I have read the rules and hope I don't step out of line here (I apologize in advance if I do).
We are starting to look at replacing some of our HVAC units in a 300,000ft2 building and I need some recommendations. The building is made up of multiple buildings (connected) and is heated and cooled by everything you can imagine (except a chiller). All of our cooling is DX (3-50ton) and we have everything from package units to splits, VAVs to zoned systems . some gas packs, some hot water and even some electric heat. We have over 100 units that range in age from 1972 (it is a 50 ton Trane and it runs well) to 2011. Most units are occupied from 6am to 10pm 7 days a week. All replacements will be of like kind (except the zoned units which may become VAV systems) but will be re-engineered.
We have our own HVAC techs that are experienced and factory trained however the equipment they are trained on (that has been installed in the past 10yrs) hasn't preformed well. We buy factory direct (no bid) and have an installer place the units and do the warranty work for 1yr.
I have heard the good and bad from the guys around here (and the equipment reps) but I thought I might reach out to see what a wider audience of professionals might have to say. While price is a factor it is not the most important factor and we can spec what we want. I want our guys to be able to easily maintain and work on this stuff. We are getting ready to drop a lot of money and want to get it right.