Should You Retrofit or Replace Your HVAC System?

Blog Should You Retrofit or Replace Your HVAC System?
Energy Efficiency of Retrofit - Springbank Mechanical Toronto HVAC Company

Commercial HVAC systems are designed to provide years of reliable service when properly maintained. However, system components do get old or worn out, causing your system to become less energy efficient and requiring more maintenance calls. In the long run, your HVAC system will no longer be cost-efficient.

The situation leaves property owners and facilities managers one of two options to improve airflow quality and return to a state of energy efficiency: parts retrofit or total system replacement. Let’s look at the benefits of retrofitting over replacement to help you make an informed choice.


The Benefits Of Retrofitting Your Commercial HVAC System

Generally, property managers prefer to retrofit the controls, coils, valves, insulation, electrical parts, and motors in their older built-up HVAC system for the below reasons:


Retrofit Costs Less Than Full System Replacements

Naturally, retrofitting your system components rather than replacing your entire HVAC system is more affordable as it involves fewer parts, less labor, and minimal impact on your daily operations.


It Extends The Life Of Your Current System

Most HVAC systems last an average of 15 years. If your system is relatively young, it’s more prudent to replace and upgrade only the parts that are worn out instead of the entire system. You will also extend the life of your current system instead of disposing of it before its time.


It Pays For Itself In Energy Savings

Retrofitting isn’t so much of a cost as it is an investment. When you retrofit inefficient or broken parts, the energy demands of your system decrease, helping you recoup your investment through lower energy bills. A total system replacement would take much longer to pay for itself in energy savings.


You Can Take Advantage Of New Technology

The technology used in older components might be outdated, reducing their potential to maximize energy savings. Retrofitting allows you to install new parts with the latest integrated technology to improve your system’s energy efficiency and reliability.


They Can Potentially Qualify For Government Rebates

By retrofitting, you might qualify for government rebate programs intended to help companies upgrade to more energy-efficient HVAC systems. These programs will also help you yield a more significant return on investment on your retrofit project.


When Should You Replace Your HVAC System?

Of course, you can only retrofit your equipment for so many years until your system needs to be entirely replaced. For example, if your system is close to or more than 15 years old and continually needs repair, has more frequent and longer-lasting downtimes, or consumes significantly more energy than before, replacing your system might be unavoidable.

Most property managers with building rooftop HVAC units will replace their HVAC because the entire system is packaged together in one unit.

There are also some cases where an HVAC system isn’t a good candidate for retrofitting. For example, older commercial cooling systems that use freon as the refrigerant chemical will need to be replaced for environmental reasons. Also, older heritage buildings registered as National Historic Sites in Canada often need to preserve as much of the existing HVAC and building structure as possible, creating a challenge for property managers considering a retrofit.


How Do I Know If My HVAC Equipment Needs To Be Retrofitted?

Busy commercial property managers shouldn’t have to worry about monitoring their HVAC equipment for potential retrofits. They should rely on the guidance and recommendations of a qualified HVAC technician who is regularly engaged with their system through a regular maintenance program.

HVAC maintenance programs cover every detail of your system, especially during peak heating and cooling seasons, to ensure that everything is operating reliably and with maximum energy efficiency. The program also includes detailed reports of the status of your HVAC components with recommendations on which parts are good candidates for retrofitting.


Call Springbank Mechanical Systems Today For An HVAC Inspection

Springbank’s fully qualified technicians specialize in maintaining, servicing, and replacing all brands, types, sizes, and configurations of commercial HVAC equipment, including economizers, rooftop units, water-cooled heat pumps, cooling towers, hot water boilers, circulating pumps, steam humidifiers, makeup air units, and much more.

We also ensure prompt, friendly service and courteous technicians, adding up to an exceptional customer experience unparalleled in our industry.

Our team is always happy to discuss how Springbank makes commercial HVAC maintenance easier with cost-efficient strategies that will reduce your energy bills and extend the life of your equipment.

Contact us anytime – we’d love to hear from you!


Gregg Little, Paul DeThomasis, and Hugo Lopes are co-owners of Springbank Mechanical Systems. You can reach them at 905-569-8990 or via email at,, or