Preventive HVAC Maintenance Pays for Itself

June 1st, 2012

Keeping a building’s mechanical and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment well maintained to extend its life and avoid future repair costs is sometimes viewed as a “necessary evil.” Preventive maintenance is often thought of as something you don’t want to have to do but you know you have to do it. It’s similar to getting your car tuned-up. If you don’t change your oil or replace belts and filters, then the engine could become damaged to the point that it won’t operate. The same is true for your mechanical and HVAC equipment without preventive maintenance. It’s simple – ongoing maintenance prevents problems from occurring.

Building systems are the lifeblood of a facility. They require lighting, water, heating and cooling to be habitable and safe. To ensure systems run continuously, effectively and without downtime, a preventive maintenance plan is essential.

HVAC systems in commercial buildings represent more than 40 percent of total energy use. This is a controllable expense that can be reduced through planned maintenance. By scheduling and planning for ongoing maintenance activities, mechanical and HVAC systems will operate at peak efficiency and consume less energy. Keep in mind that beyond managing your energy costs, preventive maintenance plays a key role in ensuring the comfort of building occupants. Controlling and optimizing indoor temperatures and humidity impact tenant comfort and productivity.

Unfortunately it can be easy for property managers and building owners to forget about mechanical equipment maintenance when everything is running smoothly and operating behind the scenes. However, reactive, rather than preventive maintenance represents the most expensive way to maintain a building’s mechanical and HVAC systems. Well planned, comprehensive maintenance plans, that take into consideration multiple factors, can significantly lower maintenance costs.

To gain an understanding of the impact of preventive maintenance on costs and savings, property managers and building owners should take into consideration these factors:

–     Cost of preventive maintenance

–     Impact of preventive maintenance on expected equipment life

–     Cost to repair equipment

–     Frequency to repair equipment that is not maintained

–     Cost to replace equipment

–     Energy consumption savings from preventive maintenance

–     Estimated equipment lifespan

–     Life-cycle cost analysis to determine repair versus replacing aging equipment

A preventive maintenance plan needs to be customized for each building based on its unique HVAC system and operating environment. Items to consider include the following:

–     Inventorying type, age, amount, and size of equipment

–     Identifying maintenance tasks for each piece of equipment

–     Determining the recommended performance of each piece of equipment

–     Defining the overall operation of the equipment for the building where it is installed

–     Reviewing the manufacturer’s operating and maintenance manuals

–     Tracking various system indicators to identify emerging problems before they turn into emergencies

–     Plan for end of life equipment replacement

Proper maintenance costs less over the life of the equipment compared to changing out the equipment on a regular basis. By investing in preventive maintenance, equipment lasts longer, energy consumption is reduced, equipment downtime occurs less often, and costly, emergency repairs are often avoided. Typically equipment that is properly maintained uses between 15 to 20 percent less energy than equipment that is not maintained. Crockett Facilities Services is here to serve you.

About Crockett Facilities Services, Inc.

Crockett Facilities Services, Inc. (CFSI), a woman-owned, MDOT MBE contractor, delivers building operations and maintenance, mechanical contracting, heating and air conditioning services to commercial and government clients. CFSI’s Mechanical Service Contractors of America (MSCA) STAR and GreenSTAR certified technicians maximize operational efficiency and ensure continuous systems operations, helping building owners and property managers control capital expenditures and reduce energy consumption. CFSI President Cynthia Crockett recently received the 2012 Minority Business Leader Award from the Washington Business Journal and was named a Smart100 member by Baltimore SmartCEO magazine in 2011. Listed as a top 10 mechanical contractor in the Washington Business Journal and certified by WBENC and MD/DC MSDC, CFSI’s awards include the Blue Ribbon, Small Business Award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Contractor of the Year from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service.

Crockett Facilities Services is your complete solution for integrated facility operations,24/7 HVAC and maintenance services.

If you need services or have any questions contact Crockett Facilities Services at 301.262.2771 or click here today!

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