More Goes Into an HVAC Preventive Maintenance Program Than Meets the Eye
As a facility, operations, or procurement manager responsible for your organization’s facilities, you understand how important heating and cooling systems are — not only for employees but also for customers. They are critical systems in your buildings, and when they experience issues, the business experiences issues.
On average, commercial rooftop HVAC units (RTUs) have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years. However, reaching the upper end of that range requires a consistent, proactive HVAC preventive maintenance program. Right now, you might be relying on an on-call solution for maintenance: when something goes wrong, you reach out to a company, wait for them to work you into their schedule (or pay emergency service fees for immediate service), and get the issue resolved.
In the event that you have a preventive maintenance program in place, you’re already a step ahead — but from time to time, you might run into issues where inconsistency in work scope, pricing, asset data, reporting, and other important details add to the headaches. Every partner is different, so if they’re not going the extra mile to make your HVAC preventive maintenance program as consistent and reliable as possible, you could be looking at extra costs, scope creep, inadequate work performance, and scattered or incomplete asset and facility data. Here, we’ll explore a few value-adds that make for an ideal preventive maintenance program.
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What Makes for the Ideal HVAC Preventive Maintenance Program?
1. A Uniform Scope of Work
The core focus and advantage of a preventive maintenance program are evaluating your assets and facilities on a consistent basis — and keeping the evaluation themselves consistent. If you’re working with on-demand vendors and partners throughout your region for service, the work likely isn’t going to be executed consistently. They’re going to take separate approaches to address asset problems, or they might not review all of the core assets at a location with each visit (HVAC, lighting, signage, etc.). Long-term, minor issues that went undiscovered could turn into bigger problems that create equally larger operational and financial headaches.
Working with a single company — particularly an aggregator that leans on a network of proven partners — to execute your HVAC preventive maintenance program ensures that all work is uniform. No assets are left out, no detail is left to interpretation on the part of the company executing the service, program cycles are consistent, and nothing is left to chance. In the end, your assets are better protected and maintained, and you’re able to better hold your partner accountable for the work they’re overseeing because it’s all consistent.
Aggregator vs. Self-Performers: Learn the difference and which route is best for you.
2. A Proactive Approach to HVAC Preventive Maintenance Program Costs
When it comes to facility asset maintenance, the last thing you want to deal with when you have an issue is the additional costs that come with a service company traveling to your locations. Trip charges on top of repair and material costs can quickly set back individual locations’ P&Ls or the organization’s finances overall. Multiplied by the number of locations throughout your footprint, and the cost of a reactive approach to maintenance can become almost overbearing — especially as assets wear out or age and the additional financial burden of replacement draws closer.
Closely related to having a uniform scope of work is its result: a uniform set of costs. There are two components to this. First, being proactive with HVAC maintenance means you’re avoiding the added cost of trips and emergencies in the event something happens — mostly because you’ll be avoiding these costs altogether by identifying issues before they become problems. Second, with your program covering the same assets and scope of work across all locations, your pricing will be consistent, more manageable, budgeted, and expected. No more surprises — just a proactive approach that you can plan for and expect when billing occurs.
Put Your Vendor in the Hot Seat: Learn 13 questions every facility manager should ask to understand if their program is meeting their needs.
3. Information Access and Consistent Communication
Here’s an important one: do you know how many assets you have, their conditions, ages, serial numbers, model numbers, and so on — across all of your locations? Just as important, do you have this information all in one place that you can view at any time? If not, you can’t understand your HVAC preventive maintenance program. What are people working on, and why? What is that asset’s history, and what is the plan for it over time? In addition to understanding assets, you need to understand how the program is going. A partner that doesn’t communicate with you upfront, when situations or new costs arise, and when maintenance is completed isn’t a proactive partner.
The ideal program should gather all of your HVAC asset information upfront, giving you a 10,000-foot view of what the program will include and connecting you with the information you need at any time. That information should be accessible to you online, allowing you to view estimates, work orders, invoices, project statuses, and more at any time. And as the program moves along, you need to be kept informed so you can report on progress and make decisions when needed. If you’re in the dark at any point, your program is far from ideal.
Create Great Experiences with a Partner That Does the Same for You
Never leave your HVAC systems in the hands of a partner that doesn’t deliver the consistency and level of service you need. With CLS Facility Services as your HVAC preventive maintenance program partner, you benefit from more than 50 years of experience across multiple industries. We’ve been helping some of the most recognized brands create comfortable, safe, and enjoyable spaces for their customers and employees while keeping costs consistent and clear from the beginning, and we’re ready to do the same for you.