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3 Steps to Planning HVAC RTU Replacements

Mar 27, 2020 7:30:00 AM


A successful planned RTU replacement program saves energy and avoids costly emergency replacements. This approach allows standardization of equipment features, streamlines the process, reduces costs, and provides higher quality results.

Step 1: Inventory Equipment

Create a detailed existing equipment list to identify RTUs that are targeted for replacement several years into the future.  The initial inventory section is meant to capture basic information about the RTUs from an asset database or from a simple visual inspection of the RTUs.  The most important pieces of information to capture are the age, size (cooling capacity), manufacturer, and model number. 

Step 2: Define Request for Proposal (RFP) 

Define a Request For Proposal (RFP) with a specific set of features and minimum performance requirements.   The Advanced RTU Campaign has multiple sample RFPs and specifications for Participants to reference and use in their RTU procurement/retrofit efforts.    

Step 3: Utility Rebates and Incentives
Understand efficiency thresholds for quantifying incentive and rebate opportunities; check the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency here.  


Many aspects of the RTU replacement process can be standardized, but each installation is unique and requires engineering and economic reviews.  Unique factors to consider include the following:

  • Curb adapters may be necessary when changing brands or when replacing a very old RTU with a new RTU of the same brand.
  • In some cases, structural engineering studies are needed because the new units, combined with the curb adapters, are heavier.
  • Each installation is reviewed to determine where the costs to standardize the brand are significantly higher than the option to replace like brands for like.

  • Streamlined acquisitions and assurance of RTU required features.
  • Reduce RTU procurement costs by 10%
  • Pay less for the new efficient RTUs
  • Streamlined installation and maintenance practices.
  • Reduce energy and maintenance costs.
  • 20% to 40% energy reduction than new standard efficiency RTUs
  • Reduction in HVAC service calls and in total repair spending.


If your HVAC equipment is nearing its end of life, about 12 to 15 years, and if it fails in the middle of the summer, you will likely end up paying a premium to repair or replace the unit.  The replacement unit may not have the right features, or even be the right size, because the need to restore air conditioning could force you to make short-term trade-offs.  Don't let this happen to you.  

Contact CES Today!  

Comprehensive Energy Services

Written by Comprehensive Energy Services

Comprehensive Energy Services, Inc. is an award-winning, self performing provider and recognized leader in Design Build and Maintain Mechanical Contracting and Plumbing; providing a full range of advanced HVAC commercial, healthcare, and industrial services, including mechanical engineering design, mechanical construction, plumbing, IAQ, preventative maintenance and system maintenance throughout Florida.


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