Three Reasons HVAC Preventative Maintenance Really Matters

As consumers, most of us don’t drive our cars without changing the oil or making sure the tires are inflated so they don’t go flat. The same holds true for expensive heating and cooling systems. Without check-ups, tests and cleaning, they can malfunction quickly, wasting energy and costing you more down the road in unplanned repairs and emergency service calls.

Prevention is paramount for HVAC systems because they are responsible for more than 40 percent of a facility’s total energy use, and replacing these systems is costly. To help you know—really know—about the value of HVAC preventive maintenance, here are facts and findings that prove PM is the key to a long, healthy life for your heating and A/C systems.

  • Double-digit energy savings: Facilities that have had proper HVAC maintenance performed will use at least 15 to 20 percent less energy than those where systems are allowed to deteriorate (FacilitiesNet).
  • Decreased operating costs: The Building Owners and Management Association created a definitive analysis and financial model to assess real savings of HVAC preventative maintenance. The in-depth report shares that “Comparing the two scenarios indicates that the PM scenario has a net present value (NPV) of $6,359.” The report also stated that “estimates suggest preventive maintenance may account for between 30 percent and 50 percent of repair and maintenance costs, or from 4.5 percent to 7.5 percent of annual operating costs.”
  • Increased profit: In retail, energy costs (and HVAC’s share of costs) is incredulous. A Chain Store Age article shared that “a retailer’s energy costs could represent 5.5 percent of its store’s operating costs. “If the store operates at a 4 percent profit margin, driving a 15 percent reduction in energy costs would increase its profit margin to 4.75 percent — an 18.7 percent increase in store profit,” per Adam Siegel of the Retail Industry Leaders Association. FacilitySource serves many national retailers.

Armed with these findings, now it’s time to start a HVAC quality preventive maintenance program. Begin with a pilot using a few locations. Document the performance of your assets, including energy consumption and maintenance history. Then, find a reputable service provider who can perform the work and adhere to your SOWs. Throughout the pilot, monitor the performance and document all the fixes and repairs that were performed and how not doing them could have led to bigger problems down the line. Pretty soon, you’ll have made your case and will be on your way to rolling out PMs across the organization!

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