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May 27 2019

Signs Your Restaurant Needs to Replace Its Rooftop Unit HVAC

The life expectancy of a rooftop unit (also known as RTU) HVAC system can be anywhere from 10 to 30 years, and it goes without saying that a well-maintained unit will last longer than a neglected one.

A good and functional RTU HVAC system is essential for all restaurants. Not only does it ensure the guests and employees are comfortable, but it also helps your restaurant decrease spending, and it provides your establishment with better indoor air quality.

Let’s take a closer look at what exactly an RTU HVAC system is, and what signs to look out for that’ll tell you whether it needs replacing:

What Exactly is an RTU HVAC System?

A rooftop unit HVAC system is an HVAC system that’s located in the roof of a building and serves to provide air conditioning, as well as heating for various establishments and homes.

It’s important to learn to distinguish an RTU HVAC system from other systems that can also be located in the roof of a building. Typically, besides an RTU, you’ll find either split-system air conditioning condensers, or water-cooled chiller systems, for example.

RTU HVAC systems are different from both of these. They’re often called “packaged units” since they include both the air conditioning system and the heating system.

Your restaurant’s RTU HVAC will include equipment needed for absorbing heat, which is known as an AC evaporator coil. It will also have an AC condenser coil that releases heat and an AC compressor – a crucial component of the air conditioning system. Lastly, it will contain a heat source, a fan for blowing hot or cold air through the ducts, and an intake for outside air which serves to improve ventilation.

When to Change Your Restaurant’s RTU HVAC System

Typically, your RTU HVAC system will let you know if it needs changing. There are plenty of tell-tale signs, one of them simply being an outdated system that’s been serving you for over 20 years. Some of the other most common signs include:

Higher Electricity Bills Than Normal

Al older RTU HVAC system will lose its efficiency. It’ll start draining more electrical energy while failing to properly heat up or cool down your restaurant. If there’s no other explanation for the higher electrical bills, you’re probably looking at an inefficient RTU HVAC that needs immediate replacement.

Odd Noises Coming from the RTU HVAC

Strange sounds, such as buzzes and bangs, coming from your HVAC often indicate that there’s a problem inside the system, often with a very high price tag. It’s best to call a professional who can do a thorough inspection of the system so that they can tell you exactly what the problem is.

Costly Repairs

When there’s a problem with your existing RTU HVAC system and you’ve called someone to fix it, if it turns out that the cost of repairs is higher than 25-50% of the cost of a new one, it’s best to invest in a new system.

Frequent Breakdowns

Even if the cost of repairs is much lower than 25% of a new RTU HVAC system, if you constantly find yourself needing to call for repairs, a new system is a smarter expense. Frequent breakdowns are often a sign of a bigger problem, so rather than treating the symptoms, it’s better to get rid of your old system.

New RTU HVAC systems are a costly investment, but they’re well worth it. To ensure your restaurant’s system is as efficient as possible, it’s advisable to schedule annual maintenance checks. Schedule your maintenance check with Verde today!


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