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RE: Life Cycle Costs of Air Conditioning

Dear Website Customer:

I think that air conditioning and heating systems are expensive!

That is an interesting statement from someone who makes a living designing, installing and servicing air conditioning, heating and refrigeration systems. Air conditioning, heating and refrigeration are necessities in our lives and our businesses. Since doing without is not a very good option, how can we keep a lid on this expense?

The real truth of the matter is this: The cost of your air conditioning, heating or refrigeration systems will be more than ten times the initial purchase price of the equipment. The total hard cost of your indoor comfort is as follows:

The INITIAL COST of the systems

+ ENERGY costs
+ REPAIR costs due to breakdown
+ MAINTENANCE costs
+ UPGRADES and MODIFICATIONS
+ REPLACEMENT costs
= TOTAL HARD COSTS

The soft costs are too numerous to count. A few of them are the lost productivity due to failures, the loss of raw and finished goods due to failures, and the environmental impact of using inefficient or faulty equipment.

As a total solution provider, we help you to balance all of these costs. Every day, we assist businesses in making these difficult decisions. Each and every decision has benefits and expenses, pros and cons. There is always a tradeoff between options. Some decisions result in rock-bottom initial cost, and have the result of more than doubling the total cost over periods as short as 3 or 5 years. In other cases, the initial cost can be so high that we never see a good reduction of the other costs enough to justify the initial purchase decision. Frankly, there are just lots of ways to get from point A to point B in this business.

Our experience in providing systems service has taught us which models of equipment are better for each particular situation. Hindsight, after many costly repairs, has given us the knowledge to make better recommendations for our clients. When we say models of equipment, this is the key--it is not necessarily one manufacturer that is better than another. Each manufacturer has good and bad choices for each project.

For example, we recently recommended a particular model of equipment to a client based heavily on the fact that this client prefers to maintain their own equipment. We specifically selected a good, high efficiency unit that is much easier to service and maintain than many others on the market. The initial cost of the installation was less than 5% higher than the alternative choice.

We would be remiss if we did not mention that all mechanical systems need regular maintenance. Obviously, the air filters need to be replaced to keep the units and the air we breath clean. Attention must also be paid to the operation of the refrigeration circuits, gas controls, electrical devices and all of the moving parts in these machines. If these simple actions aren't taken, the failures will happen--and in most cases far exceed the expense of maintenance costs. This is not to say that maintenance prevents all failures, but it does reduce failures and increase energy efficiency of the equipment. This is just one more example of the trade offs we need to consider to make good long term decisions.

In short, keeping a handle on life cycle costs of your air conditioning and heating sytems requires that you select the proper equipment for the application and establish a plan of action for keeping your investment in proper operating condition. If you have questions or would like to discuss this further, don't hesitate to call me at 214.631.1010 or email: . I'd like to hear from you!

Sincerely,

KAHN MECHANICAL CONTRACTORS

Josh Kahn,
TACL A16607C

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