For many facilities, making a major capital investment in the HVAC system right now feels counterintuitive. With the pandemic still raging, many buildings are barely occupied at the moment. Is it really the right time for a big expenditure? Ironically, it’s the perfect time, writes David P. Callan, senior vice president of McGuire Engineers in Chicago.

“Low occupancy rates in tenant-occupied commercial buildings have provided the perfect setup for capital improvements,” Callan writes in Building Operating Management. He lists five reasons why facility managers should consider an HVAC upgrade now. For one, tenants and occupants are demanding improved air filtration, ventilation, and purification — needs that aren’t likely to quickly disappear even with vaccines being distributed. Upgrades are also easier to make while buildings are unoccupied. Plus, interest rates are low.

But upgrading now also provides operators with a chance to go green and improve energy efficiency and utility costs, Callan says. “New HVAC systems and renovated infrastructure always provide an opportunity to reduce energy expenditure and, therefore, operational costs.” If your client is already planning to make improvements to air filtration and ventilation systems, it’s a good time to evaluate whether upgrading to a high-efficiency propane boiler or furnace provides attractive ROI, especially if they’re operating with an older system or one fueled by heating oil. There may never be an easier time to make the switch.

Read more.