Commercial HVAC preventive maintenance: Choosing The Right Preventive Maintenance Program For You
Posted by CLS Admin on July 25, 2013
If you’ve kept up with our HVAC blog posts so far, then you should have a good appreciation for the ways that Preventive Maintenance (PM) can help you reduce HVAC repair costs and increase unit lifespan. You’ll also have a better sense of what a baseline PM program entails. We even provided a more thorough checklist of specific PM components that can help to form the foundation of a solid PM plan.
The old axiom ‘one size doesn’t fit all’ applies to so many things in life, and HVAC PM is no exception. PM for one unit may not be well-suited for another unit, especially when you account for critical variables such as location and usage.
While we’ve provided some good general recommendations and specific checklist components, the right PM program for your HVAC unit is dependent on factors that are unique to your unit, and your facility. Consider:
- Age and condition: Is your equipment one year old, or 10 years old? Is it used regularly, or sparingly? New equipment may only require a few PM sessions annually, while older units may likely need more. Then again, some new units may actually require more PM than older units, if you take into account some of the additional variables below…
- Geography: Where is your unit located? In Maine? Arizona? Florida? Ohio? Different parts of the country experience characteristically different climates. Heat, or lack thereof, humidity, sunshine and even wind and rainfall all play important roles in determining the specific components in a PM program, as well as the frequency of PM within a given calendar year.
- Other locational considerations: Is your equipment located in an enclosed retail space such as a mall? Do other nearby businesses emit fumes, chemicals or odors that encroach on your space and affect your HVAC filtering – potentially even every day? Is your unit within the accepted boundaries of what is considered a “bad” HVAC environment – i.e., near an airport, a construction zone or the ocean?
- Environmental considerations: In the U.S. Southeast, for example, cottonwood trees emit seeds covered with a cottony substance in late spring. This material clogs HVAC filters – sometimes daily – and necessitates a robust PM program for units that are affected. Other units not in close proximity to such trees may only need a handful of PM programs annually. We use these trees as an illustration of the types of materials in various environments that can directly impact HVAC performance and health – and therefore must be accounted for in a PM program.
The point is, choosing the right PM program for your unit means gathering a lot of useful information, processing it thoughtfully – sometimes even through mathematical or statistical analysis – and building a sensible program that keeps it running smoothly, ensures a long lifecycle to protect your investment, and strengthens your bottom line.
At CLS Facility Services, we’ve actually developed a proprietary method for doing this – we call it PM Logic®. PM Logic determines the proper level and frequency of PM and repairs for a particular HVAC unit – specifically, PM recommendations, repair tracking and status updates, equipment evaluation and replacement recommendations, warranty tracking, and energy management system installation and monitoring.
An integral part of PM Logic is the PM Logic® Score. The concept is simple – a separate score is created for each piece of equipment based on that equipment’s age, specifications, usage and geographical and locational variables. Depending on the PM Logic RTU score, CLS’ HVAC technical team determines the optimal level of PM and type of repairs needed on the equipment. These focused repair alternatives are then recommended to building owners and managers.
We believe that our program,PM Logic® can be instructive in helping to illustrate how you can determine the right PM program for your HVAC equipment. In every case, we recommend that you talk directly with a qualified service provider for ways to design and implement a sound PM program for your unit.
Finally, once you have a PM program in place, we strongly encourage you to implement it faithfully. Through our decades of experience, we’ve seen first-hand how valuable PM can be in the complex and demanding world of building management.
Want to learn more about CLS’s national HVAC services? Call us at 800-548-3542.