As the owner or manager of a commercial building in the Southeast U.S., you likely already understand the importance of properly maintaining the facility’s vital systems, including its HVAC equipment and technology. Without an effective maintenance program in place, daily use could eventually wear out expensive equipment that could have remained functional for years to come.
However, some owners find themselves in a position where this vital maintenance has been left up to a team or individual without adequate knowledge and experience to carry out the job effectively. Considering the high cost of HVAC repair and replacement, we always recommend obtaining building maintenance services from experienced technicians who spend every day maintaining equipment similar to yours.
Fortunately, setting up an effective planned maintenance program through a commercial HVAC service partner doesn’t need to be a difficult or complicated process. In fact, you should be able to set the program up in just three simple steps:
Step One: The commercial building assessment
This assessment sets a baseline for how the building’s current systems are functioning. It includes a review of historical usage, current building and occupant needs, data from utility bills, and a history of repair or previous service. Reviewing these and other data points, a maintenance consultant can determine trends, forecast life expectancy of the system, and identify areas for improvement.
In conjunction with your business goals for the facility, they can then deliver a list of recommendations for energy and cost savings, improved comfort, and reduced risk of equipment failure. Finally, the assessment provides for a solid foundation on which to build an effective, maintenance program customized for your commercial building.
Step Two: Understanding Regulations
Another important step your commercial HVAC partner will take is to explore any pertinent local, state, and federal regulations that apply to your facility based on location and use.
Likely, you’re already aware of regulatory compliance as it applies to your facility. But, laws change quickly and sometimes items can slip by you, creating unexpected risk.
A focus on regulatory compliance for your facility also informs the planned maintenance program, usually dictating the timing of inspections, performance thresholds, and air quality standards that can be continually monitored by the maintenance team.
Step Three: Analyzing Recommendations
The third and final step in setting up an effective building maintenance program involves the final list of professional recommendations expert technicians provide once they have performed the assessment and reviewed compliance requirements for your facility.
These recommendations will generally fall into one of three broad categories:
- Immediate improvements
- Long-term improvements
- Ongoing maintenance
Immediate improvements include items that are considered “low-hanging fruit” (relatively inexpensive actions that can have a dramatic impact on the performance or operating cost of the system,) or that are currently out of compliance and need to be quickly rectified to avoid negative consequences.
Long-term improvements are more strategic in nature. They can include energy savings, control system enhancements, and suggested upgrades or replacements, many of which could require a significant capital investment. As a result, these improvements generally need to be planned and budgeted for, but the return on investment is quite high.
The recommended maintenance plan is usually an annual schedule of services and inspections customized to your facility’s HVAC system. It takes into account what equipment you have, what condition it’s in, and how it’s going to be used in the coming months and years. This plan will be set up to optimize the equipment’s performance, operational cost, and lifespan to help you save money while maintaining a comfortable and safe environment in the facility.
If you’d like to discuss implementing a maintenance program at your commercial building, contact us today. We’d love to discuss how our experienced HVAC professionals can work with you to assess your mechanical systems and determine how to get the most value from them.