How Using Total Installed Costs Gives You a More Complete Picture When Comparing HVAC Systems
Why Are Total Installed Costs Important? When specifying and designing a commercial HVAC system, equipment is often considered the most important cost factor. And costs certainly vary from technology to technology. While some manufacturers present chillers or VAV as the lowest-cost option, there are often hidden factors that can be very expensive in the end. A truly comprehensive comparison of upfront HVAC costs includes more than equipment. It is important to keep in mind potential hidden costs, such as consulting/engineering design costs, installation tooling, rigging and labor, potential electrical and/or structural modifications in a building, complexity of connecting outdoor and indoor equipment, and controls integration. For example, chillers, VAV and even Ground-Source Heat Pump options seem affordable based on equipment costs alone. Yet, their weight, number of required air-handlers, water and/or ductwork piping, secondary water-tower or boiler equipment, water loop or ground-loop considerations, plus power upsizing and rigging/labor costs, can significantly increase bottom-line costs to the customer. Conversely, Mitsubishi Electric’s 2-pipe Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) systems are unlikely to need rigging, are easier to install, require fewer connections, often result in lower electrical loads, and eliminate the building tear-down/build-up encountered in traditional options, thus saving the customer upfront and delivering higher efficiency and ease-of-maintenance for years to come. Although every project is different, many cost considerations are the same each time. We invite you to explore the information on the following pages to learn about all the relevant factors when comparing HVAC systems. Then give us a call so we can show you how to apply these factors in the design you are working on, the specification you are writing, or the job you are bidding.