As the cost of doing business rises, owners are frequently looking at ways to cut back on what they consider unnecessary extras or frills to protect their bottom line.
Cost cutting might also extend to facility managers, who may be directed to examine their current programs and provide recommendations on cost reduction and cost avoidance. If HVAC equipment is operating efficiently, facility managers might be tempted to cut back on preventative maintenance programs from quarterly check-ups to twice yearly, or even just once per year.
The irony of this strategy is that cutting costs on HVAC maintenance programs will likely result in diminished energy efficiency that will lead to increased energy costs, as well as increased equipment repair and replacement expenses over time. These additional costs are completely avoidable with quarterly HVAC inspection and maintenance.
What Can Happen if You Cut Back on HVAC Inspections
Think about how often you service your car, even if you only drive it a few hours every day. With all of the oil changes, tune-ups, tire rotations, and inspections, your car should be operating at peak efficiency all year round.
Unlike your car, your HVAC system operates on a 24-hour, 365-days per year basis. If your car needs regular check-ups, then your HVAC system does as well, especially considering how many more hours it puts in over your vehicle.
Not only will reducing regular maintenance on your HVAC equipment result in clogged filters, dirty coolers, and mineral-encrusted humidifiers, there can be significant collateral costs to the people in your workplace.
Clogged filters and plugged drain pans add humidity and bacteria to the air, which can adversely affect tenants, employees, and customers. There’s a risk that they will experience coughing spells, dry throats, headaches, and irritability, which can lead to an absent workforce, diminished productivity, and reduced customer traffic.
Your system can’t wait six months to be checked. You also shouldn’t let your in-house maintenance staff work with your HVAC system unless they are already qualified to do so. You need a professional to handle these systems and troubleshoot issues before they become serious problems.
HVAC Preventative Maintenance Benefits
Keeping on top of HVAC systems on a quarterly basis carries a whole host of both short and long-term benefits, including:
- Extended equipment life: Most HVAC systems are designed for between 15 and 20 years, and regular maintenance is crucial to helping your system maximize its lifespan
- Improved cost controls: HVAC systems operating at peak efficiency use less energy, saving you money.
- Better air quality: Your workforce and customers will enjoy being in a clean air environment, and employees will take fewer sick days and increase productivity
- Issue correction in advance: Qualified HVAC technicians can spot and solve issues before the problem escalates, saving your business from system failure and emergency shutdown
- Accurate forecasting: If you know that HVAC components are nearing the end of their lifecycle, you’ll be able to accurately add them to your budget long before your old equipment breaks down
- Reduced repair costs: The costs to regularly clean and maintain equipment is much lower than they are to purchase and install new equipment, which is an expense that is completely avoidable with a maintenance plan
- Priority emergency calls: You’ll have priority service from technicians who are already familiar with your system, and ready to help you in an emergency
Perhaps the biggest benefit of HVAC preventative maintenance programs is having the piece of mind that your HVAC system is well looked after and actually saving you money both now and in the future.
What’s in an HVAC Preventative Maintenance Program?
At Springbank Mechanical Systems, we specialize in maintaining, repairing, or replacing all brands and types of HVAC equipment, including water-cooled heat pumps, cooling towers, hot water boilers, circulating pumps, steam humidifiers, make up air units, and much more.
Our custom maintenance services include:
- Full annual inspection of hot water or steam boilers, including all relief and make-up water valves
- Regular cleaning of cooling towers or closed-circuit coolers to prevent mineral build-up, and increase system efficiency
- Regular cleaning of steam humidifiers to remove mineral deposits, and replacement of the steam-generating cylinders
- Complete scheduled inspection of water-cooled heat pumps, with replacement, if necessary
We’ll monitor your system closely, especially during peak periods, to ensure that your HVAC system is always operating reliably.
We also specialize in the replacement of boilers, heat pumps, air handlers, rooftop units of all types, makeup air units, and many other mechanical systems. The advantages of replacing this equipment are significant increases in energy savings, minimal repair costs, and reduced downtime. If you’d like to learn more, contact me anytime.
Gregg Little is Co-owner of Springbank Mechanical Systems. He can be reached at 905-569-8990 or firstname.lastname@example.org.