3 Measurements of Maintenance Success

There are only a handful of things that will cause your HVAC system to fail. As you can see in the list below, some you can not do much about, but the most frequent you can avoid.

Extreme Age
Once your equipment gets so old part is no longer available for replacement, you will need to replace the unit or system. This situation is very rare. Most equipment is not taken care of well enough to last this long. Very few service providers even offer plans designed to deal with equipment aging.

Severe Weather
Some markets experience frequent hail storms. This can severely damage coils, causing equipment to need replacement prematurely. While there may be shields you can install to protect against hail damage, there are other types of weather that it is nearly impossible to protect your equipment from damage. Your insurance company is the place to turn for this type of protection.

Inflicted Damage
This comes from accidents or vandalism. In either case, there is very little a service provider can do to protect against this kind of damage. Other than moving the equipment to a more out-of-the-way place. Once again your insurance company it the place to turn for this type of coverage.

Improper Use
Turning a system off and on can cause damage. There are typically safeties installed to protect the equipment from rapid off and on situations, but it also not uncommon for those safety devices to be removed. Some service providers think it helps them service equipment faster, saving time and money. But those savings are minimal compared to replacing equipment.

Turn to your service provider for training on the proper operation of your system. If they don’t offer training, contact CMC Corporate Solutions for assistance.

Dirt
Here we are with public enemy number one in terms of equipment damage. That is not just HVAC equipment either, that includes planes, trains, and automobiles. Dirt causes more problems in your building than any 10 of your employees. The best part is you can avoid nearly all dirt related problems with a solid service plan in place.

Now that we have covered off the causes of system failure, let’s look at 3 methods you can use to determine how effective your maintenance has been over the years.

This is not a very good method if your system is less than a couple years old. But unless the building is also only a couple years old you can use this approach to measure the previous maintenance.

Count the system failures for each of the last 5 years

The reason you want to count the failures is to determine if the frequency of failure is increasing. Poor maintenance allows dirty, the number of cause of failure, to build up. It is not uncommon for the failure to become more severe as time passes if there is a poor maintenance plan in place.

Total the cost of maintenance for each of the last 5 years

Total the cost or repairs for each of the last 5 years

We will consider these last 2 steps together, they are too connected to review individually.
There is a ratio common in the mechanical service business between maintenance dollars and repair dollars, it is a ratio of 1:4.

That means you are spending 5 dollars to take care of your systems. Some service companies want even higher repair ratio, 1:7 is not uncommon, which would cost you 8 dollars for maintenance and repairs.

The goal should be about 2:1. Spending more on maintenance than on repairs.

Remember what your building felt like during the last failure your building suffered. People were complaining. Not much work was getting done. You may have even suffered from product loss depending on the type of business you’re in.

The added costs associated with repairs are not even considered the 4:1 cost ratio. It is plain to see that, all things being equal, and you are going to spend the 5 dollars one way or the other, it is best to spend 4 on maintenance and only 1 on repair, rather than 1 dollar on maintenance and then suffer all the additional cost associated with 4 dollars on repairs.

Regardless, if your environmental systems fail comfort is gone, productivity drops, product quality drops, and the repair bill is just like getting sand kicked in your face. Why, because you just had to deal with all the pain and suffering as a result of a system failure and now the service provider, the same guy who was supposed to prevent failures, hands you a bill!

How does that work again? You pay him to prevent problems, but then he gets to charge you if they happen on his watch?

Sounds good for him, not so much for you.

Contact CMC Corporate Solutions for maintenance plans designed to meet your needs.

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