Midwest Mechanical - An HVAC Blog

How an HVAC Preventative Maintenance Agreement Can Prevent Disaster

Published: March 22, 2016

Written by Tony Ponzo

“Out of sight, out of mind” gets us in a lot of trouble, doesn’t it?

Think about your car:

When you consider keeping your second-biggest investment in good working order, you think about things like changing the oil, filling the tires with air, and probably keeping the body clean and looking good.

If you’re mechanically-minded, you may go a step further by checking the charge on the battery, replacing the spark plugs and wires, and checking to make sure all the hoses and wires are tight and intact.

These items are easy to keep track of and stay top-of-mind. Even if you aren’t under the hood checking details, a little warning light in the dash let’s you know if something is amiss.

But when is the last time you got under your car to inspect the condition of the universal joints? When did you last dig out the O2 sensor or verify that your catalytic converter wasn’t clogged?

It’s probably been a while. These parts of your car are just as prone to wearing out or breaking as the other more common items you’re always thinking about. They’re just not as readily noticeable.

They’re out of sight, and so, they’re out of mind.

Until they break.

Out of Sight HVAC Issues

Your commercial HVAC systems are largely out of sight as well: they’re up on the roof, down in the basement, tucked behind walls and in out-of-the-way mechanical rooms… out of sight, and therefore out of mind.

Like any mechanical and electronic equipment, they’re prone to wear out, get dirty, lose efficiency, and even suddenly break down -- unless properly maintained.

And, just like your car, these issues can cause minor frustrations, or they can spell real disaster, depending on the circumstances.

Why spend the money?

It may be tempting to take a wait-and-see approach to system maintenance. After all, the perception is that an HVAC system can function just fine, sometimes for years, without much of a problem. It’s also a common misconception to believe that because things are under warranty, they won’t have mechanical issues. The truth is that an HVAC system needs preventative maintenance like your car’s engine needs regular oil changes. If such maintenance isn’t a priority, the first problems you notice may be very minor: an unpleasant smell in the air, a slight uptick in utility costs as your system becomes less efficient. Your employees are still warm in the winter and cool in the summer, so there’s no harm, right?

Actually, no.

Like your car, your commercial HVAC system and all its connected systems throughout your building, is a major investment. These are assets that you’re counting on to keep all your other physical assets - the building, the equipment, any stored valuables, not to mention your employees - safe and secure from environmental problems and discomfort for years to come.

If you fail to properly maintain this equipment, at the very least it’s not going to last as long as it should. It could end up costing far more while it’s in use due to inefficiencies. And, as a worst-case scenario, an unmaintained HVAC system could even lead to truly costly and dangerous disasters.

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The high potential cost of HVAC maintenance negligence

Here are just a few potential results of failing to properly maintain your commercial HVAC system:

  • Unhealthy air quality - Mold, fungus, pollutants
    • Increased employee sick time - as a result of the above
  • Uncomfortable/drastic temperature fluctuations
    • Increased employee frustration
    • Decreased morale
    • Decreased productivity - all as a result of the above
  • Clogged, broken, worn out system components
    • Loss of heat
    • Loss of air conditioning
    • Catastrophic flooding
    • Fire
    • Explosion - all as a result of the above
  • Inefficiency / frequent repair / early replacement of equipment
    • Unnecessarily high energy costs
    • Unnecessarily high repair costs
    • Unnecessarily high capital expenditures for major replacements
    • The cost of repeated downtime - all as a result of the above

Don’t let your HVAC system fall apart because it’s out of sight and out of mind. Adopt a comprehensive HVAC maintenance agreement with certified professionals who can keep your system running smoothly, efficiently, and as long as possible so you and your employees can enjoy a clean, comfortable, and productive work environment. To learn more, get the facility manager's guide to planned maintenance for Chicago buildings. 

Learn more about our planned maintenance program or contact us to learn how we can protect your mechanical systems with preventative maintenance.

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