A commercial building’s Rooftop HVAC Unit (RTU) may reside out of sight for most people. But dollar for dollar, these units take center stage when it comes to making or breaking a facility’s operating budget.

HVAC is one of the most important – and energy consuming – building systems in any enclosed structure. Clean and comfortable indoor environments help to keep tenants happy, healthy and productive. Likewise, efficient HVAC equipment helps to keep operating, maintenance and life-cycle costs in check for building owners.

Purchasing an RTU is an expensive proposition, so you want to do all you can to keep it running smoothly over its years of operation. With the high cost of energy, operating expenses can mean the difference between profitability and loss. Knowing the true costs of owning and operating an RTU can help you manage your facility budget more effectively. Just as important, you can use that knowledge to build a preventive maintenance plan for your RTU that will cut the associated operating and maintenance costs, extend the life of that unit, and help to ensure its reliability.

The first step along this path is to determine your total cost of owning and operating an RTU. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Installed unit cost: $___
  2. Cost for energy to operate unit:* $___
  3. Cost for preventative maintenance:* $___
  4. Cost for repairs:* $___

* During the total lifetime of the unit.

The sum total of these four costs represents your Total HVAC Cost: $___

Take your Total HVAC Cost, and divide that by the number of years that your RTU has been in service (the industry standard for the useful economic life expectancy of an RTU is 12 to 15 years). The result will give you your Unit Cost Per Year.

Knowing your RTU’s Unit Cost Per Year can help you to devise and implement a comprehensive HVAC preventive maintenance program. Given an up-front investment of time and forethought, a well-conceived and systematically implemented preventive maintenance program that boosts your RTU’s operation, durability and reliability will pay dividends to your bottom line for years to come.

In subsequent HVAC-related installments of this blog, we will offer you a comprehensive array of practical tips for preventive HVAC maintenance, as well as a preventive HVAC maintenance checklist, and seasonal HVAC maintenance tips. We hope that reading this blog and considering our recommendations will help you prolong the life-cycle of your HVAC system, reduce your operating and repair costs, and boost your maintenance activity efficiency.

Want to learn more about CLS’s national HVAC services? Call us at 800-548-3542.