Repair or Replace? How to Know Which is the Best Option

Commercial and industrial HVAC and refrigeration compressors are essential parts of day-to-day business operations. A sudden and unexpected HVAC or refrigeration compressor failure that puts a whole system down is a very serious issue and can put your business out of commission.

As the owner or manager of a public, commercial or industrial facility, deciding whether you should repair or replace a malfunctioning compressor can be difficult.

To help, we’ve gathered a few essential factors below that facility owners and managers should consider in order to figure out when to replace a compressor or invest money into repairing it.  

The Root Cause of Failure

Compressor failure can have multiple root causes, such as thermostat malfunction, power source failure and/or low refrigerant levels, which may or may not lead to irreparable damage. Thus, the best way to determine the root cause of the compressor failure is to have your HVAC or refrigeration system inspected by a professional technician.

By considering the root cause of failure, the extent of the damage, as well as the usage and maintenance of the equipment, you can make an informed decision on whether the unit should be repaired or replaced. If the entire system or the compressor is still under warranty, the cost of repair or replacement may be covered, provided that the warranty covers the direct cause of the failure.  

Life Expectancy

Repairing a compressor can be a viable option under certain circumstances. But if the unit has reached the end of its useful life, repairing it may not be a wise decision. That is because an aging compressor may continue to fail at an abnormally high frequency. In the long run, frequent repairs will cost about the same as, or more than, a remanufactured compressor.

Additionally, an old compressor is not likely to get better. Not only will you have to deal with numerous unexpected failures and their consequences, the compressor is also less energy efficient compared to newer models. This can lead to a significant increase in your energy bills. In some cases, this factor alone can justify the decision to invest in a compressor replacement.

Repair versus Replacement Costs

The compressor is often the more expensive item to repair in an HVAC or refrigeration system. Depending on the compressor make and model, and the extent of the damage, the cost of the repair may exceed the cost of a remanufactured compressor, which provides like-new performance.

Another factor that will influence your decision whether to replace or repair your compressor is the total cost of ownership. Investing in a compressor replacement may seem expensive at first glance. However, repairing an aging compressor frequently will result in a higher overall cost of ownership compared to that of a remanufactured or new unit.

That being said, if a compressor is near the end of its life or its repair cost is too high, purchasing a remanufactured replacement compressor—which is significantly less expensive than a new compressor, though it meets the same stringent requirements—is the most cost-effective option, in the long term.

Regardless of whether it’s more advantageous to repair or replace your compressor, any potential root cause(s) that might have led to the initial failure should be identified and fixed in order to prevent future problems with the compressor.

If you have just decided that replacing your refrigeration compressor is the route you want to take, we have a wide range of remanufactured and new compressors that are ready for immediate delivery. Our staff can help you find a remanufactured or brand new compressor, as well as spare parts and accessories that are perfectly suited for your HVAC or refrigeration system.


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