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SERVICE AND MAINTENANCE


Age concern


As HVAC equipment ages, it inevitably costs more and more to run and is increasingly likely to break down. Refurbishment and repair can, however, give your clients’ air handling units a new lease of life and save them money. Ryan Hawken of ECEX explains.


Before (left) and after refurbishment.


C


onventional wisdom dictates that air handling units (AHUs) should be replaced every 10 to 15 years, depending on use and maintenance over that time. There is, however, a potentially far more cost-effective way to proceed than replacement – repair, refurbishment and/or upgrade.


Refurbishment costs around 35% to 50% of the cost of new equipment, and that’s why, by supplementing it with effective maintenance, it will reduce running costs and maximise operational efficiency.


Furthermore, the cost of disposing of the old unit could easily run into thousands of pounds. And then there are the costs associated with commissioning a new unit to consider.


But cost-effectiveness is not the only benefit of refurbishing AHUs. It also minimises disruption,


26 May 2019


reduces downtime, overcomes the transport and access difficulties associated with replacing a unit, and is more environmentally friendly because it re-uses existing equipment.


Moreover, repair or refurbishment can extend the service life of an AHU, it leaves existing services such as ductwork, pipework and wiring unaltered, and it can dramatically reduce energy consumption. Work can be scheduled to take place overnight or at weekends to lessen disturbance to the operation and inconvenience to employees. And, of course, refurbishment is typically faster than replacement. Refurbishment also offers a golden opportunity to improve the existing specification of HVAC equipment and boost its environmental performance; the existing specification of the AHU can be improved with, for


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