If your commercial air conditioner has been slowing down, working harder or sounding unusual it may be time for a replacement. Installing a new commercial air conditioner is not the same as replacing a typical residential unit.
The steps to prepare for the installation of a new AC system involve determining the size of the unit needed, ensuring there is adequate space for the system, and acquiring an estimate from a contractor.
Also, consider having the ductwork in the building cleaned and sealed before installation day. Dirt and dust can accumulate in ductwork over time and it can be harmful to introduce a new commercial air conditioning system to dirty ducts. By having the ductwork cleaned and sealed prior to the AC replacement, the new unit can start cooling clean air absent of contaminants and allergens.
Helpful Steps in the Replacement Process
One of the first decisions to make is who will perform the work. Choosing the right contractor for the job will help ensure it is done on time and within budget. An experienced contractor can recommend the best equipment for the building and utilize the proper techniques to prolong the lifespan of the unit.
Qualified commercial HVAC professionals possess the technical knowledge to ensure equipment is installed properly in accordance with local codes and regulations. Professional HVAC technicians should also be licensed in the state in which they are performing services. Here is a look at some of the ways to prepare for a commercial air conditioning replacement.
Estimate Costs for a Commercial Air Conditioning Replacement
The cost of a new commercial air conditioning unit will vary depending on a variety of factors, such as the size and placement location of the unit as well as the technician’s ability to access the equipment. Additional costs may be added if ductwork needs to be added or replaced.
The AC replacement process begins with an assessment by a certified HVAC technician who will examine the existing unit and recommend a new HVAC system that meets the appropriate size requirements. When calculating the cost of a commercial air conditioning replacement, consider the following expenses:
- Air Conditioning Unit Cost – Cost of the commercial air conditioning unit and any extended warranty purchased.
- Air Conditioning Installation Labor – Basic labor to disconnect the old air conditioning unit from the building and install a new AC unit. Installation may require the addition of a new circuit or electrical connection. Labor for AC replacement typically involves mounting and securing the condenser to the new pad, installing the heat exchanger, connecting and insulating lines between the heat exchanger and condenser and charging the condenser with refrigerant.
- Air Conditioning Installation Supplies – Cost of supplies and materials required to install the commercial air conditioner, such as fasteners, fittings and mounting hardware.
- Air Conditioning Installation Equipment – Cost of specialty equipment used to improve job quality, such as tubing cutter, pipe cutting, and threading, and brazing kit.
- Air Conditioning Debris Disposal – Some HVAC technicians charge to load and haul away installation waste, old materials, and other debris. Building owners can also choose to have the old air conditioning unit removed from the premises.
Ensure Proper Spacing
Large commercial AC units must be carefully positioned. To prepare the installation site, a concrete pad may be poured to support the weight of the air conditioner. The installation site should be clear of any obstacles that could prevent the safe transfer of the equipment.
Commercial air conditioners require adequate spacing around the unit to allow for ample airflow. When airflow is blocked the system is forced to work harder leading to increased energy bills and shorter lifespan of the unit. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, placing the air conditioner in a shaded area can make it more efficient and prevent the condenser from overworking.
Calculate Commercial Air Conditioning Unit Size
Installing a unit that is too powerful for your building will result in short-cycles, which means that your cooling system will constantly be turning off and on unnecessarily. If the unit is not powerful enough, your building will never fully cool off which will affect the comfort of workers or residents.
A contractor can perform a manual calculation to determine the right amount of AC for your building. This calculation takes into account the square footage, the building’s ability to retain heat, its exposure to sunlight, the condition of the insulation, and how many people are in the building at any given time. If your building has kitchens or other sources of heat, you may need additional cooling power.
Work with an Experienced Technician
If it is time to replace an outdated or malfunctioning commercial air conditioner in your building, contact the experts at Cool Works Co. for more information on how to prepare for a commercial air conditioning replacement.