If you are a small business owner, you understand the importance of creating and sticking to a budget – especially with the happenings over the past 6 months. Without the support of a large corporation, it is imperative that you do not blow through your expenditure projections on a regular basis or that you manage your time and money appropriately.
That said, however, there are times when unexpected expenses occur. The trick is to anticipate some of these problems and be equipped to handle them when they do. That is certainly the case for the heating and cooling systems you employ in your offices.
When problems do occur, you want to:
- Get them fixed in a hurry – An overly hot or cold office both affects production from your employees and can put off customers and potential customers.
- Know you can easily afford the necessary repairs or replacements.
The first factor depends on the relationship you have with your small business HVAC contractor and how responsive that contractor may be.
The second factor, however, is not always so simple to estimate. Certainly, there are some general numbers you can be certain of when it comes to air conditioner/heater repair or installation/replacement. But how do you know what to budget for in a given year?
Well, let’s take a look at some of the things involved in small business HVAC maintenance, repair and even installation or replacement in order to give you an idea of everything that is involved.
First, let’s take a look at the average cost of commercial HVAC installation in Georgia. There is a wide range of prices for installation, mostly dependent upon the needs of the company in question. But most of the costs incurred are due to the size of the building that must be heated and cooled.
The cost for a new HVAC system runs between $25 to $60 per square foot. This range includes central air and a furnace. You’ll pay on the lower end if you only need to install one, or if you’re buying a heat pump. And, according to recent studies, commercial HVAC installation costs range from $7,000 to $30,000 – which is not much higher than the averages for home installation, which range from $3,000 to $15,000. And if you have a small office building, you can expect to pay perhaps even lower than the low range of that average.
That is a significant expenditure, but you can expect a well-maintained and properly serviced HVAC system to perform at its peak for at least 10 years, and it will usually function properly for 15 years or more.
However, in order to get peak efficiency out of your investment, proper maintenance is key. And that means obtaining a service contract with an HVAC contractor that knows your system and how best to meet your company’s requirements. These contracts are relatively inexpensive and take the burden off of you, as business owner, to remember when simple things like filter changings and coolant resupplies need to occur.
Now that we have looked at installation/replacement. Let’s take a look at how best to budget for repairs – as even the best cared for systems occasionally experience malfunctions.
In order to understand what to expect for future repairs, it’s best to first look backward.
First, take a look at the age of your HVAC system. If it is younger than five years, you may not have much to go on. However, you should still gather your past repair and maintenance invoices. Then, add each year’s expenses to figure out an average spent through the cumulative time. You can then use that average to forecast future heating and cooling costs. While it may not act as a hyper-accurate barometer, it will least provide a solid base for you in order to estimate the required funding.
Budgeting software and other resources that track expenses can also be crucial to helping you keep an eye on exactly what you are spending on HVAC. These systems also allow you to compare estimates to actual costs.
It is also a good idea to chart your company’s HVAC tendencies – how much you use your air conditioner or heater in a given month – and encourage employees to care for equipment properly by doing things like respecting a set temperature for the thermostat. It’s also wise to upgrade your thermostat to a smart device so that, if possible, you can set your HVAC unit to run less when no one is in the building.
Whatever your needs or expenses, remember that a good working relationship with your HVAC contractor is key. And here in north Georgia, you have several choices at your disposal.
Conditioned Air Systems has spent more than four decades building its reputation with small businesses from Atlanta to Toccoa and Dahlonega to Gainesville and everywhere in between. We know how to help you achieve the utmost in efficiency – both from your HVAC units and for your bottom line. Please call us today to learn more: 770-536-7509.