The Trane brand is well known and respected throughout the HVAC/R industry. You’ll find Trane systems at work in all kinds of retail and office settings.
Like its peer brands, a Trane commercial air conditioning system should be maintained carefully to extend its service life. One of the main limiting factors in the system’s longevity is the compressor. Compressor units enter the final phase of their maintenance life around 10 years of service.
Between eight and 12, it is crucial to be especially attentive to maintenance.
Plans should be in place to eventually replace a unit, dependent upon its performance in its later years. It’s essential to replace a unit before it fails for the last time. However, there are situations where you might be on the cusp – a “repair or replace?” scenario.
Here’s what you need to know to make an informed choice.
First: Do You Have a Team of Trusted Trane Technicians to Call?
Whether you decide to repair or replace, make sure you know who you’re going to call.
Some teams will insist they can repair the system and bring it up to “like new” condition, but this isn’t always true. Pushing to repair, rather than replace, old Trane equipment is a method new companies sometimes use to get the job without waiting for a long RFP process to play out.
Nobody wants to hear their whole system needs to be replaced. But bear in mind this might be the case, especially if failure of the compressor was the result of mechanical damage elsewhere in the system. In the case of liquid slugging, for example, major damage can occur within a very short time.
Knowing Whether to Repair or Replace Your Trane System
The right HVAC technicians will walk you through the process and give you the facts to feel confident in your decision. Still, it never hurts to do background research, and there are rules of thumb that can help.
Is Your Compressor Older Than 10 Years?
If your compressor is older than 10 years, replacement is looming for the unit – and it can be best to do all replacement work at the same time. A remanufactured compressor will protect you from paying the premium in time and money OEM wholesalers expect for their units.
Is Your Repair Cost a Significant Fraction of Replacement?
If you are doing substantial repairs, it is always wise to compare the cost of your repair bid to an all-new system. A new system is a higher upfront investment but can net opportunities you can’t get otherwise. Newer systems tend to cooperate better with the latest generation of building management systems.
Have You Had Rising Energy Use Within the System?
When energy bills are growing, it points to the general loss of efficiency within major building systems or key equipment. Commercial HVAC systems and commercial refrigeration units stand out among the biggest users of energy in any business. Replacement can get environmental performance back on track.
Have Your HVAC Repair Bills Been Increasing?
While you can expect some increase in repairs over time, look out for consistent, substantial repair bills. This can indicate a major problem that has gone unchecked by previous efforts to maintain or repair the system. Full replacement can stop the cycle before the business disruption of a complete breakdown.
Trane Commercial Air Conditioner Repair and Parts Cost*
If you decide to perform repairs, plan for these expenses:
• Leaking coil and refrigerant: $1,150 to $1,750
• Thermostatic expansion valve: $275 to $450
• Failed solder connection on refrigerant lines: $875 to $1,220
Trane has a strong reputation as one of the best commercial compressor companies for quality workmanship. If you have a Trane warranty, it’s a good idea to explore its benefits as one of your first steps bringing your system back to working order.
Many Trane air conditioning units in seacoast climates have suffered from early corrosion leading to coil leaks, so be alert to this in repairs. Failed solder connections and thermostatic expansion valves, on the other hand, are often the result of improper installation.
Repairs Not Feasible? Put a Remanufactured Compressor at the Top of Your List
If replacement is in the cards, the best way to get more value is a remanufactured Trane screw compressor.
A true remanufactured compressor is completely disassembled and cleaned while expert compressor technicians replace components to maximize performance. Done right, a remanufactured unit offers longevity and efficiency comparable to a new OEM unit at a fraction of the cost and time.
You’ll shave weeks off your timeline and an average 30%-40% off the total cost. Paired with proactive system maintenance, this turns back the clock on your Trane HVAC system and gets you back to work.
*The costs stated are estimates and used as an example.