Five Warning Signs That it’s Time to Replace Your Commercial HVAC System

Wall of industrial ventilation fans

As a business owner, you take pride in being a good steward of every aspect of your enterprise. You ensure the comfort and safety of your employees and customers, and invest your money wisely. Naturally, you call your HVAC technicians in to inspect your systems regularly and get things repaired when they break down. However, there comes a point where even the most diligently maintained equipment reaches the end of its life.

How can you tell when it’s time to replace your HVAC system? There are several indicators, and if you start noticing any of these signs, it’s likely you may need a replacement and should consult with your HVAC expert.

Higher Energy Bills

One clue that your system may be past its prime is an increase in your energy bills. While it isn’t unusual for energy costs to vary somewhat from one month to the next, you shouldn’t see a drastic year-over-year difference if your system is working properly. Compare your bill to the same month a year ago. If it’s much higher, it could be a result of equipment working inefficiently.

HVAC technician testing rooftop HVAC unit

More Frequent Repairs

If it seems like you’ve had to call for more repairs than normal, this could mean many components are finally wearing out. This typically occurs with units older than 10 years old, or systems that have not been maintained as stringently throughout their lives. You may be tempted to pay smaller amounts for occasional repairs, but when they start adding up, it can become more expensive in the long run. You may be farther ahead to get a whole new system.


Have you noticed your heating or cooling system cycling on and off with more frequency, or making odd clunking, squealing, grinding, or hissing noises? It’s possible it could be struggling to maintain a consistent, even temperature. This may be due to faulty wiring or broken or worn parts, and can lead to the equipment overheating and breaking down. When the HVAC system runs for shorter and more frequent cycles, it might not be long before it fails completely.

: Industrial sheet metal ductwork going into the wall

Poor Air Quality

Another sign that your HVAC is due for replacement is poor quality of air in your workplace. This can manifest as higher than normal humidity, pollens, dust, dirt, or other allergens in the air, or musty odors like those of mold or mildew. These aren’t just off-putting; they can be dangerous to the health of your building’s occupants. When you notice any of these issues, or if they are brought to your attention, don’t take them lightly. You may need to replace your duct system.

An Older System

If you haven’t noticed any of these symptoms yet, and you know your HVAC system has undergone regular inspections and maintenance, your next clue will be the age of your system. You can find out this information by providing the serial number to your HVAC professionals. Generally, a well-maintained system will last 10-15 years, so if it’s reaching that age it’s a good idea to get ahead of it and plan to work a replacement system into your budget before the old one starts causing problems.

HVAC Technician inspecting a furnace

Seeking Advice from the Professionals

Once you have established that any of these warning signs are present, contact us to schedule an inspection. At Custom Aire we can work with you to determine the right solution for your situation and budget, whether that’s repair, retrofitting, or a full replacement. You may find that installing an all-new, energy-efficient HVAC system is more cost-effective than the frequent repairs and high energy bills, not to mention you’ll realize increased productivity from healthier, more comfortable employees. That’s an investment worth making.

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