to change performance can be achieved within the parameters of the original design of the system.
Generally speaking, however, replacement involves a great deal of expense and disruption as well as being subject to relatively long lead times whereas refurbishment is less expensive (typically around 35 to 50% the cost of buying new) and more flexible (disruption in an occupied building can, for example, be minimised by ‘working around’ existing conditions). Refurbishment also leaves existing services such as ductwork, pipework and wiring unaltered and overcomes the transport and access difficulties associated with replacing a unit.
Upgrade to boost performance
There are also other advantages to refurbishing AHUs rather than replacing them. For example, a refurbishment offers the opportunity to upgrade the existing system to boost performance. The resulting increase in efficiency can result in significant reductions in operational costs and less likelihood of breakdown.
AHU refurbishment services from ECEX
ECEX offers an AHU refurbishment and repair service designed to extend the lifespan of existing AHUs, increase their operating efficiency, save energy, boost performance, and typically reduce running costs.
The ECEX service covers the repair and replacement of all types of coils, belt drives, motors, fans, bearings and spares.
The AHU refurbishment and repair service joins ECEX’s existing services, which include access safety and metalwork fabrication; mechanical engineering (from replacing pipework and valves to upgrading or downsizing water storage tanks); and energy saving and building compliance solutions such as the revolutionary ECEX Air Intake Screen.
Call ECEX on 01635 244100 for a free site visit. Find out more, here.
12 reasons to refurbish rather than replace AHUs
Modernising and optimising an existing HVAC system…
- Is often less expensive than replacing it;
- offers the opportunity to install the latest energy efficient technology;
- minimises disruption;
- reduces downtime;
- overcomes the transport and access difficulties associated with replacing a unit;
- is more environmentally friendly because it re-uses existing equipment;
- can extend the service life of the components in HVAC plant;
- leaves existing services such as ductwork, pipework and wiring unaltered;
- can dramatically reduce energy consumption;
- allows operators to use HVAC systems with which they are familiar;
- can allow the building owner to charge higher rents;
- makes the building more attractive to a potential buyer.