A preventive maintenance agreement is a contract that covers routine maintenance of your industrial HVAC equipment. The technician will conduct a mechanical, control, environmental and energy audit of the building looking to uncover any HVAC operating inefficiencies.
The number of maintenance visits and services rendered will vary based on the particulars of your agreement. Typically, two visits are conducted each year—pre-summer and pre-winter, before peak HVAC operating seasons begins. However, depending on the age and type of your equipment, operating conditions, usage requirements, high complexity, or if your equipment is exposed to poor air quality conditions more visits may be necessary.
During the visit, the HVAC technician will inspect, clean and test your HVAC system to ensure all components, such as motors, heating coils, belts, the heater assembly and steam traps are working properly. If parts, such as belts look worn or filters are dirty, the technician will replace them. A well-maintained HVAC system offers many benefits, including:
Over time, dust and allergens collect in ducts and vents and are circulated into the air by the unit. Regularly cleaned and/or replaced HVAC filters and coils prevent allergens responsible for health and respiratory problems (such as mold, bacteria or fungi) from entering the building. Comfortable temperatures and healthy air for employees result in better work performances.
When dirt and allergens collect in ducts, dampers and vents, the system must work much harder to release the same amount of cool or warm air as it did when the system was brand-new and first installed. After cleaning, less energy is required to run the unit resulting in reduced monthly operation costs. Clean, well-maintained units also puts less stress on the system’s components which prevents bigger problems and repairs down the road.
Units that are poorly or infrequently maintained can put additional pressure and stress on a system’s components which results in more frequent breakdowns and emergency repairs. Seasonal summer and winter maintenance visits reduces the likelihood of unexpected breakdowns when you need the unit the most.
HVAC systems can be responsible for up to 60% of a building’s total utility cost. A well-maintained, smoothly running system doesn’t need to work as hard to maintain the room’s temperature, resulting in lower electrical bills. In addition, when you take good care of your equipment, there’s less chance of failed components and the cost of replacement.
When an industrial HVAC system gets regularly scheduled maintenance, it can last 5-6 years longer than one that has been overlooked or ignored. Well-maintained equipment is much less likely to require major repairs such as leaks and/or breakdowns which often impact other components in the system. When repaired immediately, small problems stay small and can be tackled before they affect the whole system.
When business owners take care of their industrial HVAC system with scheduled maintenance, they can rest assured that their system is in the best operating condition as possible, their employees and clients are comfortable, and costly repairs don’t pop up unexpectedly.
Because the type, size, complexity and condition of HVAC equipment varies across industrial sites and applications, so will pricing. When shopping around for quotes, keep these pricing factors in mind:
A building with a single rooftop unit will cost considerably less than a large industrial complex with numerous units.
Size and Number of Components
A system with multiple components (filters, belts, compressors and multiple electrical connections) will take more time for the technician to inspect and clean, and more money to replace or repair.
Easy to access, self-contained units, like rooftop units, will be less expensive to maintain than equipment installed in hard-to-reach spaces like crawl spaces. If panels need to be removed or components are located throughout the building, expect to pay accordingly.
Make sure that you’re comparing apples to apples when evaluating prices. What one HVAC contractor considers “preventative” can vary, so ask what’s included in their fee. If one contractor simply changes filters and belts and another performs an in-depth inspection and checks refrigerant levels, electrical connections and drain lines and pans, then of course the latter contract should cost more.
Maintaining your industrial HVAC system regularly, not only lengthens the life of the system, but is vital for improving efficiency, air quality and peace of mind. When you know your HVAC system (inside and out), you can keep it running at its peak performance. If problems or issues do arise, they won’t come as a big surprise. As winter approaches, consider checking heating system components to keep your business as energy efficient and healthy as possible during the coldest weather.