When it comes to heating and cooling our homes and commercial properties, maintaining a functioning HVAC is often a matter that is out of sight, out of mind. Even conscientious facilities managers tend to think little of their furnaces and air conditioning systems while they are working properly. However, it’s necessary to regularly think about them in order to ensure they continue functioning efficiently and effectively. Without preventative maintenance, problems are sure to result, leading to costly malfunctions and inefficient energy usage.
HVAC preventative maintenance means more than an effective heating and cooling system, however. Regularly maintaining HVAC systems saves owners and operators in a variety of ways, both directly and indirectly, including:
1. Lower Energy Bills
More than three-quarters of all electricity used in the United States is dedicated to heating and cooling commercial and residential buildings. Unfortunately, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, as much as 40% of that energy is wasted. A variety of preventative maintenance tasks increase the energy efficiency of HVAC systems, greatly lowering energy usage and utility bills, whether they be for gas or electric usage.
Not only does the seasonal replacement of air filters ensure HVAC systems are operating with the least resistance, but sealing air leaks seasonally and repairing insulation can increase HVAC efficiency, generating significant savings. Likewise, periodic system cleaning boosts energy efficiency and reduces heating and cooling costs by simultaneously boosting air flow. Dirty coils, for example, can reduce energy efficiency by 21% or more, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. When the San Francisco Department of the Environment and the Food Service Technology Center conducted a test and cleaned the coils on one rooftop HVAC unit, its energy usage was cut in half. Just imagine how much energy savings and lower utility bills would have resulted from preventative maintenance on that unit.
2. Fewer Repairs
HVAC systems are a significant investment that is meant to last from 15 to 20 years on average. Minimizing repairs is key to maximizing the return on that investment, and preventative maintenance is key to avoiding costly equipment failures. According to the experts at Home Guide, furnace repairs cost an average of $268, and the average air conditioner repair costs homeowners $319, but some repairs can cost far more – as much as $3,000. Most costly repairs can be avoided through regular preventative maintenance and HVAC system cleaning, catching small problems before they become costly issues and keeping the system in top working condition.
3. Extended Equipment Lifespan
Preventative maintenance is vital if HVAC equipment is to remain effective for its 15 to 20-year lifespan. When it’s not regularly maintained and cleaned, furnace and air conditioning equipment accumulate dirt, debris and grime, which makes it work harder to provide expected results. The greater mechanical effort shortens the lifespan of the equipment. Considering a new HVAC system can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000, it only makes financial sense to make the minor investment into seasonal maintenance and use the equipment for as many years as possible. Likewise, many HVAC warranty agreements require proof of preventative maintenance in order to cover expensive parts and replacements.
4. Increased Productivity
There’s no question that time equals money. Whether you employ an office building full of workers or a couple of key employees who help with daily operations, their productivity – or lack thereof – amounts to dollars and cents in the bank. Provided the employees are trustworthy, the main factor that can positively or negatively impact their productivity is their health – and few factors influence overall health and wellness more than air quality.
A poorly-maintained HVAC system accumulates dirt, pollen and other allergens – not to mention pathogens like viruses and bacteria – and those particles circulate into the air breathed by tenants and employees alike. Preventative maintenance ensures an HVAC system remains clean and its filters are properly functioning for optimal indoor air quality.
Motili works with some of the largest multi-tenant communities providing exceptional turnkey HVAC maintenance, repair and installation services. Motili customers have seen resident satisfaction increase by double digit percentages thanks to preventative maintenance programs.