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Commercial buildings in the Northeast US are, on average, about 46 years old, which means the original heating systems were put into place in the early 1970s; so between the age and the buildings being several thousand square feet larger than their younger counterparts in the south, it’s understandable the HVAC systems designed in that era were not built to handle the heating and cooling capacity of what many businesses require today. When an older system with only minimal updates (if any) is trying to heat or cool an expansive space like an industrial building, stand-alone retail store, or supermarket, it’s practically eating energy to try to keep up without ever reaching the space’s full potential. So here are some things you’ll want to take into consideration when looking at retrofitting your pre-existing system.


You need an upgrade
Using an in-kind replacement for a system probably isn’t going to cut it, though. If it was working too hard before, chances are the next one will be over-worked as well; and if the system was not designed to specifically to work with your needs, then you’re going to have an exhausted energy-drainer on your hands.

There’s a definite increase in energy savings
Some recent studies have discovered by retrofitting the current system, commercial-size spaces can cut their heating and cooling costs by 25-35% on average. New technologies have broken into the industry in the last fifteen years – long after your current business space was most likely built – so it’s now easier than ever to adjust your system to work better for you while cutting down on energy consumption.

You also have a lot of options
Back in the 70s and 80s, HVAC systems were a lot more limited (in both options and abilities) than they are now, and there are currently many more retrofit options. That being said, there still is some finesse needed in installation since it’s always easier to install a system during new construction – equipment is still on site, so lifting a heavy system to the rooftop creates no problem; but because there’s now other elements to take into consideration like other buildings nearby or natural growth like trees, you’ll need to consider higher installation costs. However, there are different solutions to keep your costs down such as splittable systems and indoor units, which your HVAC technician can help you choose from during a consultation.

The “Big Brother” discount
Several government incentives such as PACE bonds, leasing programs, and energy programs can make your decision a little easier by providing you with some pretty great rebates. You can find more information on tax credits, rebates, and savings for Ohio here.

We can also help you design a retrofitted system which will work best for your space and your budget. Send us a message or give us a call to set up a consultation.