2 Questions to Ask When Planning for a Long-Term HVAC System

Whether you are constructing a new building or renovating an old one, deciding on long-term operating costs, such as purchasing an HVAC system, requires a thorough sit down meeting. More than just mere upfront costs, it is also important that you study your operations and maintenance options. 

In a typical commercial facility, 90 percent of the total cost of an HVAC system ownership is spent on its operation, energy, and maintenance, while only ten percent is for ownership over the system’s life. As such, the deciding body needs to make the most efficient resolution.

When making this huge decision, there are two crucial questions that you should consider.

  • Which is more energy-efficient?

A newer HVAC system is definitely more energy efficient than the older versions. If your building still uses an older system, replacing them with the latest ones will improve its operating efficiency. 

Some of the newer systems have remote monitoring features, allowing anyone with access to control and monitor their HVAC system from virtually anywhere. They can even perform simple system diagnostics through this feature. 

Moreover, the system can notify the managers about any abnormalities occurring in the system operation. These abnormalities often get unnoticed for a few days or weeks without the latest diagnostics technology. With short notices come quick repairs—improving the comfort of everyone while reducing any potential energy waste in the process!

Another unique feature enjoyed by new HVAC systems is the variable frequency drives. Using these motor controllers, you can save energy by varying the speed, frequency, and voltage of your drive or power supply. 

While technology and innovation brought about these wonderful changes, you should remember that one machine does not guarantee a perfect fit for all facilities. Managers also need to evaluate their options and watch out for the system that will be most beneficial to your building needs. 

  • What units are designed for maintenance?

Ask any HVAC system’s maintenance personnel, and you will hear one common complaint. Most of them will say that the system designers do not consider the maintenance requirements in their system design!

For example, fire dampers are inaccessible and hard for them to check. Aside from that, the valves in the system are often located somewhere they cannot easily reach. Meanwhile, most air handlers are installed so close to walls or other equipment that maintenance sometimes needs to bend air filters to remove or install them. To make matters even worse, some of the equipment is located on building roofs without any ease of access. 

Space is crucial for all buildings, and as much as possible, more space is allotted for usability. However, if you are going to design the system, make sure that you will also consider the maintenance team’s concerns! They play a crucial role in ensuring that your HVAC system lives and functions for a long time. 

If their concerns will not be addressed, they will not be able to maintain your HVAC system properly. What usually happens is the system designers focus on how the people can maximize the building space and then cram the mechanical and electrical systems wherever they will fit. Since both are important factors, the designer must find a way to compromise both!


Having discussions about these concerns before acting upon it will make the whole team prepared for all possible scenarios. By taking a moment to sit down and assess all factors, everyone can raise their concerns and find the best solution for each. That way, you can rest assured that your HVAC will truly be built to last.

If you’re looking for the best heating and cooling services in London, Ontario, then Donaldson Heating & Air Conditioning is the one you’re looking for! We don’t just provide emergency repair for your HVAC concerns; we also protect your units beyond just mere cleaning and servicing. With our True Care Program, we guarantee you with a 15-year furnace and air conditioning protection to give you peace of mind! Contact us today to learn more.