Importance of Preventative Maintenance for Commercial Property Owners and Managers

We visit the doctor for yearly check-ups and take our vehicles to a mechanic for maintenance and oil changes. The same idea applies to an HVAC system. An HVAC system can run around 2,000 hours per year and is a building system that is constantly expending energy. Without preventative maintenance, it is much more likely that a building owner could be overlooking silent issues that could cause a system to break down long before it should.

Preventative maintenance is catching on for a reason. A 2021 survey from The Colling Media Snapshot asked homeowners across the US about preventative maintenance.

The survey stated that during the last time they had an HVAC service, 41% of homeowners had a preventative maintenance inspection of their HVAC system. The importance of preventative maintenance is resonating with homeowners and commercial property owners are no exception.

Below are three reasons why commercial property owners and managers should keep preventative maintenance top of mind:

Tenant Satisfaction

For commercial property owners, tenant satisfaction is a top priority. Preventative maintenance can affect the satisfaction and the length of stay for tenants. The Rental Protection Agency stated that repair problems are the third most common complaint in tenants nationwide, which includes heating and cooling. Busy season for contractors occurs during the hot summers when outside temperatures are extreme and homeowners are excessively running their units. The typical HVAC contractor carries a backlog of 2-3 weeks’ worth of work during the busy season. Summers without air conditioning can be miserable for tenants and detrimental to a building’s reputation and retention if it’s not fixed quick enough. Staying on top of preventative maintenance is a proactive strategy to mitigate emergencies.

Capital Planning

Planning for routine services is important for all HVAC owners as neglecting preventative maintenance could devastate your budget. This is especially true if you are a commercial property owner or manager as overlooking preventive maintenance could cause failure to multiple HVAC systems and exponentially increase the cost of repair and throw you even further out budget.

In addition to reducing last minute emergencies, keeping the maintenance and replacement history of your HVAC systems are important if you’re planning on selling commercial property. How well you maintain and replace your systems can affect how much you can sell your property for, especially as buyers from the coasts expect up-to-date systems.

Data-Driven Decision Making 

In commercial properties, HVAC systems consume more than 30 percent of the total energy use of a building. The internet of things (IoT) coupled with sensors and wireless networks provide perspective into both predictive and prescriptive analytics that can assist in decision making. With this data, you can understand which systems are consuming the most energy, which ones are most energy efficient, and you can identify when systems are breaking down. This gives you time to proactively fix them before the cost to repair is greater than the cost of replacement.

This article was originally published in HVAC Informed.

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