Air handling units (AHUs) form the heart of a building’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning infrastructure. Yet with continual operation over the years, critical AHU components inevitably wear down from friction, corrosion, and fatigue. Facility managers eventually face a dilemma – invest in an entire unit replacement or attempt to restore existing AHUs via strategic refurbishment. Weighing key factors helps determine the best asset and budget decision.

When replacement makes sense

Installing brand-new AHUs comes into play once major functional elements like blowers, heat exchangers, or control circuitry are no longer fixable and serviceable. Sometimes persisting operational disruptions or exorbitant periodic repair costs also signal a system reaching unnecessary life-cycle expenditure. Building renovations may further warrant higher capacity or efficiency upgrades impossible through refits alone.

New air-handling equipment boasts optimal performance since parts undergo integrated testing prior to commissioning. The latest technological features additionally boost reliability, energy savings, and monitoring capability over older-generation units. For facilities lacking space, however, custom AHUs manufactured in modular blocks enable tighter siting. Ultimately replacing antiquated air handling equipment with periodic problems provides a clean slate.

The case for refurbishment

On the other hand, refurbishing existing AHUs often makes solid economic sense so long as the overall structural casing and core components show integrity. Typical refurbishment includes replacing worn blowers, coils, filters, and drives as well as cleaning ducts and fittings. Upgrading to modern sensor suites simultaneously enables better control integration. Various interior surfaces also get new protective coatings to defend against future corrosion.

What’s more, refurbished air handling units achieve operational parameters quite similar to new systems when done properly, at nearly half the investment. The existing mounting, wiring, and ductwork additionally transfer over hassle-free. Factoring in both lower costs and reused infrastructure, AHU refits support positive ROIs more attainable across constrained budgets.

Making the best choice

AHU replacement versus strategic refurbishing demands weighing specific facility needs, financials, and expected outcomes. There’s no universal correct option. New systems provide a thoroughly optimized foundation for air management, while refits leverage existing assets through cost-effective refresh.

Consulting specialized engineers assist in mapping the pros and cons of each situation. One of the most dependable producers of energy-efficient centralized air conditioning and kitchen ventilation equipment, Trosten Industries, based in Dubai, has built a recognized reputation as a provider of double-skin air handling units across the UAE. With indoor air quality becoming so vital for modern buildings, keeping air handling units’ capabilities aligned with interior demands remains essential. Breathing easy means investing wisely!


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